Sunday, March 22, 2009

Seahawks Moves and ABF

Seahawks Observations

Leonard Weaver
His contract demands couldn’t have been very high since he signed with Philly for 1 year/2.5 million. Seeing that number, I’m surprised that they didn’t keep him around since he said he wanted to stay. He’s said in interviews that he can do all of the traditional fullback things, but I’m not sold on that, and neither was the new regime. Looks like Mora and co. like what they have in Owen Schmidt and I’m excited to see if he can reproduce what he did at West Virginia. It also seems apparent that they are going to need to draft an HB (in the late rounds), which is something I favor. Young RBs produce in the NFL.

Bobby Engram
I’ll miss him if only because Hasselbeck seemed to trust him, but I understand why he left. Seattle wasn’t going to pay him because I’m sure that they consider him to be too old and now that they’ve dedicated so much cash to the WR position with Burleson, Branch, and now Houshmanzadeh. Engram was hurt last year and while he’s been relatively healthy injury-wise, the older these guys get, the more injuries creep up. They were wise to let him go. I wish him well in KC, he’s got a real chance to help out there.

Colin Cole & Cory Redding
I’m intrigued by both of these guys since they’re relatively young (both are 28). I like Cole’s size at 330 and he should team nicely with Mebane. It sounds like Redding is going to play DE predominantly, and I’m surprised by that, but he’ll probably play both and that’s fine. I’d be surprised and more than a little disappointed if they draft a DT at No. 4 now. While Mebane has worked out wonderfully and Bryant showed some flashes before he was injured, the looming specter of Marcus Tubbs’s knee makes me want to go hide under my bed.

TJ Houshmanzadeh
I like TJ. He catches everything and this team needs that. We have no idea how Burleson is going to be the year after his ACL surgery. As has been reported and commented on many times, it usually takes two years to recover from ACL surgery, why would Burleson be any different? I hope I’m wrong because he’s a good player when healthy. TJ will become a trusted guy in this offense (especially with Engram leaving) very quickly because of his ability to catch the ball, regardless of who is playing QB this fall. All Seattle fans want Hasselbeck to be the guy, but we’d all be kidding ourselves if we’re not worried that he’s going to go down again. I nearly cut out my own kidneys when he took that hit to the knee against the Giants last year.

Julian Peterson
Speaking of the Giants game, I recall a specific play where Brandon Jacobs decided to treat Julian Peterson like he was me, and simply shoved him out of his way when Peterson tried to tackle him. Granted, Jacobs weighs over 260, but it’s not like Peterson is soft, but he is slightly undersized despite being tree-root ripped. It was at this point that I decided that I’d like for Seattle to beef up its LBs. Then watching the playoffs and seeing just how damn physical teams like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Tennessee were made me want to see something like that here. I have no idea who they’ll go after to fill his spot. It doesn’t make sense to plug in anyone that they’ve currently got on the roster, Lewis, Laury, and Herring are nice backups and special teams guys, but I want someone who is bigger and more physical. Seems to me that the right place to go for this position is in the draft because of the cash they’ve got tied up in Tatupu and Hill.

I was not and am not a fan of Peterson’s point-at-the-name-on-the-back-of-his-jersey-please-throw-a-fifteen-yard-unsportsmanlike-conduct-flag-on-me move. He’s known as a team guy, but pointing at his name, as if what he just did had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of his team, is paradoxical behavior for a team guy. Very strange.

Despite the showboating, I loved what Peterson brought to the table. He was aggressive and versatile, although not as versatile as some might have you believe. He could drop back in coverage and he could rush the passer, but he certainly cannot lock anyone down. I noticed tight ends running by him on several occasions and thought that he should have been able to keep up with them and I was always disappointed when he didn’t. I expected more out of him because he looks the part (Exhibit 1 is the picture on the left, which is absurd. There is no reason to ever pose for something like this unless you were paid, and paid well) and is a good guy, as mentioned above.

I’ll miss his play on the field, but the Hawks made a good move by getting a little younger and filling a position of need, especially with Kerney getting older and his propensity to get injured.

From a non-football perspective, like Greg Oden, Peterson is just one of those guys who looks a lot older than he is. He has an ABF (Anti Baby Face). I mean, look at this photo from his senior year at Michigan State. Tell me he doesn’t look like he’s in his mid 30s in that picture.

I can easily envision him playing MC Eiht’s “A-Wax” on “Menace II Society” as an OG who is still in the game, but doesn’t do too much dirt anymore. Of course, since he’s from the DC area “The Wire” would work too, although there is probably a lot of beef between DC guys and Baltimore guys. Regardless, I can definitely picture him in a Stringer Bell role, holding court, and saying stuff like “Let them young ‘uns hannle that,” convincingly. I’m aware that I’m typecasting the man, but he could also play Rip Hamilton, w/o the mask because those two dudes look a lot alike (except Rip is only Hamilton’s nickname, while Peterson is actually ripped.).

We all know guys that look prematurely old, and it’s an interesting phenomenon. Do these guys continue to look older than they are when they’re actually old? When they reach the age that people thought they were when they were 18 (say 35) do they actually look 35? When Greg Oden is 35 will he look like he’s 35 or will he look he’s 55? When he’s 55 will he look like he’s dead? I’m hoping that he actually starts to look his age and will go from a “guy who looks older than he is” to a “guy who looks his age” and then he’ll start to be a “guy who looks young for his age.” Hair plays a key role here and Oden looks like he’s got a fantastic, Marques-Johnson-like hairline that will not betray him in his advanced age. He does look like he’ll go prematurely gray though because it’s evident that he worries so much.

After watching Gonzaga beat Akron Thursday, I noticed another candidate to join the anti-baby face club: I give you Chris McKnight. His brother Brett looked like a candidate on TV, but. sadly, his picture doesn’t do him justice, because he looks like Randy Wagstaff here, and that kid is 14 or 15.

Dallas Lauderdale, a forward for Ohio State, joins the club as well since he looks like a 45-year old, prison guard, who just wants to come home and have a cigarette and watch the game in his well-worn leather chair.

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