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Why I see the Seahawks finally winning it all in 2013

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  • I really can't believe I'm saying this. I'm too used to being the counterweight of popular opinion. If a crowd of people goes one way, I go the opposite. It's just how I am. I suppose that at one point I learned that being the eternal contrarian a) becomes too obvious and b) makes you WRONG a lot of the time. I've found an odd, laid-back agreeability to going with the flow these days. It's a nice change.

    And then there are the obvious times when the crowd is right and there's a LOT more reason to follow them. The Seahawks' 2013 campaign falls into this category. It's exciting on several fronts. There's proven success to build upon. Russell Wilson is a legend already as a sophomore QB, and the defense has shown it can hold up even when incomplete. There's no reason to think we won't repeat our challenge for the division.

    But...and this is where I just have to be an independent thinker, I suppose...the reason I'm really excited about this upcoming season is what we HAVEN'T seen. And I think there's going to be quite a bit of that.

    One of the things I appreciate most about Pete Carroll and John Schneider, and the thing that I believe gives them the greatest edge over the rest of the league, is that they are innovators. We could talk here about the Moneyballesque revolution that they started with their front office strategies, their love of roster churn, their genius at finding diamonds in the rough, and all the things we've highlighted before. Those are great. And there's real leadership and synergy as well.

    But for me, it goes beyond that. These guys are innovators on the field as well. Their X's and O's savvy has gone underappreciated by some, and has a great deal to do with our success this far. The NFL is a copycat league, a testing ground for constantly shifting strategies. Pete and John have been riding the leading edge of that wave ever since they arrived.

    I used to hate this team's emphasis on the run. I felt that the ratings-greedy NFL would allow nothing to come between them and their quest for higher-scoring games, and their slow but steady alterations to the rules to protect QB's and promote passing games seemed to bear that out. Therefore, in my eyes, Seattle capitalizing on the run was equivalent to sticking their head in the sand and relying on coaching cliches. "Draft Ryan Mallett," I whined. "There's nothing to be gained unless you accept the paradigm."

    The reality as I see it now, IMHO, is that Pete and John were well aware of the passing paradigm and were actually thinking one step ahead of it. They knew that the rush toward the pass would make the crucial components of a running game, i.e. physical runners and mauler O-linemen, much easier to find in the draft. They knew that teams falling over themselves to adopt a purer passing approach would leave them, at least in the short run, vulnerable to a physical, run-first offense. They were right. Seattle spent all of 2012 outlasting their opponents time and again, on both sides of the ball. Where most of the league read the signs and saw only a depressing ultimatum to find that perfect QB and a bevy of pass rushers, Pete and John saw an opportunity. They weren't ignoring the present or living in the past as the advanced stats insisted; they were thinking of the future. They knew the pendulum would eventually swing back the other way, and they wanted to be in position to take advantage of it.

    And it doesn't stop there. As the Pete-and-John regime soldiers on, I see more and more cutting-edge moves that showed they have their finger on the pulse of the league.
    You know how Rex Ryan is often credited for the popularity of the "amoeba" passing defense? Seattle with their Bandit concept was not far behind, if they were behind at all. Leo defensive ends? The next evolution of the 3-4. Press coverage? A terrific way to mitigate the quick-hitting passing option that Brady and Manning have relied on for years. The athletic scrambling QB with the read-option? Seattle was right there amongst the leaders of that wave, except unlike Washington, they had a QB with the build to handle some beating. Valuing YAC receivers? Check. Kam Chancellor? A forward-thinking tactic to counter those hyper-athletic tight ends that every team is drooling over. The departure of Michael Robinson? Maybe it was a cap move, but it was also a tacit admission that the league is moving away from the pure fullback position.

