Mirer agrees: "It won't affect us or Dennis's preparations with the 1995 Seattle Seahawks. I mean, I can guarantee you, Dennis isn't the only guy around here who has climbed into a car after having a few beers. And if there hadn't been a DWI arrest here, there wouldn't have been any Miami story—I really believe that. That was just people who are angry [at Erickson]."
What no one can take away from Erickson is that he is a marvelous coach. With the underrated Warren, who finished 1994 with 1,545 yards rushing and 1,868 total yards, both AFC bests; No. 1 draft pick Joey Galloway, a receiver who should take some of the load off Blades; and Kennedy, a four-time Pro Bowl veteran, Erickson has the nucleus of a contender.
Much depends, though, on whether Erickson can get the most out of Mirer. As the second quarterback taken in the 1993 draft, Mirer may have the misfortune to be forever compared to the first one taken, Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots. While Bledsoe blossomed under coach Bill Parcells, Mirer was stuck in a system that failed to take advantage of his athleticism. A scrambler with only modest arm strength, Mirer finished the '94 season tied for the best interception ratio in the league, but with the second-fewest yards per completion, an embarrassing 5.65. No other full-time starter in the AFC threw for fewer touchdowns than Mirer's 11. Erickson intends to design an offense that will allow Mirer to improvise and that will place less of a premium on the long pass.
If Erickson does succeed in taking the Seahawks to the playoffs for the first time since 1988, Seattle fans may have little time left to enjoy their team's rebirth. Owner Ken Behring is making noise about moving the team, perhaps to a proposed new stadium in Los Angeles, if his demands for $150 million in Kingdome renovations and a kinder stadium lease aren't met.
In the meantime, the Seahawks are left to wonder whether trouble will continue to find them—wherever they are.