Seattle Seahawks: Pieces In Place, but Not a Complete Team...Not Yet

Lars HansonCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 14:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks watches the action from the sidelines during the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 14, 2008 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

It's week two, and the Seahawks are already losing players to injury. Yes, the Seahawks are 1-1, but today showed why they got lucky against the St. Louis Rams last week.

As of today after the game, the Seahawks are without the following players: LTs Walter Jones and LT Sean Locklear, C Chris Spencer, QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Deion Branch, LBs Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu, and CB Marcus Trufant.

All eight players listed above are starters on the Seahawks, and are all not active or are unable to play.

Not only are the Seahawks getting depleted physically with injuries, but today against the 49ers got depleted mentally and emotionally.

The Seahawks put seven and eight men in the box to stop running back Frank Gore and force quarterback Shaun Hill to throw the ball, which was a great game plan that just got torn up by the lack of tackling on the Seahawks defense, who got ran over for 200+ yards and two touchdowns by Frank Gore.

When you have the right game plan coming into the game and can't execute because of poor tackling, you're not going to be successful even with 11 players in the box.

The Seahawks' defense looked bad, but held the 49ers offense to 23 points. That might seem like a lot, but the way the Seahawks were playing, it's a bright spot in a poorly executed game.

The defense doesn't get all the blame. The Seahawks' offense just looked like they did in the first quarter of last week without the turnovers.

Hasselbeck and the Seahawks' offense could never get in a rhythm, which is the Seahawks bread and butter.

Last week, once the Seahawks got into a rhythm, they scored three straight touchdowns via Matt Hasselbeck.

This week, the Seahawks only had one turn over, but that didn't make a difference because they never got anywhere on offense except for one field goal.

Give credit to Matt Hasselbeck for that quarterback run in to the goal line, but was nailed by linebacker Patrick Willis. Right after the hit you knew something was wrong because his face turned burnt red and right after heading towards the sideline Hasselbeck's knees just completely gave out and had to be supported down to the ground.

The report is Hasselbeck has a "rib" injury and did not return to the game. I know there will be a lot of Seahawks fans saying, "oh, here we go again with Hasselbeck's injuries," but Seahawks fans need to give him a break. Tis is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL.

Seneca Wallace came in to take his place and threw a one-yard touchdown pass to running back Julius Jones. That's all there was for the Seahawks offense.

So what does this mean for the Seahawks after today? Well, it shows the difference from the No. 1 to No. 2 on their roster at many positions. For the Seahawks, once they got down to the third player on the depth chart, they knew they were going to hurt.

That's what happened to the Seahawks today and so far this season. Brandon Frye, who the Seahawks picked up off waivers from Miami, is not Walter Jones or Sean Locklear.

Steve Vallos looked like a third-stringer today with the three botched snaps, and it shows the difference between Vallos and Spencer.

Also, DT Brandon Mebane was inactive for the game today and Red Bryant filled in for him. Bryant is not Mebane, and that showed today as well, but the Seahawks' defense overall was just unable to tackle anyone.

If you want to look at this for the 49ers, take out Frank Gore, three starting offensive linemen, Nate Clements, and Patrick Willis, and then tell me if you think they would be 2-0.

It's the exact same thing the Seahawks have right now. It's not an excuse, because injuries happen in the NFL, but there's no excuse for poor play.

If you look at the Seahawks' roster right now you have to say they are not a complete team (player wise not attitude-wise), but that they do have the pieces in place. They still need those two or three more players to finish it off.

Here are the players the Seahawks have (when healthy): QB Matt Hasselbeck, WRs TJ Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson, TE John Carlson, LT Walter Jones (should retire this off season), RG Max Unger, LG Rob Sims (maybe), DT Brandon Mebane, DE Patrick Kerney, DE Cory Redding, LB Lofa Tatupu, LB Aaron Curry, LB Leroy Hill (maybe), CB Marcus Trufant, SS Deon Grant, and K Olindo Mare

That's 15 starters out of 22 that could be listed as the players in place. Julius Jones is a possibility, but I don't think he is the long-term answer with Jahvid Best in the draft.

The Seahawks will need to address LT, LG (maybe), DT, CB, and FS in the offseason to really complete this team out.

Colin Cole is a great No. 2, but I just can't list him as a starter with confidence because that's what this list is.

So now, Seahawks fans will look at those two first round picks in the 2010 NFL draft and think of what could be done with them to improve this team.

Here are some players that would work at positions of need: S Eric Berry, RB Jahvid Best, DT Ndamukong Suh, DT Gerald McCoy, OT Trent Williams, DT/NT Terrence Cody, S Reshad Jones, S Taylor Mays, and CB Joe Haden.

That list most likely won't change, because no matter what the Seahawks won't drop Hasselbeck unless he retires.

Walter Jones and the offensive line will need some work this offseason, as well as that secondary.

By week seven or eight, if the Seahawks for some reason are way out of it, then Seahawks fans can look toward Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Nebraska, and Georgia to start looking at players who the Seahawks might draft in 2010.

These next four weeks will be key with three winnable at home games and one road game before the bye.