Monday, December 7, 2015

An open letter to Justin & Gee

Justin Meyers and Gee Scott haven't been on the 710 AM airwaves for long, but they wasted little time building a loyal fan base of which I am included. They bring a youthful energy to the mid-morning sports talk world that has been sorely lacking. It's great to be able to lean on former players and sports insiders for analysis-- but too often program directors forget that these shows need to be entertaining above all else.

The Justin & Gee Show never fails to deliver the entertainment.

However, as I was listening to their show in the wake of what might be the most dominant statement game the Seahawks have given us in sometime, both Justin and Gee-- in a rare moment of agreement-- came down hard on those of us who have been critical of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

When I say they came down hard-- I mean they came down HARD.

Had I not been driving through pouring rain, I would've fired away at the Text Toy to express my profound disagreement. Had they let it go after making their initial statement-- I may have let it go myself and refrained from typing this post.

Alas, they did not let it go.

Both Meyers and Scott droned on at how absurd it was for anyone to hold Bevell accountable for Seattle's shortcomings through these first 12 games.  They pointed out how little criticism is being hurled at the embattled coordinator following these last three victories.

Now, I'll admit that Bevell deserves praise when and where its due.  But to completely absolve him from any criticism is beyond ridiculous.

First of all, I praised Bevell for (finally) adjusting to their circumstances and putting together a great game plan against San Francisco. The following week against the Steelers, I was again critical of his play calling as I felt that he was reverting back to the same ol' stuff that hadn't been successful all season, but he did make adjustments at the half that were indeed worthy of commendation. This week in Minnesota was perhaps his best-called game of the season.

With all that said, Bevell is certainly trending in the right direction and appears to be handling the loss of two major pieces of his offense with Lynch and Graham out of the picture.

However-- let's not have short-term memory loss, here.

We began this season with an offense that was vastly improved from last season.  Sure, the offensive line wasn't worked out the way we were told it would be-- but those were the guys this team wanted in place to start the season.  Maybe a great deal of that blame can be laid at the feet of Tom Cable, but it was the hand the Bevell was dealt.

I'd imagine that most coaches play with some degree of stubborn arrogance to them.  Perhaps you have to in this game. But through the first half of the season, I saw an offensive coordinator that was so hell bent on being a run-first team that he was willing to lose games rather than admit that they don't have the personnel properly prepared to play the type of football that they want.

We have had Doug Baldwin with us for a few years now. Same with Kearse and Russell Wilson.  We've seen what those guys can do when called upon.  We've seen Luke Willson develop into a diverse tight end that can spring a block or make a great catch.  We're watching Tyler Lockett become the playmaker Percy Harvin never turned out to be.

It didn't take long for the offensive line to show that the Seahawks brass rolled out a group of 'not ready for prime-time players'.  I think we established that 2 games into the season. Yet, it took several more games and the loss of two of our best offensive weapons before Bevell finally opened up the playbook for his quarterback.

There's a big difference between playing the brand of football that you want and doing the best you can with what you have in an effort to win games.  In previous seasons, I could at least make sense of why you wouldn't want to pile more work onto your young quarterback, but this year should've been different.  He's won a Super Bowl and been to two. You've paid him a boatload to carry this team.  He's shown you, multiple times, that he's capable of handling the pressure.

I love your show, Justin & Gee.  I'll continue listening as long as you continue to brighten my mid-days.  I just had to fire back on this one, bruh.  There's no question that this team has had this talent level and capability all season.  Sure, the line is playing better and the defense is coming into form-- but I contest that, had Bevell been a little less stubborn earlier on, we'd be in a much better place today.

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