Over the offseason the Seattle Seahawks have gotten bigger, stronger, faster, younger, and better on a defense that missed a step and fell on its face in 2008.
Additions like Colin Cole, Cory Redding, Aaron Curry, re-signing Leroy Hill, signing Ken Lucas, and acquiring a 2010 first round pick, which could also be used on defense, are the reasons we will be competitive in 2009-2010.
This is a relatively quick breakdown of the Hawks defense for next year.
The D line is the key to their success, which of course, means it’s full of ifs.
If Patrick Kerney can return to 2007 form, if Jackson learned enough in his first year to play to his potential this year, and if new additions Colin Cole and Cory Redding can keep bodies of our league best linebacker trio, then this defense will dominate teams rushing and passing attacks. But if to many of these things go wrong, or one or more goes terribly wrong, this defense will struggle, and the team will have to rely on the offense to win football games, which is not as much of a winning plan
You may know that I wanted to pick USC QB Mark Sanchez with the No. 4 overall pick. That was mainly because I didn't believe Aaron Curry or Jason Smith would be available, and I did mental backflips with the rest of Seahawks fans when the Chiefs picked Tyson Jackson.
With the addition of Curry, the Seahawks linebacker trio got even better, and made the Julian Peterson trade look like a steal. Leroy Hill can assume JP's role of rushing the passer, while Tatupu and Curry will join forces to become a wall to opponents running games. Yep, our backers are awesome.
The addition of Ken Lucas could really turn out to be a really good one. I mean take your pick (no pun intended) to which you would rather throw to, Ken Lucas or Marcus Trufant?
If we can get even an adequate pass rush these guys will go nuts. Last year teams stayed away from Trufant and just went after Wilson/Jennings. Now it’s not so easy. Either way is doomed to fail.
The safety positions aren’t as exciting, and I think we all are in agreement that Brian Russell's time in Seattle is finished if he keeps getting burned on every deep pass. On the other hand, Coach Mora is the former DB coach and there is no way he ignores the DB's as head coach. Look for this area to improve greatly.
If everyone plays to their potential, this defense quite simply can't be beat. If you try to run the ball, you won't get more than two or three yards because that’s when you run into our linebackers. And if we get off a decent pass rush, you can't pass too much before you get picked off. The only real concern I have is our safeties vs. the Cardinals. However like I said before, Coach Mora will definitely work with them.
With this defense, Hasselback can play his game with his new plethora of receivers. He can send it deep to Burleson or Branch, or drop it in the middle to Housh or Carlson. The line is rebuilt and ready to go, which means to running back production will increase. This offense isn't going to out gun many teams, but it will put up enough to win.
And don't forget we have two first rounders next year. One in the top 15, perhaps top 10 or five, and one hopefully 20+. Perhaps 2008 was a blessing in disguise.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)