There’s not exactly a ton of leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Our starting secondary all have 2 years or less of experience in the NFL. Yeah, we have Trufant still, but he’s relegated to a Nickel role. Along the defensive line, we have Red Bryant, but he’s more of a quiet leader. Chris Clemons has been in Seattle for a couple of seasons (and has made a pretty nice impact for this team), but it looks like he’s being a little bitch during these voluntary OTAs. Here’s a word to the wise: you’re not going to get a big contract extension with this management group by holding out and pouting. They WILL replace your ass. So, you better get in here and start proving to this team you’re worth keeping around beyond this season!
Anyway, most defensive leadership comes from your linebackers. Specifically your middle linebacker, but this year our middle linebacker is most likely going to be a rookie. And our strong side linebacker (K.J. Wright) is going into just his second season.
So, really, the only veteran presence we have starting for our defense in 2012 will be Leroy Hill. I’d say that’s pretty damn fortuitous, wouldn’t you?
This is a defense on the cusp of something transcendent. I don’t know how Carroll and Schneider did it, but they’ve turned this unit around in two short years! That having been said, you still need to have veteran leadership SOMEWHERE. Guys who know not only what they need to be doing, but what everyone else needs to be doing. Guys who can calm their teammates down when times get tough. Guys to make the big plays when our backs are against the wall.
Leroy Hill might not have a ton of seasons left in the NFL, or with this team for that matter, but make no mistake, he’s still a big-play, impact player. And he could be all the difference between this defense being merely good and this defense being in the Top 5 in all of football.