Thursday, July 28, 2011

Carroll dumps Hasselbeck: Fast and spurious

Questions persist about Pete Carroll's character because he can be so remarkably disingenuous.
Back in January, Carroll claimed that re-signing Matt Hasselbeck was the team's "top priority."

But when the lockout ended, Seattle made no effort to retain the services of their best offensive player.

Instead, the team signed Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota's perpetual bridesmaid. Most NFL fans remember how the Vikings twice unceremoniously benched Jackson--a training camp stalwart--in favor of Brett Favre, a preseason slacker who conveniently timed his annual Lazarus routine.

Tarvaris barely fended off challenges from Sage Rosenfels just to secure the right to hold a clipboard for Old Cock & Crocs.

Before that, Lack-of-Traction Jackson lost his starting job to a fading Gus Frerotte.

The last time he consistently started at quarterback was 2007, his second year in the league.

Jackson is a good athlete who has shown flashes of real potential at his position. He may prove to be a good acquisition.

The media has rushed to anoint the ex-Viking as the starter, but Charlie Whitehurst--a third-stringer in San Diego before last year--may outcompete him.

Analysts argue that Jackson's mobility (and Whitehurst's, for that matter) may prove helpful behind Seattle's revamped offensive line.

I retort that mobility at the quarterback position should be less necessary this year.

Recent recruit Tom Cable--one of the league's best offensive line coaches--has assembled a projected starting unit that includes three first-round draft picks (left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Robert Gallery, and right tackle James Carpenter) and two second rounders (center Max Unger and right guard John Moffitt).

This should be our best O-Line since the Seahawk Super Bowl squad.

Imagine how Hasselbeck could have dissected defenses behind an effective line, with the support of a credible running game, throwing to a dream duo of big wideouts (Mike Williams and Sidney Rice).

Keeping Matt would have shown that Seattle intends to resume its traditional dominance of the NFC West.

It would have encouraged top free agents who want to join a winning team to consider the Seahawks.

Instead, by letting Hasselbeck go, we've made the division a tossup. We've signalled that we're resigned to rebuilding, that we're not in a hurry to return to the playoffs. We're telling Nnamdi Asomugha and other top free agents to sign elsewhere.

Prepare to witness the growing pains of a backup quarterback struggling to establish himself as a credible starter.

This is Hasselbeck's reward for a decade of loyal service? For three Pro Bowl years? For six of the franchise's nine playoff appearances? For the Super Bowl season? For teaching and leading and competing during the lean times, as our running game deteriorated and our offensive line disintegrated? For helping the team learn how to win again? For that magical wild card victory over New Orleans? For directing informal practices during the lockout?

Matthew deserved better.

The team deserved better.

The fans deserved better.