    I get encouraged every time I see another move meant not to address the current "way of doing things", but to attack whatever vacuum or unbalance gets created by it. This front office has the ability to anticipate the league's back-and-forth. It's an awesome quality to have. I don't think our 2013 campaign will rely on pure 2012 tactics - Wilson scrambling, frequent read-option - because this team's evolution just doesn't stay still that long. Wilson will be finding more open targets. Seattle's running game, whether through Turbin or Michael or the H-back tweaks, will find new dimensions. The defensive front seven is new this year even while injury-depleted. Nobody has film on this team. It changes too much for that to happen. And if Green Bay's utter faceplant against the 49ers in January is any indication, teams with innovation on their side enjoy a healthy period of dominance before anyone figures out a response.

    The injuries are frustrating. Tight end, defensive line, and our guard positions remain frustrating uncertainties despite years of attempted solutions. And defenses were starting to figure out Wilson's weaknesses towards the end of last year; we'll need better options against secondary blitzes and Cover 4. I do think September might have some unpleasant "wakeup call" moments before we hit our stride.

    But Seattle has already gone further with less under Pete and John. This team thinks ahead. That's why, when the regular-season dust settles and a pack of ten-win teams starts courting the playoff luck that puts teams in the Super Bowl, it will be Seattle that nobody knows what to do with. And while the injuries are annoying in the present (especially Harvin), the gradual stream of returning pieces will provide the team with another midstream transformation. We've already seen this team change identities on a monthly scale. It could prove to be the deciding factor in the NFC race.

    That's what has me using my 10,000th post on Seahawks.net, on my 30th birthday, to predict a Seahawks Super Bowl win over the horse-face this year. I don't care if I'm wrong. This isn't desperate fans grasping at the blind potential of a couple of draft picks. I'm extrapolating off something that's very difficult to extrapolate - smart innovation - and taking comfort that other teams won't have it any easier. I think it's our turn.

    Who's with me?
    Last edited by MontanaHawk05 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
    MontanaHawk05
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  • Welcome to the 10,000 post club!

    I'm with you!
    JSeahawks
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  • I'm with you Monte. Congrats on 10,000 posts, and glad to have you around you're one of my favorites here.

    This year, the seahawks win it alllllllllll mannnnnnnnnnnn
    bellingerga
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  • Bang up 10k post montana. I'm with ya.
    Happy
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  • Great freaking post...makes me want to find the nearest 9er fan and slap the ish out of them
    -The Glove-
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  • sadhappy wrote:Bang up 10k post montana. I'm with ya.


    Says the newb with only 7,939 posts. :roll:

    I'll echo Bellingera's statement as well, Montanahawk is one of the best we've got.
    JSeahawks
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  • Color me shocked. The man with a .NET award named after him (for nay saying) having a moment of genuine enthusiasm and clarity.

    Outstanding
    Sac
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  • Great 10,000th post and Happy Birthday!
    Aros
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  • Aros wrote:Great 10,000th post and Happy Birthday!


    The stars have aligned!!

    Great post Montana. Thanks for taking the time.
    Zebulon Dak
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  • Wow Happy Birthday! Great post, I was frothing at the mouth at the end, and looking for a helmet and a set of pads! It is time, and it is known Superb Owl
    tacomahawk
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  • I'll be damned. Montana with a positive post predicting us to win the Super Bowl.

    Happy birthday, great post, and I'm glad to see you're already exceedingly drunk before 5pm today. :D
    RolandDeschain
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  • Very excellent.
    Pandion Haliaetus
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  • Good God I'm fired up after reading this!


    Happy, happy.
    hawksfansinceday1
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  • Well reasoned and thought out. Happy Birthday MontanaHawk.
    SalishHawkFan
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  • Happy Birthday, great post and now you have a whole season to argue with this is a QB driven league and the running game is going extinct.
    chris98251
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  • A heapin' helpin' of top notch writin' (miss that on your retired blog).

