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      By GladiatorHawk

Well yes of course, when compared to last year. Since Mike Holmgren's arrival, the special teams of the Seahawks deteriorated with each succeeding season. The year 2005, was the bellwether season for Seattle with a Super Bowl participation, #1 rated offense, and an improving defense. Unfortunately the special teams was everything but special as they were rated 30th in the NFL according to this article in the Dallas Morning News by Rick Gosselin.

The Hawks were confronted by several challenges in 2006 in their efforts to return to the Super Bowl, but the special teams unit was not a hindrance, as they ascended 23 spots to become the 7th highest rated unit in the NFL.

Gosselin breaks down the various aspects of special teams into 22 kicking related categories. He assigns points based upon each team's rating in each category with 1 point for best and 32 points for worse. The lowest aggregate score determines the best overall rated unit.

Generally you will find non-starters competing on the special teams. Why would this be? Head coaches usually want their starters spending the majority if not all of their time getting the reps with their individual units on offense or defense. The Hawks suffered an unprecedented number of injuries in 2006. Players contributing on special teams, were forced to discontinue because they were needed as starters or were cut by Ruskell, because their roster spot was needed for another injury riddled position. By the end of the season, there was only a fraction of players remaining that began the year contributing on special teams. Down went Scobey, Darche, Terrill, Lewis, Parry, J.Williams, and player cuts in Kaz, Ponder and Mili among others. In spite of Casullo, a core group of players pushed the unit to the top.

Josh Brown had a record breaking year with 4 game winners. Plackemeier had a great year dropping punts in the 20's and for distance. Lance Laury and Nate Burleson picked up the slack on returns and tackles respectively.

Now enter Bruce DeHaven, regarded in NFL circles as one of the best special team coaches in the NFL. DeHaven has 20 years experience working with the Cowboys, Bills and 49ers. His units were ranked twice as the best of the league during his tenure with Buffalo. Steve Christie, had this to say about DeHaven, "There has always been a great emphasis on special teams wherever he has been until I think maybe a little bit in Dallas," Christie said. "Because (Bill) Parcells kind of oversees everything, I think Bruce's talent was sort of wasted. But I think with the way things are in Seattle, you'll see that he is one of the best."

So as you can see, this unit is on its way up the charts, as the team returns next season healthy and through better coaching.

Gladiator Hawk

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      By GladiatorHawk

Seattle Seahawks are moving westward for 2007 mini-camps. The team will commence training in Kirkland a year early due to the travel implications to China for a pre-season match with the New England Patriots.

The Hawks will bide their time in Kirkland for one year. while waiting for their state of the art training center in Renton to spring to life. The site location resides on the shores of Lake Washington near Newcastle, bounded by 44th street and I-405. The main 3 story building will have administrative offices, a cafeteria, weight room, locker room, an auditorium, team meeting rooms and media production studios. In addition to the indoor turf field, there will be 4 outdoor practice fields. Three of them grass and one of them will be field turf. This jewel will be the 2nd largest training facility in the NFL.

Such lavish training facilities, prime location near SeaTac Airport and major metropolitan area of Seattle, will certainly entice free agents to want to join the Seahawk family. Why would Robbie Tobeck want to retire, if he could just wait it out awhile longer, he could go angling for Sockeye salmon right off the edge of the practice field.

Ground breaking has already begun and will be complete in time for the team to begin camp in June of 2008. Team authorities plan to officially announce the groundbreaking later this month. Such a good neighbor, officials from the team opted to shift the building 62 feet to satisfy concerns of local homeowners had with obstructed views.

Public access will be available, however there will only be room for 3000 spectators per day. This location will attract souvenir shoppers with the largest Seahawk Pro Shop yet. I see a business venture for one Gladiator here. Hey Charles Grant, would you like me to take you out fishing on my boat for a fee (and signed jersey).

Gladiator Hawk

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According to Mr. Magoo himself,(John Clayton of ESPN) Jim Haslett is now being considered a "top" candidate for HC of the San Diego Chargers. We all know that Marty Schottenheimer got canned last week, which is proof beyone a reasonable doubt that the Charger hierarchy has no idea what is best for their organization.

Hire Jim Haslett for HC? PLEASE DO!

