I’ll be honest, I’ve been pretty surprised by some of the comments I’ve read on the blog this week.
I kind of feel like there’s been a re-writing of history. As the Seahawks have succeeded in building a terrific young roster, we’ve also discovered quite a substantial revelation. Some people knew it all along.
No crystal ball. No message imprinted on the morning toast. No signal from the gods. Just pure, footballing brilliance.
I had to delete the following comment — which is a shame, given the author is quite clearly a genius: “I advocated for the Seahawks to draft him and after the draft, I stated *for a fact* that Russell Wilson would be our starting quarterback and would most probably be our starting quarterback for the next ten or fifteen years.”
It’s funny that I didn’t recall that message twelve months ago. A lot of people liked Russell Wilson. Perhaps none more so than our very own Kip Earlywine. In fact if you’re ever thinking of running for president, Russell, you might want to see if Kip will run your campaign. He’d do a good job if last year was anything to go by.
Yet I think it’s fair to say most others shared my slightly different opinion. I saw Wilson’s height as an issue and I couldn’t see beyond that. It was a titanic error on my behalf, yet an understandable one. I was blinkered by conventional wisdom, unwilling to think outside of set guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work in the NFL. I was one of those old farts in the film ‘Moneyball’ telling Brad Pitt how to do his job in the war room.
It’s why I wrote this piece in August, laying out why I’d got it wrong on Wilson. I made the following statement after the Kansas City pre-season game:
“As good as Kip looks because of his sound judgement, I’m not afraid to admit I didn’t do a good enough job looking at Wilson. We published some tape, broke it down and I answered the occasional question, but he clearly warranted more than that. We’ve seen that in pre-season and in two weeks time he could be a starting NFL quarterback. It’s not so much missing on a player because you can’t expect to get them all right, but having dedicated so much time to the quarterback position in general… Wilson deserved more time.”
I think it’d be fair to say a lot of fans probably share that sentiment in hindsight. The height factor was such a turn-off, we all literally turned off.
Thankfully, there are people in our midst to remind us that they knew all along Wilson would be fantastic (see anonymous commenter above). We should celebrate that fact. They are clearly really great individuals when it comes to the old football analysis.
Sarcasm aside, there is a wider point to this piece. I feel like we’ve begun to talk in very ‘matter of fact’ terms. I’ve seen a lot of comments where people have stated a certain player “won’t” be drafted. Funnily enough, the guy who was so bold to tell us he’d always known Wilson would be a roaring success also posted on the same day, “There is no way in God’s green earth that the Seahawks will select Christine Michael – and that’s a fact, whether you like it or not.”
I’ve been very careful this year not to rule anything out, and rule very little in. I’ve written more about what I think the need area’s are and tried to study up on the scheme. Of course, ignoring Wilson wasn’t the only error I made last year. I’d received some information from a trusted and proven source suggesting certain players were popular within the front office. I threw my lot in with one particular player and when he fell to the early second round, my decision was rightly questioned.
Yet when I look back to last year (and 2011 for that matter) I remembered how surprised I was — stunned even — when I heard, “With the 15th pick in the 2012 draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Bruce Irvin.” The same source that had given us the names told us it would be a pass rusher in round one. It was a foregone conclusion. And yet the name still shocked me, even if he was indeed a pass rusher. Irvin very specifically fit Pete Carroll’s off-season desire to improve speed within the front seven. The pick was staring at us right in the face and still drew gasps on the day.
Likewise I was surprised to hear Wilson’s name so early, although with hindsight that could be the greatest draft pick ever made by a front office in Seattle. But to most fans, it was a shock. An intriguing shock.
James Carpenter was also a surprise at the time, even if some of us (hey, I’ve pointed enough things out that I got wrong) had Carpenter posted as a top-25 selection throughout the process.
As Seattle’s picks have become proven commodities, there’s maybe a tendency to look back with hindsight and feel those picks weren’t so shocking after all. Simply because they were justified. I think that’d be inaccurate. A re-writing of history. They were surprising and unpredictable to anyone outside of a NFL front office. They’ve just proven to be less of a gamble than we initially thought.
So I guess what I’m trying to say here is, let’s keep an open mind. Anything could happen next week. Regular visitors will know how tedious I find the endless discussions about Tyrann Mathieu. Yet I accept it’s not implausible he’ll go much earlier than I expect, possibly even to Seattle. I think we could see a complete unknown drafted at #56. I think we could see a household name fall to the Seahawks. I think we could see moves up or down the board, or even further trades for veteran players.
Whatever does happen, I expect to be surprised. Again. This will be the fourth draft under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Even though they’ve gone after fairly obvious needs every year, they’ve still managed to do it in their own little way. The only guaranteed thing next week is whatever they do won’t be boring. Or predictable. It’ll just be very Seahawky.