I’m not gonna lie to you, I woke up yesterday with plenty of time to catch this 10am contest (the end of Daylight Savings certainly helped with this), but I just had no desire whatsoever to sit here and actually watch it. But, I did dip in and out a little bit.
What did I see when I DID see some of the action? Well, I saw DeMarco Murray running all over our defense. I saw Tarvar make terrible decisions on the way to three interceptions. I saw Tony Romo do enough good things to justify his status as a starting quarterback in the NFL. And I saw our defense completely unable to make any plays whatsoever.
No sacks. Only three QB hits. No picks. One recovered fumble at the goalline after the Cowboys drove down the length of the field. I’m all for a bend-don’t-break defense, but that’s only worthwhile when your offense isn’t worthLESS. Now, I know we’re breaking in a lot of young players (especially in the secondary), but this defense is never going to take the next step into the Elite status if they can’t find a way to get to the quarterback!
We’ve got Chris Clemons with 5.0 sacks in 8 games. The next-closest Seahawk in sacks is 7 guys … tied with 1. The Seahawks as a team have 13 sacks, which puts us tied for 29th with the Indianapolis Colts. The only teams worse are Tampa and Kansas City; not exactly the class of the NFL. Now, I’m not gonna sit here and blame someone like Red Bryant – who I spend all this time raving about for how he’s helping our run defense – but someone HAS GOT to step up! You know, it’s not completely unheard of for defensive tackles to get sacks! The offensive line can’t double-team EVERY wide-body we have in the middle of that line! Somebody needs to take the pressure off of Clemons, so he’s not the ONLY guy getting to the quarterback!
You know, it’s tough. When a team – from an overall talent standpoint – falls as far as the Seahawks have fallen, you’ve got to build through the draft to fix certain positions on the team. The Seahawks have chosen, the last two years, to fix the offensive line and the secondary (to the detriment of the Quarterback position and the defensvie line). I know and fully understand that we HAVE to make a big splash in the draft for a QB, but sooner or later we’re going to have to take a high draft pick and shore up that D-Line with a big, fast, talented freak of nature. We’ve spent too many years trying to play catch-up by signing past-their-prime free agents who inevitably get hurt inside of two seasons and never play football again. At some point, we’ve got to build from within.
The 90s may have been a highly frustrating time to be a Seahawks fan (some of the most frustrating seasons ever), but one thing those teams could do was get after the quarterback. Michael Sinclair, Cortez Kennedy, Michael McCrary, Phillip Daniels, Sam Adams … those were high-quality to All-Pro type guys! An active and tenacious defensive line can single-handedly keep you in games. They make quarterbacks rush their throws, they sack the quarterback & stuff the run, they put teams in 3rd & Long situations and they generate fumbles. Obviously, all of that doesn’t mean anything if you’ve got the Seahawks’ offense playing they way they played yesterday.
BUT. This is a defense I think we can all agree is starting to look like it’s going places. We’ve got two huge playmakers at our safety position; we’ve got a couple more tall, lanky cornerbacks who are quickly making us forget the names Kelly Jennings & Josh Wilson; we’ve got hard-hitting, low-draft choice linebackers out there making plays; and we’ve got Red Bryant being a total game-changer at the defensive end spot (even though he doesn’t get sacks). We’re ALMOST there. We just need a guy now who can help Clemons (and eventually replace Clemons) as a pass-rushing monster.
Defensive line is a need and it has been a need for some time now. Mike Holmgren spent his entire tenure neglecting the position. We can’t continue with this trend under Pete Carroll. Sunday’s game is one of the MANY reasons why.