Not that I have anything against Haslett, other than his big mouth and lack of results. And there is the fact that he is so antsy to get his foot in the door as a HC of another team that he cannot possibly be giving the tall task he was hired to do, namely regenerating the Rams defensive unit, a fraction of the commitment and focus needed to continue what progress was made in '06.

Which begs the next and probably most obvious question.

Who in the world would be dumb enough to hire Jim Haslett as their new HC? Well, maybe the same organization who was stupid enough to let go of the man who is responsible for the best San Diego Charger teams in a generation.

Norv Turner, Rex Ryan and Ron Rivera are the other top candidates mentioned as contenders. One would think that Rivera would be the best choice for their style of play, but for some reason, RR is always in contention. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

I for one would love for the Chargers to take a chance on Haslett and then have the Rams turn right around and offer the open DC position to Rivera. Or better yet, bring Marty over to St. Louis. Talk about stacking the West Coast deck with that one.

But if there is any logic involved whatsoever in SD, they won't let Haslett any closer than Mike Martz to the interview table.

But stranger things have happened, and miracles are real sometimes.

Here's wishing Haslett luck in his interview - go get that job Jimmy ... please!

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      By Bloof

The San Diego Union-Tribune, as noted by Mike Sando, has reported this morning that the Seattle Seahawks have granted permission to the San Diego Chargers to talk to Jim Mora about filling their recently vacant head coaching job.

What happened to "coaching the defensive backfield is where his heart is"? What about his contract? Why is the front office allowing this? This is disappointing to many Seahawks fans.

Personally, if Mora is interested in any kind of legacy, it's not smart to jerk around his home town like this.

Join in the disgusted commentary that's already started by clicking the link below!

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"Why in the world should grown men be put in this position? In all my years in professional sports, I've never been forced into some gay home decor magazine to pass the time just to use a urinal!"

Isaiah Kacyvenski had done more than his share of bitch-like complaining in the full three-and-a-half and counting minutes of imprisonment he had endured waiting to use the restroom in the former Mike Martz and current Scott Linehan waiting room dungeon which also doubled as a "freeze-the-kicker" type setting for the unwitting and unlucky recipients of the wrath of the small man in the big chair.

"Holms never left me sitting out here this long," he brooded not quite under his breath, when suddenly an old friend burst through the door. It was none other than the former Ram and winner of the Peter Brady hair mimic-fest 2006, Grant Wistrom. He had tears in his eyes coupled with a creepy sweat running down his brow. Even more odd was the fact that he was also followed into the room by Bryce Fisher and Jerremy Stevens, who each looked equally moist about the head and face.

"Fish!" Exclaimed Kaz as he jumped to his feet with arms extended."Grant, guys! What are you all doing here?"

"We're here to spearhead the Rams/Seahawks anti-massacre movement," spurted Jerremy, prematurely as usual which resulted in the traditional back-handed co-slap from Fisher and Wistrom. After which Fisher continued his diatribe.

"You know we miss you Kaz, and we think this whole rivalry and hatred thing is you know-just so silly."
"Yeah silly," interjected Stevens while shaking his melon in a bit too much of an unmanly fashion, drawing raised and threatening hands once again.

"What J-mouth means is we miss you man, and even though you're a traitor and an outcast, well, we still love you," said Wistrom. "And we want to be able to come see you without that NFL Network punk-ass suit pulling out his note-pad and running at me. Makes me crazy."

"Yeah me too," interjected Stevens - again. "Makes me want to run over there and put my knee in his nuts!"

"What we're trying to say is that we think that Seahawks and Rams can co-exist and be friends, you know, outside the stadium" Fisher finished.

"Yeah that's right," said Stevens again. "In fact, I think I wanna be Mike Martz when I grow up, yeah, all I need to do is work on my crazy a little bit, grow me some manny-boobs like Holms and man, I be set up!"

At this point Scott Linehan stormed into the room and back-handed Jerremy himself, dropping him to the floor. And the question which was so bravely imposed lurked like stalkers on the faces of the men as they gazed at one another...

