Seattle Seahawks Miss Lofa Tatupu’s Leadership on Defense

Marci NobleAnalyst IAugust 24, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 14:  Lofa Tatupu #51 of the Seattle Seahawks is introduced during opening ceremonies prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 14, 2008 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seahawks first two exhibition games revealed some truths about the season to come. 

The offense looks good. The re-vamped offensive line has been able to keep pressure off the quarterback (let’s hope Russell Okung’s sprain doesn’t keep him sidelined too long). 

Hasselbeck and Whitehurst have both led some great plays utilizing Deion Branch, Cinderella story-Mike Williams, and Ben Obomanu to finish those drives successfully. And, Leon Washington proved he still has power, speed, and that amazing ability to thread through the tiniest of holes despite last season’s gruesome injury.

The defense, though, is another story. 

In each of the two preseason games, the defense didn’t show up for the opposing team’s opening drive. Against the Titans the first week they were more or less able to bounce back and apply pressure, but Saturday against Green Bay they seemed lost, missed coverage, and let big plays blow by them the entire evening. 

What’s the problem? A lack of leadership.

Rookies and former third-string acquisitions are dominating the highlight reels around the web. And while we can be glad there’s a highlight reel at all with these "noobs" calling the shots, we can look forward to a more solid performance when the regular season starts.

At long last defensive stalwart Lofa Tatupu returned to the Seahawks camp last week. He has been resting a strained hamstring this offseason and fell victim to the Seahawks injury plague last season (torn pectoral). 

Even though he’s not spending a lot of time on the field yet, rookie players look to him for advice.

“They come to me as if I have all the answers. I’m like, ‘I just play with what I see.’ I just read and react, because it doesn’t always happen the way it’s supposed to,” Tatupu said.

Tatupu’s return will bring the defense the direction and instinct it needs to thwart the touchdown waltzes fans were subjected to the last two weekends.

The team is still taking it one day at a time to be sure he will be 100 percent by the time the regular season starts. Tatupu is expected to start alongside David Hawthorne (who played MLB in Tatupu’s absence last week) and last year’s first round draft pick, Aaron Curry (who wasn’t given much of a chance to prove himself during his rookie season).