Yep…TJack is Still a Better Option than Hasselbeck
The first article I wrote when creating this blog was about the Seahawks making the right decision in letting Matt Hasselbeck go this offseason. It was my re-entry into this sports journalism world (if you call this journalism which most wouldn’t). It is so old it isn’t even on this site (http://belsner.blogspot.com/2011/07/no-more-mr-nice-guy.html). For the first few weeks of the year, I felt like an idiot. Many still think I am (for various reasons), but I am not. Getting rid of Hasselbeck is still the correct decision.
Before you click that little red X in the top right corner of your browser, hear me out. I am not here to tell you Tarvaris Jackson is the answer. I never said that. In fact, I am pretty sure the Hawks will draft a quarterback in the 2012, which means Jackson may start next year as the starter but give way half way through the year. And clearly T-Jack has deficiencies. Yet the issues of the Seahawks cannot be solved by Matt Hasselbeck.
In just six games played this year, Tarvaris Jackson has been sacked 20 times. This currently places him fifth in the NFL in that category behind Ben Roethlisberger, Kevin Kolb, Jay Cutler and Sam Bradford. Yet Big Ben played eight games already and Kolb and Cutler played seven. Only Bradford played less games which explains in part why he got hurt. His line is awful too. Jackson was scrambling for his life early on in the season. I commented a few times that he looked jumpy in the pocket, but he know does a pretty good job looking down the field. He doesn’t abandon the pocket too early and he doesn’t crumple up into a ball like Hasselbeck used to.
When Hasselbeck didn’t trust his line (like he didn’t the past two years) he panicked more and more. Clearly this wasn’t the year to bring Hass back with essentially five new starters and two being rookies. He wouldn’t have stood a chance and certainly wouldn’t have been successful. Consider this – he was sacked 29 times in 16 games (includes two playoff games and one game where he barely played) in 2010. He has been sacked only nine times in seven games this year. Remember, Jackson has gone down 20 times in six contests! Clearly Jackson is more mobile so you can only imagine the carnage if Matt was still here.
Additionally, Tarvaris Jackson isn’t as bad as we all thought at first. I will tell you right now I was right at the front of the line to ship him out of town after the first few games. Yet when Sidney Rice came back, and then Doug Baldwin emerged, you saw a whole new T-Jack. In fact, since Rice came back, Jackson is putting up comparable numbers to Hasselbeck.
From 9/25 (including that game):
Jackson – 79/131, 60.3%, 244.75 yards/game, 4 TD, 4 INT
Hasselbeck – 103/168, 61.3%, 224.2 yards/game, 8 TD, 4 INT
Neither team has a running game to speak of with the Hawks at 31st in the league (77.7/game) and Tennessee dead last (68.9/game). The real difference between the two is that Tennessee’s line is considered one of the best in the game while Seattle’s may be one of the worst currently. Need further proof of this? Pro Football Stats tweeted today that Tennessee’s starting left and right tackles had not given up a sack between them this year. I don’t think we can say the same thing about Russell Okung and James Carpenter.
Remember, I am not saying Hasselbeck is garbage and Jackson is good. I am also not saying we should move forward with T-Jack as the starter for years to come. However, I am asserting that Jackson was and STILL IS the best choice as the starter for the 2011 season based on the circumstances. I don’t think he is a franchise quarterback, but he can hold down the spot until a 2012 rookie is ready to go. If Hasselbeck was still here, my guess is we would be counting on Whitehurst for the rest of the year as Matt would be severely hurt. And one thing we can all agree on at this point is that Clipboard Jesus has no business starting anywhere, anytime, ever.