If the whole “Who’s Our Quarterback” issue wasn’t just beating us all over the head like a sadistic Whack-A-Mole gamer, a lot of people would peg Defensive Line as our number 1 issue of need.
I’m not quite in that boat, as I tend to be encouraged by our run-stopping ability when we have Red Bryant in there. Plus, you know, Chris Clemons. PLUS, it’s really fucking hard to develop quality pass rushers for some reason. Either they’re studs right out of college, or it takes them 5 years before they finally figure out all the tricks of the trade.
See: Raheem Brock. Actually, I know next-to-nothing about Raheem Brock; for all I know he’s been mowing down QBs all his life. BUT, since I know next-to-nothing about him, that probably means he hasn’t done a whole lot with his life. I read somewhere earlier this off-season that Brock had 9 sacks for us last year. And that he and Clemons were one of the most dynamic duos at getting to the QB (they combined for 20 sacks). I’m pretty sure Brock is a free agent, but even still, that seems to be Problem Solved for us. Just give those two guys another year or two to wreak some motherfucking havoc together and we should be pretty good. In the short term anyway.
Then, I checked out Brock’s stats. He REALLY came on towards the end of last year. He had a sack in each playoff game (which is good). Though, exactly half of his 9 regular season sacks were against the Rams and the Panthers. That’s a little deceiving …
I suppose one of the main reasons why the Seahawks should draft a Defensive End is because this year’s draft is so laden with talent at the position (from what I’ve heard from those in the know). Far be it for me to do all your work for you; you can research those names your damn self. I guess if the Seahawks see a guy who they feel is a sure thing, it’d be hard to pass that up. Let’s face it, our jumbo defensive line package is great against the rush, but we’re going to run into some third downs here and there where we need guys to rear back and kill the quarterback.
Bottom line: it’s more effective to improve your pass rush than it is to improve your secondary coverage. I mean, Revis is great and all, but he’s pretty much one of a kind. Most corners are just average, run-of-the-mill football players with bad hands and that’s why they don’t play receiver. HOWEVER, if you’re able to really ramp up the pass rush, get that quarterback on his heels and throwing before he wants to, you can make even Kelly Jennings into something of a dominant force.
And, even if we DO re-sign Brock, there’s still a little matter of depth. Take a wild fucking guess at who had the most sacks after Clemons and Brock. Was it the aforementioned Red Bryant? Heavens no, he had but 1! Was it Lofa or Mebane? Sorry, they also had 1 apiece. Was it our 4th overall pick in 2009, Aaron Curry? You’re getting warmer, but I’m sorry, he only topped out at 3.5.
Actually, it was Lawyer Milloy, who I believe is the oldest player on our team (and might be older than a good chunk of our coaching staff). He had 4 on those surprisingly effective safety blitzes we worked into our game plans early in the season.
So, yeah, depth is probably an issue we should deal with. You know how I feel about what we should do with our First Round draft pick, but if there aren’t any quality O-linemen around, and there IS a quality D-lineman … I’d be hard-pressed to be outraged.