Sitting in the stands on Seahawks Sundays gives you more than a front row seat to the smell of garlic fries, kettle corn and the pageantry of the game. It has the undeniable advantage of exposing you to the opinions of all the fans around you as well.
Without straining, I can hear opinions ranging from expectations of recapturing the NFL West to harsh commentary on Pete and his coaches to staunch assertions that we ought to put Charlie in and set TJ aside. While I fancy myself an optimist and started the season with dreams of NFC West domination dancing in my head, the first few games of this season have been a reality check of sorts… one that has done nothing to dim my love for this team.
I think I was in denial during The Mora Year… Mourning Holmgren’s departure; convinced that there was sufficient skill on the remainder of The Big Show’s roster; sure that better coaching and an actual awareness of the team’s needs would turn things around. While I was confident any coach (almost) would be an improvement over Mora Jr, I wasn’t prepared for the upheaval the Carroll/Schneider show brought to the roster. I’m fairly certain that the “I’m In” tap was the emotional fuel in the tank that got an unworthy 7-9 team past the champion New Orleans Saints in post season play.
Fast forward through this off season’s strike, negotiations and new player contract… Training camp opens up…Optimism and Reality wrestle for domination in my heart. Optimism puts Reality in a choke hold and Reality taps out.
After the requisite bus ride to training camp, my optimism and I stood sweating on the sidelines watching scrimmage at VMAC. Pete is a ball of energy, working with this scenario and that script. Players are rotating in and out, veterans posturing and hopefuls trying to impress. Even with the compressed preseason schedule Pete and John were still moving pieces around, still looking for the click; that elusive combination of skill, knowledge and speed coupled with the intangibles; instinct, readiness, versatility…
As much as I wish it were different, this team is not your classic division winner, not even a dark horse. It’s a work in progress. An unproven quarterback with an even more unproven back up, scrambling behind a pimply faced, young offensive line that struggles to create the blocking needed for a passing game and learn the rhythm necessary for a running game… Add to that a defense that retired it’s leaders and elected new ones and a special teams corps that is anything but polished.
It’s a promise, this team… A young, tough, fast, hard hitting promise. Like a 90’s Tetris game, it’s a collection of really great pieces that may yet fit together. I can’t wait until it clicks!