    Hope you have a great birthday, although you already got your present (what's coming this year!).
    gargantual
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  • Well done sir!
    Evil_Shenanigans
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  • I was just in Hershey's Chocolate World this past Tuesday, when I parked in the visitors area. Lo and behold, a huge truck with Dakota plate (or possibly Iowa ?) is in my view. I noted the U-Dub and Seahawk stickers on his windshield to my lady friend. I was beaming at more and more fans flying our colors everywhere. I went in to the park, had a blast, and was leaving out, when smy friend told me that the Hawk fan was also leaving.

    I yelled, "SEA..." "HAWKS!!", and the driver looked out to see who was screaming. I smiled at him, and said, "born and bred in NJ, I bleed blue and neon green." The older gentlleman (mid-50ish) and his wife smiled back, and he told me, "it's finally our time. This is our year." I said, "oh yes, it is...Finally!" Wished him farewell and a safe trip. Kinda regret not shooting the ish with him a little longer, but I was running late to dinner.

    Anyway, this should've probably been under a different thread, but point being, your feelings about our destiny are being shared. Happy Birthday!
    NJSeahawk
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  • I never understood contrarians. Judgements should be made case-by-case based on the available evidence. The opinions of others are not evidence, and shouldn't factor. It's important to be thinkers and think for ourselves and that means going against the grain at times. But being prone to disagreeing to disagree, I never understood people who did that.

    Regarding the Seahawks, everything you see today is something you could see coming midway through the 2011 season when Max Unger and Robert Gallery were opening giant holes in opposing defensive lines. Gallery didn't last much longer but you could tell something had changed with our offense. It was around that same time that Sherman got promoted and our defense turned the corner as well.

    Now I'm focused on the new future of Seahawks football, the post-FA Seahawks. Whether they win a SB or not, they are going to get picked apart like the Ravens were this last Spring starting next year. How will that post FA-reality Seahawks team fare? Our team is going to morph a little every season as new, cheap talent replaces departed veterans.

    I used to think that Pete Carroll was a solid talent evaluator with the Midas touch for DBs. Now I'm starting to think he has the Midas touch for everything. It's taken a while, but he's finally shown some real results with the new DL he's brought in. Bennett and McDaniel have looked like fantastic additions, Hill and Schofield have been more than solid, and Mayowa / Brooks have shown that Pete can do his thing even with UDFA DL.
    Last edited by kearly on Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    kearly
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  • Don't ruin the greatness and never post again :).

    100% agree. Great writeup!
    SonicHawk
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  • kearly wrote:I never understood contrarians. Judgements should be made case-by-case based on the available evidence. The opinions of others are not evidence, and shouldn't factor. It's important to be thinkers and think for ourselves, but disagreeing to disagree, I never understood people who did that.


    It's helpful when done thoughtfully. Sometimes, group-think can dominate an issue, and it takes contrarians to expose flaws in the general thinking about a topic.

    Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would do their own critical evaluation after assessing the given evidence, but this isn't a perfect world, and thus the Montanas of the world are vital when they play the devil's advocate.
    Smelly McUgly
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  • Smelly McUgly wrote:
    kearly wrote:I never understood contrarians. Judgements should be made case-by-case based on the available evidence. The opinions of others are not evidence, and shouldn't factor. It's important to be thinkers and think for ourselves, but disagreeing to disagree, I never understood people who did that.


    It's helpful when done thoughtfully. Sometimes, group-think can dominate an issue, and it takes contrarians to expose flaws in the general thinking about a topic.

    Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would do their own critical evaluation after assessing the given evidence, but this isn't a perfect world, and thus the Montanas of the world are vital when they play the devil's advocate.


    I don't consider contrarians to be what you described though. You just described an intellectual. A true contrarian lets the crowd do the thinking for him, he just takes the opposite tack. (I always thought Montana was more intellectual than contrarian, FWIW).
    kearly
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  • We're probably just quibbling on how we think about the term. I do think some people are contrarian just to be that way, like people that hate anything as soon as it becomes popular. Others are definitely much more thoughtful about it, and I always enjoyed Montana's writings. He helped me think about accepted wisdom in a more critical light.

