Good morning, as we wake up to another dreary, drizzly day in the Pacific Northwest. With all the commotion last night involving Holmgren it’s easy to forget there’s a game today.
But there is, and this is one the Seahawks should take care of at home if they bring it from the opening whistle. Here’s a few things Seattle needs to happen in order to dispose of the Bucs at home today.
Protect Hasselbeck: They’ve been woefully inadequate at doing this for most of the season, so let’s see if the switch from Max Unger to Chris Spencer at center changes Seattle’s fortunes up front. I’m also interested to see how Mike Gibson plays at guard.Pound the rock: Tampa Bay has one of the worst run defenses in the league, giving up an average of 161 yards a contest, so Seattle should be able to run the ball with Julius Jones and Justin Forsett. The key is not getting behind early.
Deion the playmaker? I know for some fans and members of the media Deion Branch has become a scapegoat because of the amount of money he’s making and his lack of production over the time he’s become a Seahawk. But with Nate Burleson out Seattle will need Branch to make some explosive plays in space to help move the chains, and against an unimposing Tampa Bay defense, Branch should oblige.
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Redemption for defense: The Seahawks defense looked awful against Houston. As defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, they got punched in the mouth down in Texas, so look for Seattle’s defense to come put playing hard and fast in order to make a statement at Qwest Field that last week was an aberration, not the norm.
My story today focuses on the team’s announcement that Mike Holmgren declined their offer to take a senior leadership position within the organization. This makes sense for both parties involved. With what Cleveland is offering, it doesn’t make sense for Holmgren to come back to Seattle.
At 61 years old this will be his last real opportunity to accomplish his ultimate goal, which is rebuilding an organization from the ground up and establishing a legacy as one of the great football people in the league. Coming back to Seattle would have been too much of a limiting situation for Holmgren, and all he could really do is tarnish an already impeccable image by failing to turn the Seahawks around
Meanwhile, I think Seattle needs fresh blood to objectively look at the warts of the organization and fix them, and it appears CEO Tod Leiweke is ready to go through that process and find the right guy.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman revisits Seattle. Freeman made a pre-draft visit to Seattle, as the Seahawks considered drafting a quarterback in the first round.
ESPN's Mike Sanod weighs on on the Holmgren situation, and I mostly agree with him. Sando's been covering the team a lot longer than I have, and therefore has a better background in terms of the history between Holmgren and the organization.
TNT columnist Dave Boling talks with former Seahawks center Robbie Tobek about the nastiness it takes to be an effective offensive lineman in the league.
Greg Johns of Seattlepi.com predicts a 28-13 win for Seattle.
Rod Mar of Seahawks.com has some pretty good photos from last week’s Houston game.
ESPN’s John Clayton talks to Sean Locklear about the issues on the offensive line in this audio link. The conversation is toward the end of the file.
Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune reports that receiver Michael Clayton (knee) and tight end John Gilmore (head) will not play today.