Saturday, July 11, 2009

Seahawks Previews: Quarterback

Matt Hasselbeck. Seahawks icon, quarterback of the greatest Seahawks teams of all time and the face of the franchise's greatest ever decade. It's all too fitting that the fate of the 2009 campaign rests on his ailing back. Injured to the tune of missing 9 games in 2008, some of the Hawks passing woes of a year ago can be attributed to Hasselbeck's health. Will he return to form this year and lead a revitilized passing unit with the addition of T.J. Houshmanzadeh? That is the golden question. The last time Hasselbeck missed significant time was for a stretch of games in the 2006 season. He returned in 2007 to have what many call his greatest year as a quarterback. Just a year removed, it is quite possible that the 34 year old can return to top 10 form. Should his back fail him, or another body part for that matter, we could see a similar performance to last year. Never the most mobile or possessing the biggest arm, Matt has made a career out of having poise in the pocket and accuracy up the middle. His security blanket in the slot, Bobby Engram, is gone but replaced by Houshmanzadeh who has the potential to control the middle of the field and provide for Hasselbeck what Engram did for many years. The other weapons are there, and Matt could be ready to lead the Hawks back atop the division that they have controlled for many years.

Seneca Wallace comes in as one of the better backups in the league. Taking over for an injured Hasselbeck a year ago, the mobile quarterback out of Iowa State was proficient but not spectacular. Considering the patchwork line and receiving corps given to him, Wallace did an admirable job filling in as a long term replacement at the end of the year. Seattle should be comfortable knowing that they have a quarterback who can fill in should Hasselbeck miss time.

Deeper on the bench is rookie Mike Teel, taken in the 6th round of this year's draft out of Rutgers University. Teel has drawn favorable reviews from scouts who like his leadership ability among with other attributes. Teel does not, however, appear to be in the Seahawks' long term plans and if he sees any playing time this year the Hawks will be in big trouble.

Overall grade: B
Potential for higher or lower, Hasselbeck has too good of a track record to throw out after one poor injury-riddled year.

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