What does it take to have the No. 1 defense in the NFL? In my opinion, a defense needs stars and good leaders to build itself around. The rest will take care of itself.
The Seahawks, with the recent signing of Pro-Bowler and franchise player Marcus Trufant, have all the makings of a defense that could lead them to the Super Bowl.
Earlier in the season, they re-signed USC product, Pro-Bowler, and elite linebacker Lofa Tatupu to a deal which would see him in the smoky blue colors of Seattle through the 2015 season for $42 million.
Overpaid? I don't think so.
This past season, he led his team with 109 tackles and was second in interceptions with four. That’s about seven tackles a game.
Now some people might think that seven tackles for a middle linebacker is maybe only just above average, but look at the other starting linebackers on the team. Julian Peterson has been one of the top linebackers in the NFL for the past several years and Leroy Hill is a rising star in the league. This past season, Hill made 81 tackles and assisted in 23 and JP made 74 tackles and had a respectable 10 sacks.
This linebacking core is among the Top 5 in the NFL and is just one of the reasons that this defense will wreak havoc all next season.
OK, so the Seahawks have insane LBs. So what right? They don't have a D-line right? Wrong.
Patrick Kerney has five more years left on his contract and shows no desire to move. We are talking about a guy who had been a Pro-Bowler in Atlanta and had an outstanding ’07 campaign, recording 60 tackles and getting 14 sacks. He also managed to force and recover five fumbles. A star? I think so. A leader? Absolutely.
He has a great supporting cast on the defensive line with Rocky Bernard, Brandon Mebane, and Darryl Tapp. For those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the 'Hawks and are probably thinking "Who the hell are those guys?" Those guys combined for 113 tackles and 13 sacks.
Finally we go to the DBs, the weak link for past Seahawk defenses. No more.
The signing of Trufant for six years and over $50 million is just the start of this great secondary. Trufant was a Pro-Bowl selection and was second in team tackles with 85 and led the team with seven interceptions.
He is complimented by two emerging safeties in Deon Grant and Bryan Russell and on the opposite side of the field by up-and-coming superstar Kelly Jennings.
Once the Seahawks figure out their situation with the running backs, they will be hard to stop. Hasselbeck has a very good TD-to-INT ratio and their O-Line is still great.
Mike Holmgren's offense will be able to work its magic because the defense will have no problems getting them the ball with the freakish power and talent that lives in it.