The Seahawks were decimated by injuries to key positions last season on both sides of the football.
This season the Seahawks are facing the exact same dilemma having lost LT Walter Jones, QB Matt Hasselbeck, LB Leroy Hill, LB Lofa Tatupu (now healthy), C Chris Spencer (now healthy), WR Deion Branch (now healthy), CB Marcus Trufant, and LG Rob Sims.
All eight players are key starters for the Seahawks and all have either missed time or still are missing time.
The Seahawks pumped a lot of money into their "upgraded" defense and so far it hasn’t gone well since their shutout in Week One over St Louis.
No doubt the injuries have played a factor, but there have also been a lot of other problems for the Seahawks.
Patrick Kerney is not playing up to his contract's worth. There is a lot of confusion on the Seahawks defense with players not knowing where to go. They are not brining pressure on the defensive line or the entire defense. There is horrible play calling on offense (Greg Knapp) and, most notably, penalties that kill momentum on both offense and defense.
If the Seahawks go 1-5 heading into the bye, you can sure bet there will be a lot of heat coming out of the Seahawks' locker room.
If that were to happen and the Seahawks go 1-5 or even 2-4, would it be in the Seahawks' best interest to move into a short rebuilding process built around some of the players they already have?
It wouldn’t be like the Kansas City Chiefs' rebuild or the soon-to-be Cleveland Browns' rebuild, but more like a Miami Dolphins rebuild in which they brought in the right coaches and the right players that they needed, which is what the Seahawks would do.
Bring in a fresh start at quarterback and q few other positions on the team and build up with the players they already have like Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, Marcus Trufant, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, John Carlson etc.
The Seahawks have two first-round picks in the 2010 NFL draft and could also make a few trades, either during the season or in the offseason, of the players that need to go in order to make this team better.
Now the most important part in a possible rebuild for the Seattle Seahawks would be to find an identity for this team because, right now, they have no identity. They are not a strong offensive team and they are still not a strong defensive team.
The Seahawks would seem to move to a defensive-minded team like the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and others, but still have the offense to be able to put points up and win the game while the defense only allows 10-20 points.
The Seahawks have a solid core of players on the defense to build around. Those players are Tatupu, Curry, Brandon Mebane, Trufant, and a few other players who can step up.
However, the Seahawks do need to add a top defensive end opposite Lawrence Jackson. They need another cornerback or they need to re-sign Ken Lucas. They also need a top starting free safety to go along side Deon Grant, as well as more depth on the entire defense.
Now, there are a few players on the Seahawks defense that need to be either cut, traded, or done something with. Those players would be Patrick Kerney, Cory Redding, Leroy Hill (David Hawthorne would replace him), and a few backups.
For the offensive side of the ball, the Seahawks need a new, young starting quarterback to replace Matt Hasselbeck who will probably retire and Seneca Wallace who, while good, doesn’t seem to be the best option moving forward. The Seahawks also need to add a top feature running back and a new left tackle to replace Walter Jones.
The Seahawks are fine a wide receiver and tight end but still need to have the protection for the quarterback and running back so the offensive line will be a main focus for the Seahawks in this possible rebuild if things keep going the way they are.
So to sum it up for the Seahawks, if things keep going the way they are and they go 1-5 or 2-4 by the bye week and finish up another 4-12 or 3-13 season, the Seahawks will be looking to have a quick rebuilding process and bring in the players need and remove the players that aren’t cutting it.
Let's say the Seahawks do finish the season with a 3-13 record and head into the offseason with a bunch of questions that need to be answered. They most likely will be facing a few retirements as well.
Here is what I would want the Seahawks to do in a quick rebuild.
1) Release TE John Owens, C Chris Spencer (already a FA), C Steve Vallos, RT Ray Willis, DT Red Bryant, and CB Travis Fisher.
2) Make available/trade DE Patrick Kerney, LB Leroy Hill, RB Julius Jones, and QB Seneca Wallace (see what you can get).
3) Find a replacement for QB Matt Hasselbeck and LT Walter Jones.
4) Target possible free agents RB Leon Washington, K Neil Rackers, LT Marcus McNeil, DE Richard Seymour, and S Antoine Bethea.
5) Target S Eric Berry (Seahawks pick), QB Colt McCoy (Denver’s' pick), C Kris O'Dowd, and S Myron Rolle in the NFL Draft.
So let's take this preview and say the Seahawks pick up RB Leon Washington, K Neil Rackers, DE Richard Seymour, and S Antonie Bethea in free agency. In the Draft they pick up OT Trent Williams and QB Colt McCoy in the first round. Not too bad.
Most likely the Seahawks will keep all of their coaching staff for a quick rebuild but change some of the philosophy. The Seahawks would most likely go to a balanced offense and a 3-4 attacking defense.
A lot will change during the season and who knows what will happen come January. But if by Week Seven at the Seahawks' bye week they are 1-5 or 2-4, you can bet a lot of people will be calling for change.
NOTE: This is not set in stone and I will be writing the same idea again in Week Seven and again after the season and by then the picture will be clearer on this idea.