Could the Seahawks and Rams be kin-like? Could they be brothers, pals and friends? Would we ever be able to buy a banner with a full bloom Sea-chicken perched atop a shiny, curly rainbow-styled Ram horn?Tune in for the exciting continuation of "When Animals Attach!"

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The "What I Learned From" series, my weekly personal pet post from 12 Seahawks Street, has been resurrected for Seahawk Blue's Front Page. Now that I've cooled off a bit, had a little vacation, I finally feel sober enough to relate the token bits I gathered from the entire 2006 season.

1. As a fan, it's a little easier to accept a painful season-ending loss when you know your team played their guts out, and the referees let the players play.

2. Single most surprisingly regrettable decision of 2006? Putting Leonard Weaver on IR.

3. Jerramy Stevens' performance in the last two games has restored my faith in second chances.

4. There is a missing dimension in the Seahawks offensive backfield. It has a good running threat. It has a good blocker. But receiver? There is no legitimate threat. Mack Strong can catch a swing pass, but it rarely amounts to more than a one or two yard gain. If Seattle could plug the right person into the RB group this offseason, it would open up the playbook and the field to Hasselbeck and Alexander more than any other acquisition, by giving the opponents' linebackers another dimension to worry about.

5. Grant Wistrom must be a heckuva guy in the locker room, because his performance/cost ratio baffles me.

6. Are Marcus Tubbs and Floyd Womack the same person? They play half the time, they are injured or missing for the other half. Are they ever on the playing field simulataneously? They look different, but so do all of the Klumps.

7. I will never get tired of punking the Rams. Especially with a backup quarterback.

8. We knew this season was going to be tough, didn't we? But not this tough. F***.

9. We are now unofficially past Shaun Alexander's prime. I think he has a lot left in the tank, but from here to every end zone for the rest of his career is where he will either establish himself as a Hall of Fame running back, or just one more of the many good ones.

10. Matt Hasselbeck has established himself as not only being in control of the offense, but also as one tough SOB. Pink argyle sweater or not, the team should respect him, and it appears they do.

11. Walter Jones is mortal.

12. Chris Gray must have nude pictures of a coach somewhere.

13. Boulware and Hamlin are not good for each other. I've watched too many snarky cop duo movies to know that two uptight guys never get done with the crime scene investigation, but two freelancers never do anything right and end up blowing up buildings instead of solving murders. You need to have one freelancer and one uptight guy, so they can can save the world with their respective talents and entertain audiences while they irritate each other. On this case, we have two freelancers, and they are burning down my effing house.

14. I still miss Amber Lancaster.

15. We are now a place where good players want to play. What a change.

I learned a few more things, but it's just boring stuff Alba wrote about already.

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      By albaNY Hawker

This country has a long and storied history of bigotry, from slave trade to Japanese interment camps, Polish jokes to Blonde Jokes, and Jets v. Sharks to Bloods v Crips.

However, education, political correctness, and bleeding heart liberals like Dr. King, Al Franken and myself have helped put an end to a lot of it!

Which is part of the reason why Americans get so involved with sports.

Sports give you the opportunity to hate a man, based solely on the color of his uniform. Sure, he may be leading the league in six statistical categories, and a sure bet future hall-of-famer, but if he's not wearing Seahawk Blue, then naturally HE SUCKS!

And just like every other form of bigotry, it doesn't have to be rational.

If that same player winds up in playing for your favorite team, sure the initial stages might be as awkward as when Sidney Portier "Came to Dinner", but when the regular season begins, you'll be cheering for him as loudly as you booed him as recently as last season.

To wit, this recent response to a list of potential players to be cut from their current team at positions that may benefit the Seahawks:

"Coakley might make a good waterboy on the Seahawks roster... Timmerman could be Walter Jones' ball washer."
While the original list included six players from five different teams, it's interesting to note that the respondent only took issue with the two associated with the St. Louis Rams.

The other two teams were the Giants and the Vikings.

So in essence, is he saying, I would rather have my daughter marry someone who is arrogant and over-hyped, or someone who is warmly dressed but prone to nautical sexual deviance, than someone whose family tree has several lines going between each family member, including the livestock and household pets?

Yes, with the First Amendment, our forefathers (or in the Rams case, four fathers) gave every American the right - ney, the DUTY - to voice our opinion as loudly and boldly as possible, no matter how illogical, nonfactual or just plain crazy it may be!

