What if the Seahawks had a pass rusher like Dwight Freeney? Would you consider the Seahawks a contender for the NFC West title in 2010? With all the moves the Seahawks have made this off season, many people would say “yes,” however, they failed to add an elite pass rusher with the ability to come off the edge. Lacking this one key guy could be the reason why the Seahawks don’t win the division in 2010.
Last season the Seahawks ranked 26th in the league in the sack category. This lack of a pass rush left the secondary covering receivers way too long. To make matters worse, the Seahawks’ most effective pass rusher, Patrick Kerney, retired this off season, which only exacerbating their pass rush problem.
However, Seahawk fans should still have hope for winning the division in 2010. Pete Carroll is a defensive genius who I think will come up with ways to get a pass rush going. He is a master of coming up with creative schemes that puts players in positions to favor their strengths and hide their weaknesses.
The two guys who I think Carroll can impact the most are Lawrence Jackson and Aaron Curry. Carroll coached Jackson at USC, and that is where Jackson was the most productive. Since the Seahawks drafted Jackson in the first round, he has not made the kind of impact that a first round pick should. In the two seasons that Jackson has been on the Seahawks, he has a total of 6.5 sacks. Hopefully Carroll can find a way to get Jackson to play at that high level that made the Seahawks want to use a first round pick on him.
Last year’s coaching staff, in my opinion, did not put Aaron Curry in the right positions. When I look at Curry, I see a guy who should have been used to rush the passer. Use Curry in a Lawrence Taylor-type role, where he uses his speed and power to wreak havoc on opposing team’s QBs. I don’t see many offensive tackles in the NFL who would be able to stop Curry for an entire game. Hopefully Curry’s 2nd year can show why the Seahawks used the 4th pick in the draft on him.
For the Seahawks to make up for their lack of a prolific defensive end, both Jackson and Curry must have outstanding years. If either of these guys don’t show up for the entire year, the Seahawks’ chances of going to the playoffs will go down the drain.
To find that one great pass rusher, the Seahawks might have to wait until 2011 when they can either sign a free agent or draft a high impact guy. As a fan, I realize that turning a bad team into a good team does not happen over night, and you can’t fill all the holes in one off season.
Maybe the Seahawks didn’t like any of the guys in the draft this year and that’s why they passed. Maybe they think they can find ways to get the pass rush going with the guys they have right now. No matter what the reason was for not upgrading this spot, it is still the biggest need that would keep them from contending for the division in 2010.