Mailbag: 'Hypocrite' status alleged

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Mike from Chicago writes: Just in case you don't read this in the comments: So, Sando, you end your column by calling out one of your readers to send his full name, address and phone number to pass along to an NFL player that you think would be upset with his comments. Have you told Mike Singletary to his face that you think his postgame comments were bizarre and detrimental to the team? Hypocrite.
Mike Sando: Whoa, looks like the intended tone was lost in the written word. That stuff about Lofa Tatupu was written tongue-in-cheek. I'm careful about not making criticisms personal. That tends to be a good policy. I've also been open to other views on the Singletary rant and discussed it at length in the comments section of the item.

Aaron from Portland, Ore., writes: Hi Mike, I have a comment and question about Seneca Wallace. I was so excited when the Seahawks drafted Seneca, as I had followed his collegiate career, and he was absolutely spectacular. One thing about Wallace is clear though, he is not tall enough to be a traditional pocket passer, and without the use of his legs, he is not a very dangerous threat to opposing defenses.
With that being said, who is limiting the use of his mobility? I saw several opportunities for Seneca to take off and easily pick up a good gain, or a first down in the 49ers game. I also see designed roll-outs, where there is space in front of him for good yardage. He is arguably the most athletic and explosive player on offense, and the Seahawks are in desperate need of playmakers. Has he been coached to always look downfield and avoid the run, or is he just not processing the game fast enough to take advantage of the openings when they are presented?

Mike Sando: Wallace has worked hard to become more than just a running quarterback. He has worked to conform with a drop-back, in-the-pocket system. Sometimes I think he tries too hard to prove he's a good pocket passer. That would be in response to coaches' expectations and probably his own desire to become more than a scrambler. He's also had a calf injury, so that could be an issue this season.

Andrew from Spokane Valley writes: Mike, great breakdown of the Seahawks this week. Glad you get paid to review every play 20 times!! Keep it up, man. -Andrew Whitworth College Grad '06
Mike Sando: Good hearing from a fellow Whitworthian. And I liked the way you put that, getting paid to watch games. It's a privilege, for sure. Fortunately I've gotten to where I can chart personnel in real time if I know a team well. The 49ers mix in tight ends as receivers enough to force some double-checking. And I do wind up looking at some plays three or four times.

Barry from Alexandria, Va., writes: Is there a way to have espn.com members compile their individual rankings of NFL teams? If possible, it may be nice to have them viewed publicly by individual standings to see how we're stacking up against the experts.
Just a thought. This feature might shut up the know it all fans that feel they are doing us a favor by sharing their biased opinions with the rest of us. thanks. NFCeastern703

Mike Sando: We do have a feature allowing fans to vote.

Ken from Bellevue, Wash., writes: After your review of the 49er/Seahawks game, do you see the Seahawks giving Weaver more touches on the ball? He obviously had one of, if not the best, game of his career offensively. He proved he has speed, can run upfield and has good hands (wasn't he a TE in college?). His blocking is improving and that is obviously his primary duty but I'd like to see them calling more plays for him (outside of 3rd down option). I recall last year he made some nice catch and runs for TD as well.
Mike Sando: Not getting the ball to Weaver more might qualify as an oversight given the state of the offense. Yes, Weaver was a tight end in college.

I would also think they might go to Koren Robinson a little more.

Zack from Arlington, Texas, writes: Isn't the phrase, "window closing," usually reserved for teams that have NOT won a title... If so, we need to come up with a new phrase to describe the Colts.
Mike Sando: I think the phrase can apply to teams that won titles.

Dylan from Seattle writes: Hey Mike. I've been reading lately a lot about how disadvantaged teams on the west coast are when they have to travel to the east coast and play the 1:00 pm (eastern time) games. Do you think the league would ever consider reorganizing the divisions and conferences according to time zone/proximity.
For example, put Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Diego in the same division. Or put Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Tennessee in the same division. While this certainly doesn't SOLVE the issue of teams being disadvantaged by having to fly coast to coast, it makes it so that teams would more frequently play teams that are close in proximity. The league could also promote this as the NFL "going green," as teams would likely have to spend less money on fuel for travel. Plus, it might help develop rivalries between closely situated cities (Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh). Just a thought...

