I did this last year, albeit in a different format. It’s nothing fancy, no real analysis or anything, but it’s just something I’d like to look at (and later, look back on and reflect).
Last year, it was more a reflection of how we crafted our Super Bowl roster (mostly via draft & undrafted free agents). This year, I thought I’d take a gander at who’s on the team now as it compares to last year’s Super Bowl roster. As with last year’s post, I’m not including guys who are on IR, or who were on the team earlier in the year and were released or traded. I’m specifically looking at the guys on the 53-man roster RIGHT NOW.
I reserve the right to come back and adjust this if the Seahawks make any minor moves between now and February 1st.
Let’s start with the offense:
|Quarterback 1||Russell Wilson||Russell Wilson|
|Quarterback 2||Tarvaris Jackson||Tarvaris Jackson|
|Quarterback 3||B.J. Daniels|
|Running Back 1||Marshawn Lynch||Marshawn Lynch|
|Running Back 2||Robert Turbin||Robert Turbin|
|Running Back 3||Christine Michael *||Christine Michael|
|Fullback 1||Michael Robinson||Will Tukuafu|
|Fullback 2||Derrick Coleman|
|Wide Receiver 1||Golden Tate||Doug Baldwin|
|Wide Receiver 2||Percy Harvin||Jermaine Kearse|
|Wide Receiver 3||Doug Baldwin||Ricardo Lockette|
|Wide Receiver 4||Jermaine Kearse||Bryan Walters|
|Wide Receiver 5||Ricardo Lockette||Chris Matthews|
|Wide Receiver 6||Bryan Walters *||Kevin Norwood|
|Tight End 1||Zach Miller||Luke Willson|
|Tight End 2||Luke Willson||Tony Moeaki|
|Tight End 3||Kellen Davis *||Cooper Helfet|
|Left Tackle||Russell Okung||Russell Okung|
|Left Guard||James Carpenter||James Carpenter|
|Center||Max Unger||Max Unger|
|Right Guard||J.R. Sweezy||J.R. Sweezy|
|Right Tackle||Breno Giacomini||Justin Britt|
|Guard/Tackle||Alvin Bailey||Alvin Bailey|
|Tackle||Michael Bowie *||Garry Gilliam|
|Center||Lemuel Jeanpierre||Lemuel Jeanpierre|
|Offensive Line||Paul McQuistan||Patrick Lewis|
|Offensive Line||Caylin Hauptmann *||Keavon Milton|
* denotes Inactive for Super Bowl
As you can see, from a roster standpoint, we’re carrying the third quarterback for some reason (even though he was inactive for the NFC Championship Game, and will most likely be inactive again for the Super Bowl), whereas last year we carried the extra fullback. Obviously, Robinson is retired and Coleman is injured, so that’s what happened there.
What stands out the most is the drop-off in quality in the wide receiver department. The 2015 Seahawks are essentially chopped off at the knees at this position, with Golden Tate and Percy Harvin playing elsewhere. Baldwin, Kearse, Lockette, and Walters each move up two spots respectively, severely weakening our passing game. Rookie Norwood was active for the NFCCG, but I would expect him to be inactive if Helfet is healthy.
Speaking of tight ends, another big blow is the loss of Miller. I like Willson a lot and think he’s taken a big step forward this year (in spite of some infamous drops), but it’s pretty clear we’re hurting. Moeaki is a fine stand-in, but he’s no Zach Miller. I’ll be looking forward to all three tight ends as being active – again – if Helfet is healthy. I think this can be a real mismatch in our favor against the Patriots.
The offensive line is largely the same as last year. Britt sat out against the Packers with an injury, but I have to figure he’ll be back with the two weeks off to recover. I think Britt is more-or-less a wash compared to Giacomini (MAYBE a slight downgrade, but in the long run will be a big improvement). Our depth is pretty solid as well, as four of our reserves have played significant minutes this year. I’ve still never heard of this Milton guy, so expect him to be inactive.
