Friday, May 1, 2009


Sometimes I absolutely love being wrong. This is one of those times. I’m floored that the Hawks were able to sign Hill. It looks like Hill meant it when he said he’d love to stay in Seattle. He wanted to stay here and it looks like he got a very reasonable deal. The reported number is 6 years 38M with over 15.5M guaranteed. That looks like a very fair deal for both sides. Hill is a hell of a player who deserves that payday. The Hawks also need him so that they’re able to do what they want to do defensively.

By waiting until after the draft and after most free agency money has been snatched up, the Hawks essentially screwed Hill by giving him no chance to sign elsewhere for big dollars. Ruskell knew this and was banking on him not signing elsewhere out of spite. It was a huge risk and he would have been absolutely ridiculed and vilified if Hill left, but he didn’t and that’s why he sits where he does and I sit here with my thumb up my ass.

But that doesn’t mean that Ruskell is not to be questioned. We don’t know if Ruskell is the least bit influenced by fans and the media, but it’s clear that the public outcry was “We Can’t Lose Leroy Hill.” If that outcry affected his decision to sign Hill, even to the most minute degree, then the spouting off, premature worrying, and doomsday scenarios were worth it. I will gladly look like a fool if the result benefits the team that I root for.

The team is shaping up, on the defensive side of the ball anyway, quite nicely.
  • DE: Kerney. Please don’t be hurt. It would be very nice to see him make it through the entire year creating havoc on a consistent basis. They need him to be destructive.
  • DE: Redding? Tapp? Jackson? What is up with Daryl Tapp? Is he simply not that talented because of his size? He had a monster four-sack game against St. Louis in ’07, but that’s highly skewed because St. Louis had one of the worst offensive lines in the game. It seems very likely that they don’t trust the guy to do the job and that he won’t be here much longer. I had high hopes for him, but the coaching staff doesn’t seem to. Who knows what to expect of Jackson, he didn’t show much during his rookie year, but he’s got size and ability so the book is still out on him. I actually thought that Redding was a DT when they traded for him because of his size (6’4 295) and he seems like a weird fit as a DE in a 4-3 alignment, but whatever.
  • DT: Mebane. I love what I’ve seen out of this guy in his first few years. He was a great find in the third round and we’re lucky to have him. Rocky Bernard was fine, but not at any meaningful salary number.
  • DT: Cole? Bryant? No idea what to expect out of these guys. They are both huge guys who will plug up holes and keep linemen off of the LBs.
  • OLB: Curry. My man crush on Curry is in full effect. From a “good dude” perspective, he’s off of the charts. From a football player perspective, I only know what I’ve been told and seen in the highlights because I never saw Wake Forest play (a club that includes nearly everyone outside of the ACC). I choose to believe what people are telling me. Someone said that they reminded him of Julian Peterson. That seems like a very lazy comparison. For one, their body types are very different. Peterson was two inches taller (6’3 compared to 6’1) and weighed about 15 lbs less (240 compared to 254). Peterson is ripped like no one’s business, but he’s a more sinewy, athletic looking guy whereas Curry looks a lot more bulky and compact. I see Curry as more effective against the run with the ability to cover probably better than Peterson (in addition to being heavier, Curry is also faster than Peterson, at least timed faster 4.56 compared to 4.7). My hopes are dangerously high for this guy.
  • MLB: Tatupu. Love him. Don’t have much more to say about him.
  • OLB: Hill(!). See above. I’m ecstatic.
  • CB: Trufant. He played well last year, but will be even better this year with Lucas on the other side. They are a great duo.
  • CB: Lucas. Great signing for a cheap salary. They completely lucked into him. Also, I doubt very seriously that Nate Burleson will punch him in the face.
  • SS: Grant. I still like this guy. Big hitter and great leader from all accounts.
  • FS: Russell. I am unbelievably down on this guy. I can see very easily the young buck from Rutgers, Courtney Greene, beating him out. He didn’t make plays in the run or pass game and was massively disappointing. They need to upgrade here.

I’m looking forward to reading the reports out of minicamp this weekend.

Now, Ruskell, please get Curry into camp on time. I’m begging you. A training camp holdout would be akin to submerging my testicles in an ice bath.

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