I haven’t posted one of these in awhile and we’ve had a lot of questions in the comments section this week, so I’ll try to answer some of them this morning.
Audible asks: Eric, I have been asking this for awhile but here we go again...would it be possible for BobbyK and Dukeshire to make guest posts on this blog?
I think those guys have proven themselves to be pretty reliable over the years, and they've helped make this blog what it is. Perhaps, they could email their posts directly to you or Ryan, so you can review the content prior to making the post. Or, perhaps you guys could provide a disclaimer that explains that they are guest commentators and their ideas are not necessarily the ideas of the News Trib.
Something like that would be terrific for all involved because it would provide more content for the hungry readers among us, recognize these guys for their generous contributions over the years, and that would translate into more traffic and therefore more potential ad revenue for the News Tribune. What better way for you guys to connect with your readers?!
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Williams: Ryan and I discussed this and we both think it’s a good idea, so let’s try it. I think for right now we’re thinking of creating a weekly post called Take of the Week, in which we’ll solicit one blog commenter to give us a weekly take on the topic of his or her choosing. We’d like the submission to be contained to about 500 words or so, and will decide on a regular day to run them.
We’ll give the person writing the submission about a week to get his or her thoughts together, and we’ll ask to take a look at it before hand so we can edit the submission before posting it for the masses. But I do think it’s a good idea, and I want to encourage as much participation from the folks that read the blog as we can.
We’re also considering doing a mock draft this year a week before the actual draft using the CoverItLive system we use for the live game day and Monday Morning QB chats. So we’d like to get you involved with that, with hopefully one person taking a team, serving as the GM and picking for each team in the first round.
So let us know in the comments section about your thoughts on both the Take of the Week and possibly doing a mock draft next year, and we’ll take it from there.
Hambone asks: Eric, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Matt’s arm strength. Hasselbeck hasn’t ever been a huge deep ball threat but I saw two plays on Sunday that he usually makes. Everyone was talking about the underthrown ball to Burleson but there was also a throw to Griffith that was underthrown as well but he ended up turning his shoulders around and making a great snag (I think it was the drive that led to Forsett’s TD).
In your opinion, is this an accuracy issue or has it got something to do with his arm strength/mechanics? Or do you think it’s simply that nagging shoulder injury? I think he’s got two year left in the tank but the Matt we saw in 2007 would've hit those guys in stride Sunday.
Williams: First of all, let me say this: I think arm strength is overrated and would much rather have a quarterback who is accurate than one who has a powerful arm. Think JaMarcus Russell and Jay Cutler. Both have tremendous arm strength, but neither is very accurate in putting the ball where they want it, and the result is a lot of throws forced into tight windows and predictably a lot of interceptions.
I think Hasselbeck’s arm strength was affected early on when he had the shoulder issue and he dinged and dunked the ball around against Detroit. But I don’t think that’s an issue anymore.
Specifically, on the two throws you mentioned, I think on the Burleson play he just tried to get the ball to him quick because Burleson was so wide open and didn’t get enough on the ball. On those type of plays, the last thing the quarterback wants to do is overthrow the receiver and miss out on the big play. So I think Hasselbeck was just trying to get the ball out there to let Burleson make a play, and obviously misjudged the defender’s recovery speed. I don’t think it was an arm strength issue.
On the throw to Justin Griffith, I think Hasselbeck actually put that ball where he wanted to, throwing to Griffith’s back shoulder to keep the ball away from the defender. And I think Griffith also turned back to make sure that he came down with the ball and to catch it at its highest point, which receivers are taught to do, instead of making the basket catch and allowing the defender to possibly make a play on the ball down low.
So to sum it up, I still believe that Hasselbeck has enough arm strength to make all the throws. He’s never going to be a great, deep-ball thrower, but he has enough arm strength to push the ball down field when he needs to, and he also has great touch and accuracy on intermediate throws.
Dukeshire asks: Ryan / Eric - What are you takes on Mora? Is he incredibly honest or does he just have a knack for not thinking through what he is really saying?
Williams: I think he’s honest, and sometimes has to fight the urge to answer questions honestly when it doesn’t serve his purpose. For example, he’s taken some criticism from folks because of his answer about Carlson not getting the ball a lot, saying he hadn’t really thought about it until reporters continued to hound him for an answer, and then ultimately giving his best answer after being asked from a fantasy perspective by Jim Moore of the Seattlepi.com if he should start or sit Carlson.
Look, the coaches know Carlson has been struggling, and they’ve been game-planning to get him the ball. For whatever reason, Mora chose to discuss Carlson’s issues publicly this week. Maybe Mora did that to challenge Carlson out on the field to do a better job in those situations when he’s getting bumped off of his route, but I don’t believe this was some type of revelation where our questions about Carlson actually forced him to rethink what was going on there. He already knew what was going on, this is just the first week he chose to say anything.
Don’t underestimate the amount of work these guys put in on a weekly basis, pouring over every inch of film they can to find an advantage on Sunday. These guys look at everything you can imagine to try and find an edge. Nothing goes uncovered.
So I think what we’re experiencing this season is just Mora getting comfortable again with handling the media on the regular basis. We dealt with a master for several years with Holmgren, who knew how to spin a situation as good as anybody I ever dealt with, and would never call out a player unless he was trying to make a specific point.
And if this team was 7-5 instead of 5-7 we probably wouldn’t be dissecting Mora’s every word like we’re doing now.