    We Seahawks fans have some of the best fan bloggers around, really. Maybe THE best.
    Smelly McUgly
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  • This post is the best I've read on here in a long time. Not for the prediction, but the Tao analysis of the overall strategy. It shows REAL knowledge, in a world where knowledge is feigned using mathematics and combine tape.

    Fart...
    pehawk
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  • Who stole Montana's keyboard?

    Excellent post.
    Tech Worlds
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  • Great post Montana.
    OkieHawk
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  • First of all Happy Birthday.

    I like how you addressed the DL and how P & J have really put a lot of emphasis on improving it, It is still a question mark, however I have faith in them.

    10,000 posts?

    A milestone but you have more work to do here. Carry ON sir !!!
    Largent80
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  • kearly wrote:
    Smelly McUgly wrote:
    kearly wrote:I never understood contrarians. Judgements should be made case-by-case based on the available evidence. The opinions of others are not evidence, and shouldn't factor. It's important to be thinkers and think for ourselves, but disagreeing to disagree, I never understood people who did that.


    It's helpful when done thoughtfully. Sometimes, group-think can dominate an issue, and it takes contrarians to expose flaws in the general thinking about a topic.

    Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would do their own critical evaluation after assessing the given evidence, but this isn't a perfect world, and thus the Montanas of the world are vital when they play the devil's advocate.


    I don't consider contrarians to be what you described though. You just described an intellectual. A true contrarian lets the crowd do the thinking for him, he just takes the opposite tack. (I always thought Montana was more intellectual than contrarian, FWIW).


    Fun conversation. I think contrarians exist to purposely introduce entropy into the world of ideas. Like a genetic mutation, the vast majority of the time they're wrong. Most contrarianism leads to bad results in thinking. Most mutations result in dead or damaged offspring. But, sometimes, a society or culture or community's thinking has converged to a particular equilibrium, which works well enough that no reasonable person can see a way to improve it. A habitual contrarian can accidentally hit upon an improvement. George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." I think this is an exaggeration and overromanticizes contrarianism, but there's an element of truth to it. Contrarians used to annoy me, and they still do when I don't catch myself, but it helps to think of it more as an altruistic impulse toward making the world a better place. It's got to be hard to be a contrarian. It's a sacrifice.
    formido
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  • All I can say is that natural contrarians do exist. When an idea is presented, my first reaction is something like, "How can this be improved?" or "What holes are there in this?" and I go searching for them. A self-aware contrarian may very well find none and accept the idea. I've noticed that this takes a slight dose of humility for me to do, which makes me think that contrarianism is rooted in the desire to simply be an independent thinker. I do think that honest contrarianism has its uses in the spectrum of personalities. It finds the flipside of things, breaks up groupthink, and serves as an improver of plans and structures. After all, the best way to validate an idea is to throw a skeptic at it.

    A clueless contrarian will probably just keep assuming that the holes are there somewhere, and will eventually find himself bending or ignoring facts to validate his assumption. We've all seen examples of that. It's one reason I stopped blogging - I knew from looking at other examples within the blogosphere that being an informed contrarian amongst an uninformed fan base is a massive trap. You look good for a while, but then your personality starts taking you beyond your expertise, and people believe you all the while.

    The slight irony, of course, is that in pulling against the grain of the Seahawks community and their desire for strong pass protection and running game, I was actually trying to go WITH the grain of a different community, that of the NFL trendsters with their fevered fascination with epic quarterbacks. I do reserve a little dignity for myself, because it's not like Russell Wilson lacks what I wanted. He's accurate, technically sound, and strong-armed. But he wouldn't be much, at least at this stage, without Marshawn Lynch.
    MontanaHawk05
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  • Oh yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh
    MontanaHawk05
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  • Spot on!
    Aros
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