Historians and scholars still engage in spirited debate over how the actions of Thomas Jefferson can be directly traced to The Watchdog establishing himself as a regular poster on a Seahawks web forum!

But this right is being taken away in almost every facet of polite society, by those ambulance chasing, money grubbing, poison-pill concocting lawyers - everywhere that is - except for sports.

So I implore every blue-blooded Seahawk fan to get angry, channel that hate and get behind your favorite team - all 53 of them - including the bastard, red-headed step-children like Bryce Fisher and Grant Wistrom!

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      By GladiatorHawk

Starting tight end for your Seahawk Nation is none other than Bennie Joppru! Yes, he is the lone TE signed for the 2007 season. Rest assured there will be some interesting decisions to be made by Holmgren and Ruskell during this offseason. Their philosophy in free agency always has included attaching a premium on re-signing their own.

At the top of the list, the team must decide whether they are going to re-sign Jerramy Stevens. The Jerramy Stevens era as Seahawk tight end should cease. My reasoning for severing ties to this TE may shock you. I have been a devout supporter for Jerramy Stevens and still am. I marvel at his athletic ability which enables him to breakdown linebackers and split safeties. However, we must make decisions not with our heart, but with our head.

The road map to securing wins has rested with the Hawks ability to maintain tempo and control time of possession. Run the ball effectively just like we had in 2005. To do so will require improved blocking. The loss of skilled blockers of Hutch, Hannam and Jurevicius impacted the run game. There is a need for a great blocking TE that can split out and “seal the end” and push LBs out of running lanes. When accomplished, the outcome of this is a rested defense for the 4th quarter.

Daniel Graham is the player I am spotlighting here. He takes pride in his blocking. He is a leader in the locker room, a self-less player. Graham is a proven winner, a crafty veteran, and is a consummate community man from the New England Patriots. He literally destroyed PHI with his blocking during NE Super Bowl win. Michael Felger, of the Boston Herald, reports Graham would prefer to be featured more as a receiver and not just as a blocking tight end. That would likely rule out pairing Stevens and Graham as teammates on the Hawks.

I’ve never bought into the hype that Stevens is un-fit for the Hawks. To me his character is un-questioned. Those demons are in the distant past. Yes, his drops were up this year. Lack of training camp, injuries to him and the whole offense for that matter, will mess up timing and contribute to drops. At 6-7 with his speed, he can get to errant balls better, whereas others without his speed and size, the outcome would result in an incompletion. Jerramy Stevens is more of a threat to disrupt the defensive game plans of the opposition. He is a prototype for the WCO. Few can fly higher than his tall frame for lob passes in the endzone. We need to trade some of that athletic ability for run blocking though.

Also, look at the big picture of TEs. They are like RBs in that they have a short shelf life. They peak quickly and decline rapidly. Battling DEs and LBs at full speed takes a toll on TEs. Often they receive punishing hits in the middle as they stretch out to carom in a pass. The majority of TEs with long tenured careers are the blocking guys who are basically pseudo offensive linemen.
Stevens is a year younger, has endured 2 injuries last summer and each led to surgery. Will he now have chronic knee problems? Graham has missed time as well having had shoulder surgery. Whoever becomes #1, should be saddled with a short 3 year contract front loaded with a signing bonus and back loaded with roster bonuses. Let future health dictate longevity. Stevens can and will obtain a lucrative contract in this market. The team wants him back. However, the fervor from hometown fans will inevitably drive him away. The TE position is integral to the success of the West Coast Offense. Graham offers a good mix of blocking and catching. He's our guy.

Graham hails from Colorado and is former teammates with Branch and Ashworth. Pair him up with another blocking TE that can catch such as Reggie Kelly or Will Heller if Kelly is un-available. Also, use a Day 1 draft pick on a young TE this year or next year to prepare for the future. Matt Spaeth makes for a nice candidate. He is 6-7 265 lbs and runs 4.85. The scouting report from NFL Draft Countdown says that he is a team leader, has great hands, is a superb blocker and is physical as he will deliver the blow. He is smart so he should be able to learn the WCO quickly.

Table data compiled from

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