2009 Season Retrospective: Aaron Curry

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Aaron Curry

Highlights

Rams at Seahawks September 13

Aaron Curry made his first head-turning play of his pro career, cutting down behind the line from off left tackle and meeting Steve Jackson in the backfield. The force of the tackle lifted Jackson into the air, before Curry slammed him to the ground.

Seahawks at 49ers September 20

Center Eric Heitmann had no problem single-blocking Cole out of the action on the next play, but a gaping hole and lead blocker was busted by pure talent. Curry hit right tackle Adam Snyder pulling through the hole and knocked him back and through Glenn Coffee for a loss of two. Coffee staggered sideways and Kerney finished the tackle.

Bears at Seahawks September 27

First Curry shoots into the backfield and tackles Matt Forte for a loss of two and then on the subsequent down, Gus Bradley works a blitz that gets Curry outside and around left end. He forces an uncalled hold, and strips Jay Cutler from behind - recovered by Seattle.

Seahawks at Colts October 4

The next play, Cory Redding wrapped around Darryl Tapp's blocker-arresting first step and pressured Manning into targeting outlet receiver Joseph Addai. The pressure placed the pass low, and as Addai scooped it from the turf, Aaron Curry lowered a shoulder and flashed prowess as a zone defender. It was shades of Leroy Hill blasting Ryan Grant into a fumble.

Seahawks at Cowboys November 11

The Seahawks followed with consecutive blitzes. They overloaded the offensive left. Cory Redding dropped into cover on the offensive right. The blitz was contained but the pressure nevertheless forced an inaccurate pass from Romo. Seattle challenged the ‘A' gaps on the next play. Hawthorne and Aaron Curry aligned between the defensive tackles of a wide-set four man rush. Curry blitzed and broke through with power. Hawthorne dropped left, Darryl Tapp dropped into the left flat and Jordan Babineaux struck from the right. Romo misfired.

Punt.

Lowlights

Seahawks at 49ers September 20

San Francisco ran a misdirection pitch to Frank Gore, and Billick didn't mention how the play targeted Seattle's inexperienced backup linebackers. San Francisco ran an almost identical play one play later, but Seattle had adjusted. Aaron Curry was on the weak side, ready to tackle Gore behind the line, but he overpursued and Gore turned the corner. On the replay, Billick said "Everybody commits to it, has eyes on the fullback and that got Frank Gore around the edge" as if Curry didn't exist. Curry wasn't mentioned at all. Instead we got a shot of Josh Morgan holding Josh Wilson by his jersey and praise from Billick for his blocking. As if the lines were being fed to him and there was no chance to adjust to what was actually happening on the field. The NFL doesn't like it when commentators point out missed penalties, but can we at least not insult the viewers by calling a clear hold a good block?

. . .

That brought up a third and long play that Seattle should have had no trouble defending. Seattle went nickel and keyed on Vernon Davis. Davis was double covered, Curry on the defensive right and Wilson on the left, but neither Josh Wilson nor Aaron Curry actually covered Davis. Both were transfixed by Hill. Davis cut right and away from the two and it took Seattle's entire secondary and Redding to tackle Davis after 15.

Bears at Seahawks September 27

Aaron Curry broke contain on one play and Will Herring broke contain on another. Herring cleaned up his own mistake and Curry's was undone by an iffy crack back block penalty.

Seahawks at Colts October 4

1. 1-10-IND 20 (11:47) 18-P.Manning pass short left to 29-J.Addai to IND 37 for 17 yards (51-L.Tatupu, 27-J.Babineaux).

Kerney's pressure is slow developing because of confusion instead of inability. The Colts line swelled and flexed, consuming the Seahawks other three linemen and not presenting Kerney an avenue of attack until the play had developed. That's when Kerney cut in and pressured Manning and that's when Aaron Curry did something stupid. He dropped cover on Joseph Addai and rushed Manning. Manning lobbed it to Addai and Addai ran for 17.

Seahawks at Cowboys November 11

That got Dallas out of jail. On the next play, Dallas pulled out its left side and directed fullback Deon Anderson at right end Darryl Tapp. Tapp has to win this, but doesn't and that allows Felix Jones a clean release through the hole -- Flozell Adams and Kyle Kosier blocking into the second level. Adams destroyed Aaron Curry and Jones picked his way towards the third level. Jordan Babineaux hit him before the marker but Jones twisted for the first. It could have been worse. It should have been worse.

Seahawks at Texans December 15

Aaron Curry was back in action before the Seahawks defense could even take the field. He was wracking up a fifteen-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for an unjustifiably late hit. Jacoby Jones was tackled by two Seahawks defenders, his elbow clearly down, seconds before Curry gave him the ol' Brian Russell. It didn't register as dirty to me, but frighteningly unaware.

Outlook: Seattle's 2009 season was a mess and Curry suffered some notable failures.

It wasn't all bad.

Aaron has a lot of growth potential, which is a polite way of saying, Aaron Curry is not yet very good at playing football. He misreads plays and takes bad angles. His awareness as a zone defender leaves something to be desired. Both limitations stem from an eager aggression that impels him towards "action." He's all reaction and no anticipation. Pursuit becomes over pursuit becomes blown assignments and easy yards.

Which is what you expect from a rookie, even a Ruskell rookie, even a rookie paid a superstar's salary. It's the latter factors that made Curry's season seem so disappointing. Ruskell favors polish and football ability and Curry was surprisingly rough. Selected fourth overall and signed to a six-year, $60 million contract, fans tend to be impatient. Curry marauded through 2009 like a sticky-fingered kid too eager to know not to touch anything. So that, too often, it's what Curry did rather than didn't do that was most damaging: Blown gaps, bad penalties, blown coverage and bad angles.

He looked good when his directive was simple. Blitzing, he did that pretty well. Though he lacks some fluidity as a pass rusher, his acceleration and footwork allowed him to disrupt and land some hits. Man cover, Curry accomplished that pretty well too. He has the speed, size and coordination to shadow the tight end and break on the ball.

Curry should improve in his second season. He was a slow starter at Wake Forest and maybe we all expected too much too soon. It's too early to project too far ahead. He isn't any less talented, despite his early flailing and failings. He isn't any less likely to fulfill that talent. However, irrespective of his potential, the Seahawks need Curry to be a better player. Now.

XFINITY from Comcast is a proud supporter of Field Gulls. You’ll get your Seahawks games as a part of over 120 NFL games XFINITY provides in HD, as well as On Demand game recaps from every NFL game every week, faster Internet speeds, and stunning HD. With XFINITY and NFL RedZone, you get every touchdown from every game every Sunday afternoon! Call 1-800-XFINITY or visit http://www.xfinity.com.

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