Now, let’s go with the defense:
|Defensive End 1||Chris Clemons||Michael Bennett|
|Defensive End 2||Red Bryant||Cliff Avril|
|Defensive End 3||Michael Bennett||O’Brien Schofield|
|Defensive End 4||Cliff Avril||Demarcus Dobbs|
|Defensive End 5||O’Brien Schofield||David King|
|Defensive End 6||Benson Mayowa *|
|Defensive Tackle 1||Brandon Mebane||Kevin Williams|
|Defensive Tackle 2||Tony McDaniel||Tony McDaniel|
|Defensive Tackle 3||Clinton McDonald||Landon Cohen|
|Defensive Tackle 4||Jordan Hill *|
|Outside Linebacker||K.J. Wright||K.J. Wright|
|Middle Linebacker||Bobby Wagner||Bobby Wagner|
|Outside Linebacker||Bruce Irvin||Bruce Irvin|
|Linebacker 4||Malcolm Smith||Malcolm Smith|
|Linebacker 5||Mike Morgan||Mike Morgan|
|Linebacker 6||Heath Farwell||Brock Coyle|
|Cornerback 1||Richard Sherman||Richard Sherman|
|Cornerback 2||Byron Maxwell||Byron Maxwell|
|Cornerback 3||Walter Thurmond||Jeremy Lane|
|Cornerback 4||Jeremy Lane||DeShawn Shead|
|Cornerback 5||DeShawn Shead||Tharold Simon|
|Cornerback 6||Marcus Burley|
|Free Safety 1||Earl Thomas||Earl Thomas|
|Free Safety 2||Chris Maragos||Steven Terrell|
|Strong Safety 1||Kam Chancellor||Kam Chancellor|
|Strong Safety 2||Jeron Johnson|
|Long Snapper||Clint Gresham||Clint Gresham|
|Punter||Jon Ryan||Jon Ryan|
|Kicker||Steven Hauschka||Steven Hauschka|
* denotes Inactive for Super Bowl
As you can see, we’re carrying two fewer linemen and two more defensive backs. Injuries have hurt us bigtime in the defensive line department, but depth has been an issue all year with our DBs, as it seems like we’re dealing with nagging injuries on a weekly basis in our secondary.
Along the line, we’re hurting bad. Clemons and Bryant are obviously gone, so Bennett and Avril moved up into their places. From a quality of play standpoint, this is an improvement. But, from a depth standpoint, it’s not pretty. Jordan Hill was a positive contributor this year until he got hurt. Kevin Williams has been a godsend with Mebane going down. McDaniel is as steady as they come. And, Cohen is a widebody who played some key snaps against the Packers in our goalline package. It’s our pass rush that I’m most concerned about, with Schofield essentially replacing Clemons from last year, which is indeed a step down. Bruce Irvin will be key in this regard, as he’s looking a lot better when he rushes the passer.
Our linebackers are largely intact, as our top 5 are all holdovers from last year. Coyle replaces Farwell, and from my naked eye, I haven’t seen a huge downturn in our special teams coverage.
Our secondary is still our strongest unit. The only real change is Simon for Thurmond. Thurmond was more versatile, but Simon is cheaper, under team control for longer, and is better on the outside.
I would argue we’re actually stronger in the secondary this year compared to last year. Linebacking, offensive line, running backs, quarterbacks, and specialists (kicker/punter/long snapper) are all a wash. We’re a bit worse in our tight ends and at fullback. And, we’re A LOT worse along the defensive line and in our wide receiver group. I may come back to this when the season is over, to compare & contrast 2013’s overall roster to 2014’s, but suffice it to say, we’re not as good of a team as we were last year. That was to be expected, so it’s not like I’m telling you anything that’s untrue or shocking. How much worse, I guess, depends on how the Super Bowl turns out.
Either way, as the years go on, we’re REALLY going to marvel at how good that 2013 team was. To run out a squad with that amount of talent and depth is about as awe-inspiring as it gets.
For the Super Bowl, unless injuries are a factor, here’s my prediction for the seven inactives:
- B.J. Daniels – QB
- Christine Michael – RB
- Kevin Norwood – WR
- Keavon Milton – OL
- Patrick Lewis – C
- David King – DE
- Marcus Burley – CB
It was a struggle down there at the bottom. In theory, you’d want to keep King active to give yourself another pass rusher, but really, how many can you have on the field at once? I think Cohen gives you more value, especially if the Patriots make a concerted effort to run the ball with Blount. I thought about keeping Burley active as well – what with Sherman and Thomas playing through injury, you may want more depth in the secondary – but he seems to be the low man on the totem pole right now.
Obviously, this changes as the injury reports start coming out. Guys to watch out for here are obviously Britt and Helfet, as well as Terrell and Johnson in the secondary. But, for now, my official guess at the inactives is what I’ve listed above.