In a mixed-bag type of season such as this one, you’ve got just as many things you like as things you don’t like. In this mini two-part series, today I will look at what I would like to see improved on this team (tomorrow, I’ll look at what I’d like to retain from this team; here’s a hint: the man likes Skittles!).
Just to get it the FUCK out of the way, I’ll state the obvious: The Seahawks NEED To Draft A Quarterback. While I don’t necessarily mind opening the season with Tarvar under center, I HAVE to know that this team is looking for a long-term solution at the most important position on the team. The only real downside to this scenario is: do I REALLY want my quarterback of the future to be learning from someone like Tarvar? Let’s face it, this is about as far from Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre as it gets! Maybe we can look at it this way: whoever is the quarterbacks coach can just sit next to our hotshot rookie and say, “See what he did there? Holding the ball for 9 seconds before getting crushed by three defensive linemen? DON’T DO THAT!”
The bad thing about these last two drafts (2011’s and the upcoming 2012 draft) is that there APPEARS to be a glut of quality quarterbacks coming out, while at the same time there are a buttload of teams looking for quarterbacks. You HATE those odds! First of all, because more than half of the quarterbacks who enter the pros never amount to a hill of beans. Secondly, because odds are the Seahawks will be drafting too low (25th last year, the mid-teens this year) to get one of the likelier sure things. Luck is already out of the question. The other two top throwers will likely be gone too. That leaves us, if we choose to select one in the first round, with probably the 4th or 5th best guy coming out of college. That’s no good! Look at the 2011 draft. Cam Newton turned out to be a stud, Locker looks to be better than we could’ve imagined; but Gabbert looks like ass and Ponder is a HUGE question mark (who, honestly, has been outplayed the last couple of games by Joe Webb, but that’s a topic for another blog). Granted, Andy Dalton has looked pretty solid as the 5th QB taken, but honestly I don’t know if I see him ever being an elite kind of Aaron Rodgers guy.
Anyway, moving on. I didn’t really want this to be a whole quarterback post (considering, as we near the draft, I’ll be spilling words hand over fist about this position).
The second-biggest deficiency, as far as I can tell, is the pass rush. Now, I know, the Seahawks aren’t like most other teams. Our D-Line is padded out with three jumbo tackles, one of whom is playing on the end in Red Bryant. I’ll admit it, I’m a fan. I LOVE the thought of making teams one-dimensional (even IF the league is consistently turning itself into a pass-only type of Arena football creature). But, there are times where a pass rush would be NICE. You know what I’m saying?
Lookit, I’m in love with our secondary. I don’t necessarily think we’ve got the best of the best, but I think we’ve got some serious talent, to the point where the Seahawks – in the next year or two – will have to be considered in the discussion of the league’s best secondaries. We have a couple of corners who, in their first year of NFL ball, have MORE than held their own. Browner and Sherman have the size, the toughness, the ego, and the cojones to do to receivers what our oversized D-Line does to running backs.
That having been said, if we’re playing situational football – as every team does – then on those obvious passing downs, we need to have a couple of ends who can just rear back and tear the head off of the opposing QB. Chris Clemons is great. But, Chris Clemons can’t do it alone! And, let’s face it, he’s getting up there in years. It would be nice to find a diamond in the rough to play opposite Clemons on 3rd downs, who could also be his successor in upcoming seasons as Clemons’ body breaks down and he nears retirement.
So, I’d like to see that. He doesn’t even have to be an end! He could be another outside linebacker! I don’t think a year should go by where the Seahawks DON’T pick up a speedy linebacker in the 4th or 5th round. You can keep them on special teams, you can use them to replace more veteran linebackers who are looking for a big payday, and let’s face it, injuries are a way of life in the NFL, so it’s good to have depth at such an important position as linebacker. Much like the old Pittsburgh Steelers philosophy before they went and let everyone get old these past couple of years.
Another place I’d like the Seahawks to look into is running back. To be honest with you, I thought Justin Forsett brought absolutely NOTHING to the table this season. There are two types of offenses in this league: power rushing teams and pass-first teams. Power rushing teams – like the Seahawks – need big, bruising backs like Beastmode to punish defenses early in the game (so, in the fourth quarter, those same teams can reap the rewards of tired opponents giving up chunks of yards on the ground by the bushel). Pass-first teams – like, for instance, New Orleans – can get away with having a bunch of scat-backs, running occasional draws and catching a ton of screen/swing passes.
But, you know what happens when power rushing teams throw in those scat-backs on third down? It’s like giving the defense a reprieve! “Hey, you mean we don’t have to try to drag down this musclebound behemoth? Instead I get to smash to high hell this little tsetse fly? Bring it on!”
Besides all that, we’ve already got Leon Washington. Leon Washington is better in every facet of the game, so why hold onto Forsett? It makes no sense! He was nice when we had guys like Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett carrying the mail. But, now we’ve got BEASTMODE! It would be better to have a backup running back with a little more bulk, in case – God forbid – for whatever reason we have to replace Beastmode (either because he leaves for another team, or because he gets injured).
Finally, I hate to say it – because I think we’ve focused on this position too much lately as it is – but I think the Seahawks need to look at wide receiver again. Primarily, I think the Seahawks need to clean house and start over. Keep Rice and Baldwin, for sure, but then look to drop every other guy on this roster if they don’t prove they have what it takes to play with the big boys in the NFL. I would lean towards giving Tate one more year, but that’s mostly because I like his flash and his speed. But Obomanu, Mike Williams, Deon Butler, and our 6’5 draft pick last year who spent just about all season on the DL: those guys ALL have to be on notice and/or looking for new jobs. I’m kinda tired of these guys who can’t get separation on defenses – most of whom are NOT the best of the best at covering guys.
I’m sure I’ll have more on this subject as the Draft Day nears, but for now, these are the changes I’d like to see (while the season is still fresh).