Mike Sando: Not a bad idea, but team owners probably wouldn't want to break up divisional rivalries in some of those cases. The solution to me would be to have games start later.

Harold from Columbia, Mo., writes: I thought it was interesting that you read into Mike Singletary's rant following the game Sunday, "Can't coach with em!" I am not sure he was pointing at Martz, because it did look like he conferred with him on the 4th down conversion. However, I do believe leaving marginal Left and Right Tackles alone with dominant pash rushers could drive a head coach or fellow assistant berserk.
Mike Sando: Those two things -- Singletary possibly sending a message to Martz, and Singletary conferring with Martz -- would not be exclusive. Singletary has let everyone know who is boss.

Isaac from parts unknown writes: Hey Mike, what is Ahmad Brooks' status on the team? I haven't heard much of him. Can he be one of Singeltary's "cancer" guys?
Mike Sando: Great timing on your question. Someone asked Singletary about Brooks on Wednesday. Here is what Singletary said:

"Since he's been here, he's worked really hard and done everything that we've asked him. He has a ton of talent."

That's the tough part about what S
ingletary said. By alluding to cancers and then later clarifying that Davis is not one of them, Singletary makes a suspect out of everyone.

Steve from parts unknown writes: Sando, I have been reading your articles for the past few years and this year I have been really disappointed. You used to talk so positively on the Seahawks each year when you covered them and now almost every article I read you have abandoned them and jumped on the Cardinals' band wagon just like everyone else at ESPN.
ESPN is not the neutral network they want everyone to believe but they are the band wagon network. Every fan knows this. Just do some research on the articles they have done on the Cowboys and Patriots at the beginning of the year. I say a true good reporter, reports on all teams with a non biased approach.

You may have covered the Seahawks in the past and may have been a fan but I don't think you should jump off the train to report about a team that still needs to prove themselves that they are really good like the Cardinals. The season is only half way through and if memory serves me right, last year they were predicted by ESPN to win the division and everyone jumped on the wagon.

Towards the end of the year ESPN was saying how bad they were. Boo to ESPN and boo to you who has become part of "The Man"!

Mike Sando: My reporting on the Seahawks reflected the state of the team. When the team was struggling under Dennis Erickson and later under Mike Holmgren, the coverage reflected that. When the team improved, the coverage seemed more "positive" because I was writing about successes.

The Cardinals coverage has become more "positive" because Arizona is winning. My Rams coverage has become more "positive" lately, for similar reasons.

There's nothing more to it than that.

Chuck from Taftville writes: I really like your offensive personnel groupings breakdowns that you do. Any chance that you'd do the same with defensive personnel groupings?
Mike Sando: Time becomes an issue on that unless I could chart defensive personnel in real time, during games. Right now I watch one game per week live, charting personnel in real time, and then I watch the other games on the DVR. At that point I become dependent on camera angles, which are naturally geared toward the viewer watching at home, not the person charting personnel groupings. Charting defense off TV is difficult because the cameras tend to focus on the offense. But I would like to have that as well, yes.

Harold from Columbia, Mo., writes: Vernon Davis - Blogging Tight End - It took me a bit - but good one!
Mike Sando: I'm thrilled someone got the joke. I was very pleased when that little one-liner came to me, but even more pleased that someone appreciated it. The odds are generally against me on that stuff, as my wife's periodic eye-rolls confirm.

Jose from Vancouver, Wash., writes: The NFL vetoed Haslet's deal with the Rams that included the head coaching job should he win 6 games this season. This made me wonder about Jim Mora inheriting the HC job in Seattle after Mike Holmgren retires? Do the Seattle Seahawks have to go through a similar (mock) interview process for minority coaches?
Mike Sando: The Seahawks do not have to go through a similar process. The league allows teams to name their next head coaches as long as the teams put it in writing before the job opens.