Friday, December 15, 2006
Miles and Miles and Miles
Gene Hackman played a professional coach in a movie loosely based on the NFL strike. With Keanu Reeves as his quarterback, his team was high flying, having fun, and winning games. Brett Cullen crossed the picket line, and rejoined the team as the starting QB to try to make a run at the playoffs. At halftime, the team was losing, and no one could really figure out why, or what it would take to come back. Hackman makes reference to another movie, “Damn Yankees”, and in doing so prescribes the cure for the rest of the Seahawks season. “Miles and miles and miles of heart.”
When I watch this team, I don’t have the sense that anything specific is wrong. I watched the Cardinals game live, and it never seemed like they were doing anything that was seriously detrimental. The turnovers hurt, and big plays stung a little, but overall they should have been easily overcome. As I watched the 49ers game, I saw much of the same thing, minor mistakes, but nothing that should have hindered the team. But I did notice that the team is not playing with the same fire they once did.
Many people will make comparisons to last season. I agree fully with Mike Sando that last season was something to be proud of, but not something to expect every year. My complaint about the fire and passion being gone isn’t related to last season, it’s related to my entire life of watching the Hawks. I have difficulties remembering any Hawks team that didn’t play to win. Even during the lean years, I can remember defensive players flying around and making big hits, and offensive players playing above their potential and doing everything in their power to get things done. But this year I see drops, arm tackles, poor blocking, confusion by blitzers, and I wonder where it all comes from, and where it all ends.
Is it coaching? I’m a huge Holmgren supporter, but is he really doing everything he needs to in order to get the team up for every game?
Is it leadership? From what Gumbel was saying last night, Hutch used to get into peoples faces to get the O-Line straightened up, and no one is doing that now. Maybe he was a loss, not from a playing standpoint, but from a leadership role?
Is the team reading the reports? Negative news can drag a team down to a point where they have no energy too.
I don’t have answers for everything plaguing the team. 7 different O-Line combinations is awful tough to overcome. Losing your QB and star RB for much of the season is debilitating for most teams. Losing WRs to injury and illness can drag an offense down. We can complain about injuries and inequities all day long, but really, the thing that seems to be hurting us the most is the listless play. And to fix that, they’ll need heart.
Miles and miles and miles of heart.
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