An Open Letter to Fans, be Proud About This...
Let’s be honest, only the most optimistic of optimists can say, with their hand on their heart, that Seahawks football was a whole lot of fun last season. Looking back, it just wasn’t. There was a whole lot of bad that happened and not a whole lot of good. Lets take a look back at some of the things we’ve endured since this time a year ago...
Malik McDowell, our first selection in the 2017 NFL draft injures himself in at ATV accident, his status for the upcoming season is in doubt and unknown.
C.J Prosise injures himself (again).
Our up and coming left tackle George Fant gets injured and is ruled out for the 2017 season, leaving a huge, gaping hole at a key position before the season even gets underway.
An apparent lock to the roster, Kasen Williams, doesn’t make the 53-man roster.
Fan favorite Jermaine Kearse gets traded just before the season starts.
Seahawks lose their season opener to Green Bay 17-9. A frustrating game that they could have won.
Slow starts on offense start to become a ‘thing’, Seattle scores a total of 16 points in the first half combined in the first three games. They averaged 6.5 points in the first half over the first 4 games, nearly half of what they achieved the previous season (11.75) and nearly a third of what they achieved in the 2014 season (16.25).
The Seahawks lose emerging star Chris Carson for the season.
Cliff Avril goes on Injured Reserve and doesn’t come off it.
Seattle looses two of its biggest stars in Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman in one Thursday Night Football game.
Newly acquired left Tackle Duane Brown injures his ankle. Fortunately he toughs it out but proves to be far less effective with the injury.
It becomes apparent the Seahawks have a huge problem at the kicker position.
By the start of December, Seattle is dead last in rushing yards league wide, with 732 yards total. A situation that never gets resolved.
Lots of drama unfolds at the end of the Jaguars game to a point where players are trying to attack opponents’ fans up in the stands.
With the playoffs on the line, the Seahawks get absolutely embarrassed and humiliated, losing to the Rams 42-7.
The Earl ‘come get me’ comment happens after beating the Cowboys on Christmas Eve.
After a very promising start to the season, Paul Richardson appears lifeless and riddled with drops.
The Seahawks finish the season losing to a division rival that came down to a kick to win the game, that kick was ‘no good’. A fitting end to a forgettable season.
The team missed the playoffs, something that the team and fans alike have not had to deal with in many years.
Richard Sherman, one of the most loved Seahawks players of all time is cut.
Michael Bennett, a player that had both his friends and foes within the Seahawks community is traded to the Eagles for a (conditional) bag of sweets.
Many fan favorites are lost to free agency such as Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and Sheldon Richardson.
Earl Thomas trade rumors circulate for months, doubting the return of the All-Pro free safety.
That is twenty two key elements to last season that culminated together, stirred into a pot and was forcibly fed to us, against our wishes. Not good, not good at all.
Sure, it wasn’t ‘all’ bad… Justin Britt and Kam Chancellor were both extended last offseason and the team traded for Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown. All 4 of those moves gave positive vibes to this fan base at the time, only two of them ended up working out but such is life. My point is, it wasn’t 100% doom and gloom all season long, there were ‘some’ positives. The Texans game will go down in the history books as one of the best ever, too.
Seahawks fans have grown accustomed to being the dog in the fight, the alpha warrior and the very definition of dominance. But last season just lacked all of that. It lacked fun, it lacked excitement and it lacked dominance. For the first time in a long time, teams were no longer afraid of us, teams were no longer afraid to come into Century Link Field, they saw us as ‘has beens’. They saw us as a defense that is aging and injured and an offense that is ineffective and inconsistent with no running game and no pass protection to speak of.
But through all of the bullshit, fans still filled up Century Link Field, fans still filled up opponents stadiums, fans were still alive and well on social media, they were everywhere. To anyone that ever calls Seahawks fans ‘bandwagon fans’ I say “fuck you”. How dare you call us bandwagon fans given all the bullshit we’ve endured over the years, we’ve had a good run from 2012 to 2016, but for the most part, this franchise hasn’t performed at an elite level, yet fans are everywhere, and always have been everywhere, and will continue being everywhere in the future. Fuck you for doubting us…fuck you!
