To see the full list of the 30 most important Seahawks in 2013, click here.
Last year at this time, I had Red Bryant ranked 6th on this list. Knowing how all-important he is to our run defense, and knowing how important our run defense is to our overall defense, Red Bryant struck me as a catalyst and the second-most important defender on the Seahawks.
Then, he went out and had himself a sub-par season – thanks to a bevy of nagging injuries that let him play every week, but prevented him from playing all that well – and yet the sky didn’t fall. With Red Bryant being less than 100%, this team became the best scoring defense in the NFL, the fourth-best defense in total yards given up, and still in the top 10 in rushing yards given up. So, I guess Red Bryant isn’t as important as I once thought.
Or, he’s so good, that a Red Bryant at 70% is still enough to hold the whole thing together.
We won’t know unless we actually lose him for an extended stretch. Truth be told, given our lack of depth on the line when it comes to the big fellas who can play that 5-technique, Red Bryant might be more important than ever. Then again, given the talent of the players in our linebacking and secondary units, who the hell knows if it would matter all that much?
I do think a healthy Red Bryant can be game-changer. He’s never going to be a sack master or anything, but his ability to clog up a running lane and force running backs inside where they’re met for little-to-no gain by our linebackers is pretty tremendous.
This defense is now known for its Legion of Boom. You’re not going to throw on this team, or at least not well. This defense is going to force you to earn every inch through the air, and even if you complete a pass, you have to worry about us stripping you. So, to counter that, you have to anticipate offenses trying to run on us to mitigate that threat and hopefully find SOME way to move the ball against us. Therefore, don’t be surprised if opposing teams try to run the ball more than they normally would to try to get an edge on us. THEREFORE, Red Bryant’s role continues to be massive.
At least one thing we never have to worry about Red: he’s always going to give it his all. As long as he’s able to stand, he’ll go out there and kill himself to get the job done. Best quality a football player can have.