Seahawk receivers take to the offensive ... on KJR-AM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Analyst Hugh Millen was tracked down by the phone and fireworks ensued.
I'll be compiling a transcript:
Update at 8:01 p.m.: It is important to make a couple of notes here:
1. Don't confuse statistics with the ability to offer a critique. Mike Holmgren was a backup quarterback at USC, and I don't think anyone would cite his playing statistics to indict his knowledge of the game. Ditto for Sean Payton of New Orleans, considered one of the more innovative coaches in the league. He played primarily in the Arena League.
2. As an analyst, Millen has two responsibilities. "I strive to be accurate in my factual claims and fair in my editorials," he said.
Nate Burleson: "As mad as everybody else is -- the fans, the people that support us, people that go into the stores and buy our jerseys, show up and buy tickets to the game -- you've got to imagine how mad we are, how pissed off we are. This is our jobs, this is our livelihood, this is how we put food on the table ... Obviously, we're frustrated. There's things that we honestly can't control, that would help us win so it's tough for us."
Deion Branch: "I'm fixing to give it to you raw and uncut. Hey, I've been a part of two Super Bowls. Nobody on this football team has been a part of it, period. No coach. Nobody. I have. I've won two of them. The bottom line is are we winning? No. Do we have a good team, yes? To Hugh Millen and Ian Furness. We have a good football team. Are we talented? Yes. Are we playing good? No. We're not playing good football, no we're not. We're not executing plays."
T.J. Houshmandzadeh: This is coming from a guy [Millen] that's got 22 career touchdowns and 35 interceptions ... And I can show you why he's got 35 interceptions; he doesn't know coverages.
Deion Branch: "And for all the other people who's doubting the Seahawks, I'm going to tell you this right here: It's either you with us or you against us, bottom line. There's no ifs ands or buts about it."
At this point, Dave Mahler asked about the comments specifically with regard to Millen and Furness.
"I'm going to defend my teammates, period," Branch said.
Houshmandzadeh was a bit more specific.
"It's one thing to talk with facts," he said. "You're entitled to your own opinion. We can't change anyone's opinion, you're entitled to that. But when I hear a guy say this is this guy's fault and this is that guy's fault and you played nine years in the NFL, how do you not know what you're talking about. That's what baffles me. You played nine years at a quarterback position where you should know the game, and you listen to some of the things he says, and people believe this guy, that's what upsets me."
Deion Branch: "We're not attacking nobody."
Houshmandzadeh: "I am. I am attacking people that attack me in my teammates. I am."
So what was the problem? It seems that there was a particular dispute with the fact that Matt Hasselbeck is the one person who is not criticized, specifically by Millen.
"I love Matt Hasselbeck to death," Branch said, "but guess what, when we lose, we all lose. Everybody that boards that all plane, we all lose. It's not 52 people who lose the game ... The quarterback lose, the receivers lose. We all make mistakes."
Houshmandzadeh picked up on that.
"So don't just signal or point out certain groups," Houshmandzadeh said. "Are the receivers playing great? No. Nobody is playing great because we're losing games. But at the end of the day, you go ask any DB in this league and excuse my French would I bust his [hindparts] if he played me man-to-man, they going to tell you, 'Yeah.' Period."
It gets good when KJR calls Hugh Millen, patches him through. Houshmandzadeh said he excels against man-to-man coverage and here he goes mano-a-mano with Millen.
Houshmandzadeh: I take pride in what I do. I get open. In one-on-one situations, I'm going to get open every time and if I don't, he did a great job every blue moon.
Millen: Were you open against two-man coverage?
Houshmandzadeh: What did you just say it just was? Two man. A double team. That's a double team. Two man is a double team. Do you know what you're talking about?
Millen: Of course.
Houshmandzadeh: So why would you ask me if I was open on two-man?
Millen: Have I ever seen a guy open on two-man? You just got finished telling me that you get open every single time against man-to-man? That was a man-to-man situation, and you didn't get open.
Houshmandzadeh: Are you kidding me? Two-man is man-to-man? That shows why you had 35 career interceptions and 22 touchdowns because you have no idea what you're talking about.
Millen: T.J. is there a man following you, yes or no?
Houshmandzadeh: The man has help over the top so he does not respect anything you do. He's sitting inside. Two-man.
Well, it's now important to point out that this is a debate about the fine points of coverage and whether a two-man coverage -- which entails a safety being over the top to protect the cornerback against getting beaten deep -- negates the possibility the receiver can get open on a dig route. Houshmandzadeh is saying that's a coverage that shuts down a receiver, Millen's point would be that a receiver can still work his way open underneath and Houshmandzadeh's inability to do that led to the interception.
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call