The vast majority never doubted John and Pete to correct the mistakes, right the ship and set sail back to greatness. And that appears to be case; I don’t even need to ask you if you’re aboard, I know you are.
Problems with the roster didn’t take long to get corrected. The Seahawks quite literally wiped the coaching staff out and assembled a new crew (albeit with some old faces), the roster was ransacked of players that weren’t ‘all in’. It was the first steps in transitioning this franchise from a downward spiral to an upward trend, and that excites me. No longer are we on the decline, we’re on the up, we’re getting back to greatness, we’re getting back to a fast, young and cheap defense, we’re getting back to our core philosophy of a ground and pound offense, we’re getting back to Seahawks football. A tried and tested philosophy that is the chassis of this team. I will say it again, we are getting back to Seahawks football.
Our identity was lost, the team didn’t know who they were anymore and I’m not going to point blame or shake my fingers, it is what it is and it’s in the past. This piece is simply a reminder of what we as fans have dealt with and simply my thoughts on why you should remain positive going forwards, not negative. But as outlined above, negativity from some is to be expected.
Many are calling the 2018 season a year of rebuild before it’s even begun. I respectfully disagree. Whilst appreciating all the losses this offseason, you can’t ignore the gains. They may not be ‘household’ names or previous stars of the game, but they all have one thing in common.
They are tough football players, they are smart football players, they are reliable football players and they are here to play ball. They are not here to build their brand or create locker room feuds; they are here to do exactly what is asked of them, when it’s asked of them. The vast majority are being paid millions of dollars to do it as well, so it’s not as if that expectation is unjust.
The group John and Pete have assembled are guys that will be ‘all in’ with Pete’s message, I’m not so sure that was the case in seasons past. It damn well wasn’t the case in 2017, that was abundantly clear to anyone.
It seems, in just 2 months this team has made the necessary changes to right the ship and get back on course. It goes without saying that some free agency additions and draft picks won’t work out, that’s a given. But some will and what I think is most important, the culture has changed. It is no longer about ‘me’ and all about ‘us’, nobody is more important than the team and there is no sport in the world more reliant on teamwork than football. The big egos, the ‘look at me’s’, the attention seekers…they’re all gone.
My only slight concern heading into this season is how many ‘dogs’ we have. Whilst Kam Chancellor is a true gentleman off the field, on it, he’s the very definition of a ‘dog’. Seeing #31 lined up opposite would strike fear into receivers and tight ends whose route ran anywhere near him. Maybe this is the season that some new ‘dogs’ emerge, I hope so as it’s a key element to a football game. With players becoming faster, stronger and more athletic each season, sometimes what gives you the edge is the mental aspect. For now, it appears Seattle doesn’t have that edge, but I will reserve full judgment until we actually see this group play before labeling them as ‘soft’.
If you want my truly honest opinion on how next season will go, I’d say exactly the same as 2017 went in terms of wins and losses, 9-7 (+/- 1 game). With that said it’s still very early to be predicting overall wins, a lot can and will change in that time and it only takes a few lucky bounces of the ball, a few favorable referee decisions or a few injuries to key opponents and Seattle could well find themselves right in the thick of it, competing for a championship. My main objective this season is to simply sit back, relax and enjoy some good ol’ football. Remove all expectations and just watch it unfold in real time.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to ‘fan’, but the way I’m going to do it will be fun, whether you join me in my approach or do it your own way, let’s root for this team together, as a community, as friends and maybe, just maybe, we will have something big to celebrate at the end of it.
If you want to feel hyped going into this season, phase two of the Seahawks offseason workout program has begun, here’s some snaps (below).
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