A long way back for the Seahawks

Rebuilding will start with finding a quality quarterback, or at least a caretaker during the years of rebuilding a competitive team.
Rebuilding will start with finding a quality quarterback, or at least a caretaker during the years of rebuilding a competitive team.

A lot of passionate local pro-football fans have had plenty to celebrate this season. This is because they did particularly well playing Fantasy Football.

Those of us who don'ꀙt invest the approximately 168 hours a week required to perform well at the fantasy level are left with plain, old, everyday reality. The reality is that the Seattle Seahawks, after losing 17-13 to Tennessee Sunday (Jan. 3), are 5-11, out — way out — of the playoffs for the third-straight season and without so much as a general manager shopping next season'ꀙs prospects as the April 22 National Football League draft approaches.

The football fantasy some may have been entertaining is that there exists a twin brother of Mariners uber-G.M. Jack Zduriencik, a creative genius if only for finding an actual baseball team to trade for moribund non-starter Carlos Silva. The truth, sadly, is that there is no such twin. In a parallel football universe there would be a Jack-Z doppelganger. His name probably would be Zack Jduriencik: fittingly as difficult to spell and pronounce as the real guy'ꀙs name. Job one for Zack-J would be . . .

In truth, the Seahawks are so needy that there seem to be 10 jobs-one. Or make that 'ꀜ8.'ꀝ That being the uniform number of the leading quarterback in franchise history. But Matt Hasselbeck probably can'ꀙt be the Seattle starter much longer, if at all. During recent weeks the beat-up former Pro Bowl player hasn'ꀙt so much been throwing it up as disgorging on the field. Eight total interceptions during games 14 and 15 were followed by a mere single against the Titans (it came on Hasselbeck'ꀙs last toss of the season and very possibly his final try as a Seahawk).

Zack-J isn'ꀙt going to find an instant starter in the draft or on his bench. It will take several seasons to develop a quality field leader, meaning a caretaker QB is about the best fans can figure to get. Which caretaker? Okay, so I just for the sake of getting it out there recite aloud the name of a well-known, battle-tested, passing-and-running QB very familiar to Hawk coach Jim Mora, his former mentor. Actually, I didn'ꀙt quite dare utter the name 'ꀜMichael Vick'ꀝ aloud. Just whispering it, though, resulted in both of my dogs responding as if 20 mail-carriers suddenly were on the front porch.

Job two: Build an offensive line with savvy guards, fast, massive tackles, and a right-handed center who doesn'ꀙt snap with his left hand.

Job three: Find defensive linemen who get into the opponent'ꀙs backfield before the play has ended.

Job four: Sign receivers who run routes on game days as well as they run off at the mouth weekdays on talk radio.

Job five: Put together an NFL-caliber secondary populated by guys able to acquit themselves at least well enough to be welcome on a quality fantasy-league team.

Jobs six and beyond could include new offense and defense coordinators, and maybe even a replacement for one-year Hawks coach Mora.

In the meantime, the Seahawks as a perennial playoff team will be a fiction even the most delusional Fantasy Football players wouldn'ꀙt believe.


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