Friday, September 30, 2005


Huge game for the Hawks this weekend. This is the bridge game they have to win. Let’s break it down.

#1 thing to look at --- can the Hawks go East the Hawks are 0 for their last 8 when they travel three times zones. All of those teams have been strong physical teams and that is what they are facing with the Skins. The Skins philosophy is pound, pound, pound and then go deep.

#2 thing to look at – Can the Skins score enough to beat the Hawks. For the first 7 quarters and 11 minutes the Hawks scored a grand total of 9 points and no touchdowns.
The Skins offense line had a miserable day against the Cowboys as Brunell got sacked 5 times. This is a huge two part test for the Hawks do they really have a pass rush and can the keep Santana Moss in front of them.

#3 thing to look at – Can Shawn Alexander handle the physical play of the Skins. Shaun Alexander will be facing the league's No. 2-ranked rush defense in the Redskins (65.5). In 2004, he averaged 71.2 rushing yards in five games against top-10 run defenses. The Skins have only allowed 131 yards rushing in two games – 1st down passing will be vital -- 2.8 yards a carry.
My guess is Shaun will be negated and have nothing going against the Skins.

#4 thing to look at --- 1st down passing. Without Alexander the Hawks will have to be great passing on first down. The Skins pressure more then any team in the NFL. Therefore, the Hawks will not be able to get into their 5 or 7 step drop game and they will have to hit the quick passing game early in downs.

#5 thing to look at --- Will Holmgren max protect the QB. More often then not Holmgren’s philosophy is to send the extra receiver rather then protect the QB. Greg Williams the DC for the Skins will test Homlgren. Dallas max protected and the Skins never got a sack on Bledsoe and the Boys converted on 43% of their third downs.

I take the Hawks. The Skins simply can’t score enough to beat Seattle. A huge road win for the Hawks and they end the futility in East Coast Games.


It is discovery time for the Cougars. How good are they? There are certain things you don’t doubt when it comes to the Cougs.

One, their offense will score points. It is a birth right at WSU that they will be able to score. Jerome Harrison is going to be productive week in and week out.

This week the Cougs receivers will be able to exploit a young and inexperience Beavers defense. To be honest, I am not convinced that Oregon State is a well coached football team this season and I anticipate the Cougars will be able to take advantage of flaws in the Beavers system.

However, what we are going to find out is where Rob Akey’s defensive unit is. Oregon State can throw the football. They are third in the country in passing. The Cougars secondary has not been tested this season and we are going to find out if they have the metal to handle Mike Hass and the Beavers.

Also, the Beavers haven’t been able to run the football at all. If they are able to run on Saturday then the Cougars are in trouble both at Reiser and all season. If the Cougs can stop the run then they can really put their ears back and be the sack masters that they usually are.
Cougars prevail and show the top of the Pac-10 that there is another competitor in upper house of one of the nation’s best conferences.


This is a terrible match-up for the Huskies – see UCLA is good and the Huskies aren’t. 2 main issues here.

Defensively the Bruins passing game is a dink and dunk which is fine if you can stop the running game and there is no way the Huskies are going to slow down Maurice Drew. The Huskies have played two physical football teams and have gotten crushed on the ground on both of them. The left side of the UCLA line is enormous and they are going to blast the Dawgs.

The other issue is it is a bad match-up for the Huskies offensively. UCLA plays a very conservative defense where they leave two safeties deep but at the same time they roll up on your receivers. Therefore they are going to force Stanback to read the spaces in the defense and that is not his strength. His strength is going over the top and UCLA will not allow it.
Finally, UCLA has great linebackers and they will be able to handle the lack of the Huskies running team.

