I haven't quite figured out what this is all about. Certainly there are shades of grey here, but I generally thought you either fell into the camp of Shaun Alexander is no longer a short yardage back, or you thought his inefficiencies in short yardage situations came from getting no push from the O-line.
So to go grab Wahle was a big step in one direction. To get Duckett kind takes that big step back to zero again. I hope we got him for real cheap, otherwise we're using up our precious cap space on a guy that will barely see the field.
On second thought, is Alexander is going to be cut and the Seahawks brass felt we needed to replace his goal line abilities? To that I would simply say "Leonard Weaver" and we'd move on. But still, this move kind of looks like we're expecting to take a smaller, faster RB in the draft and free up a little more cap space with SA.
I don't know. I'm kind of confused about the whole thing.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM Seahawks | 252-pound T.J. Duckett is big backfield addition By Danny O'Neil Seattle Times staff reporter
The Seahawks hope they found a big answer to their third-and-short struggles.
As in 252-pound running back T.J. Duckett, who told The Associated Press he has agreed to a five-year contract with Seattle. The team has made no announcement and calls to Duckett's agent have not been returned this week.
Now, before everyone starts wondering about the trickle-down effect for Seattle's other backs, Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris, remember that Duckett is a player the Seahawks tried to sign in free agency last year. Alexander's status with the team wasn't a question then, but the Seahawks saw Duckett as a complementary piece in their backfield. A rather large complementary piece.
Duckett signed with Detroit instead of Seattle last year and he gained the majority of his 335 rushing yards the final four games. He even had his first 100-yard rushing game since 2003.
Duckett, 27, is a former first-round pick, chosen with the 18th overall selection in 2002 from Michigan State. The Seahawks will be his fourth team in the past four seasons, though, as he bounced from the Falcons to Washington to the Lions. He played for Jim Mora in Atlanta in 2004 and 2005. Seahawks president Tim Ruskell was with the Falcons in 2004.
Duckett will be the second free agent the Seahawks have signed this season. Tight end Jeb Putzier was the first. The Seahawks announced they signed him to a one-year contract. Putzier has played in the NFL six years, the past two with Houston. His most productive seasons were 2004 and 2005 in Denver, when he caught 73 passes in that two-year span.
The Seattle Times Seahawks Blog Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times. March 4, 2008 4:01 PM T.J. Duckett says it's a five-year deal Posted by Danny O'Neil
Got to love it when a free agent gets on the phone to Hondo to tell him he's going to be a Seahawk.
That's apparently what T.J. Duckett did, telling Hondo S. Carpenter Sr. of http://www.spartannation.com that he agreed to a five-year deal in Seattle. The link to the site is right here.
So what does that mean? It means the Seahawks got a big-bodied short-yardage specialist that they initially courted last season. It does not mean that Shaun Alexander is on the way out. That's the first question everyone has. I don't anticipate this being a player to replace Alexander, but rather someone to add to the equation to help with the short-yardage struggles of the offense the past two seasons.
Last updated March 4, 2008 11:00 p.m. PT Hawks add back, tight end and coach Duckett, Putzier end team's dormancy in free-agency period By CLARE FARNSWORTH P-I REPORTER
KIRKLAND -- The Seahawks made a run at T.J. Duckett in free agency last year, only to have the battering-ram running back sign with the Detroit Lions.
This time, they got their man, as Duckett agreed Tuesday to what he said was a five-year deal.
The club also signed veteran tight end Jeb Putzier, who is from Idaho and was released last month by the Houston Texans, and hired former University of Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord to be an offensive assistant.
It was a whirlwind of activity for a salary cap-strapped team that had sat through the first four days of the NFL free-agency period and watched three of its players sign elsewhere -- kicker Josh Brown (Rams) and linebackers Kevin Bentley (Texans) and Niko Koutouvides (Broncos).
Duckett's arrival prompts the obvious question: What does this mean for leading rusher and former league MVP Shaun Alexander, who has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons?
The 254-pound Duckett is being brought in as a tandem back to complement the current runners. He has the size and explosiveness to also be used as a backup to Leonard Weaver at fullback and as the short-yardage back -- where the Seahawks have had problems the past two seasons.
Duckett, 27, entered the league in 2002 as a first-round draft choice by the Atlanta Falcons. Seahawks president Tim Ruskell was the Falcons' assistant general manager in 2004, and secondary coach/head-coach-in-waiting Jim Mora was the head coach in Atlanta from 2004-06.
The Falcons led the league in rushing in 2004 and 2005, with Duckett supplying the power to go with Warrick Dunn's speed and quarterback Michael Vick's elusiveness. Duckett scored 11 touchdowns in 2003 and eight each in 2004 and 2005.
The past two seasons, he saw limited action with the Lions (65 carries, but a 5.2-yard average in '07) and Washington Redskins (38 carries in '06).
Ruskell said last week that improving a running game that averaged only 101.2 yards per game and 3.8 per carry was a priority.
"We're trying to get it all going again," Ruskell said of a process that has seen the club hire a new line coach (Mike Solari) and sign a new left guard (Mike Wahle).
"Who knows how it will come out? But we'll never stop looking to see if we can get better."
Although the team did not confirm the contract agreement, Duckett told The Associated Press that he was going to sign a five-year deal.
While the details that were circulating called for a $17 million package and $4 million in guarantees, the deal will more likely turn out to be a three-year contract with Duckett earning almost $7.5 million, according to ESPN.com.
Putzier, meanwhile, played at Boise State and is from Eagle, Idaho. He caught just six passes for the Texans last season, but had 36 and 37 receptions the previous two years while playing with the Broncos -- the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2002.
The Seahawks also are expected to draft a tight end and another running back in April.
DeBord, 52, was one of nine assistant coaches fired by new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez after Lloyd Carr retired in December. DeBord served two stints as offensive coordinator (1997-99 and 2006-07), which were sandwiched around a three-year run as head coach at Central Michigan.
Still unfilled is the position of running backs coach that opened when Stump Mitchell left last month to join new Redskins coach Jim Zorn's staff in Washington.
Former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, who retired last season after damaging vertebra in his neck, was the preferred candidate by coach Mike Holmgren. But Strong is said to have declined the offer.
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I don't think this does too much to the value of either Morris or SA. Duckett fills a different roll than either, since both are better suited to open field running. Duckett will be third-down and goal-line, leaving MM and SA still locked in their playing time battle that they were in anyway.
I think MM is going to start seeing a lot more carries as Alexander's career is obviously in its twilight, and in a year or two he could be the feature back.
Kensat30 wrote:PS- Maurice Morris will never be a featured RB in the NFL.
Well, Joey Harrington was a featured QB.
I think they'll get a RB in the draft, because as SA fades, Duckett is not a solution and Morris is, as you said, not really feature back material. But if they don't, and SA continues his decline, Seattle will be faced with starting Morris at some point. Weird.
deluxe_247 wrote:a 5 year contract for a 27 year old, injury prone RB seems a bit excessive. duckett has never impressed me. SA doesnt impress mess. morris impresses me the most of them all, but that isnt saying much.
IMO the seahawks should trade up a few spots in the draft and get jonathan stewart. he fills a need there, plus he would be a local favorite.
Thats what struck me as odd. 5 years? For TJ Duckett? I don't quite get the move seems like the Hawks are moving sideways.