At the NFL Scouting Combine this week in Indianapolis, the Seattle Seahawks figure to be very focused on two positions in particular—and they both end with “line.”
Head coach Pete Carroll said it himself after the Seahawks were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs: “It’s really important for us…to make sure that we elevate the play of our guys up front on both sides of the ball—and their depth.”
The offensive line was horrible again in 2010, failing to launch a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth straight year. Just like 2009, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck then had to try too hard in December to make up for it.
The defensive line started strong with Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole and Chris Clemons. They shut down the run for the first six weeks—until the Raiders game came along and wiped them out. The Seahawks lost Bryant for the season and Cole for over a month. With Mebane also injured, the Hawks were run over for the remainder of the season.
Plenty of fans and media types are all gung-ho for the Seahawks to draft Jake Locker as the heir apparent to Matt Hasselbeck. This will tell you why that isn’t a good idea.
Others want them to draft a cornerback, because their secondary got torched for much of last season.
What neither of those factions apparently understands is that football games are won up front by the big men. If you have an offensive line, a defensive line and a quarterback, you’re going to the playoffs. If you have a few more players around them, you could win it all.
This is the year of the lineman in the NFL, with deep pockets of offensive and defensive big men—and that’s just what the Seahawks need.