Simple game good team beats bad team by a lot

Thursday, September 29, 2005 has the Yankees Divison Champship Shirts on the Site

Theonly problem is the haven't won the divison yet. Got to love this picture.
0927051yankees2.jpg (JPEG Image, 600x575 pixels) - Scaled (95%)

Hawks’ Strong great on field, even better off it | | Tacoma, WA

Hawks’ Strong great on field, even better off it | | Tacoma, WA: "And just about every year, he has to fend off the notion that he can be replaced. Joining the team as a free agent in 1993, Strong has played for three coaches (Tom Flores, Dennis Erickson and Holmgren), and lined up behind nine quarterbacks. He became a Seahawk in the year Rick Mirer was drafted and the team traded for Keith Millard.

Strong came into the league just two years after Mosi Tatupu retired, and is now on a roster with Mosi’s son, Lofa."

Bulls' demand for DNA about wrong, rights

Bulls' demand for DNA about wrong, rights: "Eddy Curry is not a thoroughbred. He's not a sheep. He's not a dog for breeding. But the Bulls seem to think that because they have offered him a $5.14 million contract, they have bought the right to force him to take a DNA test to see if his heart condition might be fatal.

They are wrong. Your DNA is a personal, private thing that cannot be purchased. If Curry doesn't want to submit to the test for the Bulls, then that's it. No test. The DNA is his. The DNA is him.

For $5 million, the Bulls are not buying Eddy Curry. They are buying Eddy Curry's services. Curry is not for sale."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I just got back from the Wednesday Mike Holmgren press conference. Here is a re-cap of the news and notes from the presser.
On the injury front Peter Warrick will sit out practice today with a groin injury. DJ Hackett will take his spot in the passing game and Jimmy Williams will return punts. Itula Mili is still not at full strength and may be another week before he is ready. Pork Chop Womack is still a week away, but will be the left tackle when he returns.
Holmgren talked about the Skins’ defense as a very aggressive unit that plays true pressure defense and bring the blitz more then most teams in the NFL. Specifically, they like to bring former Hawk Shawn Springs off the edge in a blitz. Springs v. D-Jack will be a big time match-up on Sunday.
In regards to D-Jack, I asked what he does to get so open. Holmgren talked about his tremendous quickness, that he is faster then people give him credit for and that he really is terrific in the first 5 yards of a route.
Offensively the Skins, offensive line will just maul you. They play a very similar system to what Joe Gibbs ran when he was the head coach the first time. He will pound, pound, pound and they shoot for one deep.
I brought up Holmgren’s passing on first down, he said you really have to have great confidence in your QB to make those calls. He admitted that running on first down is the hardest down to run on so if they can he is more then willing to pass on first down. In addition, he mentioned that they chart their own tendencies and will try to change his patterns.
Crowd noise is always a factor on the road. The obvious problem is audibles. Hasselbeck no differently then any other QB gets flustered when he can’t change out of bad plays and then no longer feels comfortable or in a rhythm.
The Hawks 3rd down defense has been amazing thus far. Holmgren credits it with a young defense that just flys around. He also talked about the depth of the roster and the rotation of players they are able to use. I wonder how much John Marshall calling the defense may be responsible for this change.
This year’s defense is different because of the depth. I wrote about this today in the Seattle PI and Holmgren discussed it at the press conference. In the past the starters got hurt and their was no second line, this year there is no such class distinction, they are all interchangeable parts. All the players feel they are contributing.
I credit a great deal of this to the influence of Tim Ruskell on this football team.
Lastly, I asked why the Hawks use Mack Strong in the 2-minute drill rather then Alexander. Holmgren said they have numerous personnel groups that can be used. However, he added that he usually asks Matt what he wants to use. Interesting, if I was Matt I wouldn’t want to have a back in the game that I couldn’t check to as a blocker or dump off to in the passing game.

Locked on Sports: Hawks appear complete

Locked on Sports: Hawks appear complete: "However, this year looks and feels different. Addition by subtraction was the mantra all offseason and it is holding true. The purge of a heartless, selfish defensive unit has given way to an active, aggressive and free-flying group.

The biggest difference is that the Hawks are a complete team. Top to bottom, every player has a role and fills a need.

It is president Tim Ruskell's signature. Every roster spot is being maximized."