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(No one ever gets that's a Talking Heads reference. Try to find a city / Try to find a city to live in)
Marketing will be happy to know I use the phrase "game-changing" somewhere in this post.
The third edition of On the Fringe with Rickey Foley is on NFL.com. It's a pretty pat story about a distant Old Man and the son that struggles to impress him. Finally, he does. A lot of people out there might be able to relate to this. I do not. So maybe I am a little heartless about the matter.
Foley is 29 and trying to break into the NFL. I think that is the truly interesting story surrounding Foley. In 2008, Cam Wake had 23 sacks in the CFL. In 2009, he had 5.5 for the Dolphins. Using that conversion, which I shouldn't because it's stupid, Foley should have about three sacks this season. Though the process is stupid, I wouldn't be surprised if the output is accurate. Situational pass rusher with a little pop and quickness, three sacks would be a worthy contribution.
- I was given a promotional copy of Win Forever. After reading it for about a half an hour, which is time enough to rip down a significant portion of the book, I realized that reviewing Win Forever would constitute a conflict of interests. I am not sure I would say buying Win Forever or 1100 Things Seahawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Diee is an either/or proposition, but it nevertheless makes Carroll and I something like competitors. So sorry Portfolio. And best of luck. You really didn't want to read my review anyway.
Foley will probably fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL. Seattle is desperate for pass rushers, and it can't be too choosey about who it keeps. If you are curious, the best pass rusher on the entire team is David Hawthorne. If Seattle wants to do something radical but potentially game-changing, see if Hawthorne has any chance to stick at Leo. Foley, Wake and Chris Clemons are all former linebackers. Hawthorne has youth and talent on all of them.
Part of the problem with Seattle's not-3-4 3-4 is that the 3-4 is popular in the NFL right now. Seattle is competing for in-demand talent. When the Seahawks traded Darryl Tapp, they must have thought that sometime between that move and now, they would have acquired a better Leo. Brandon Graham was never linked to Seattle that I know of, but the Eagles traded up to 13 to draft him directly ahead of the Seahawks. In retrospect, maybe Seattle was targeting Graham. Though I think most of us are satisfied with Earl Thomas, a defense can survive a scrub playing safety. Pass rush, and especially pass rush in a Monte Kiffin-derived system, is fundamental. I find myself more and more concerned about this matter each passing day.
Missing out on the draft's best defensive end led Seattle to drafting an excellent safety prospect. I am not nearly as high on Thomas as some, but if he can transfer his ball-hawking ability to the NFL, Seattle has added a starter with Pro Bowl potential. That's good. Not that Seattle needed a starter before it cut Deon Grant, but so be it. Pete Carroll must somehow hope that despite a shot in the dark pass rush, the secondary will contribute coverage sacks. Will it? I am not sanguine. A coverage sack results from a quarterback having no where to throw and eventually suffering the sack because he waits too long. The problem with this is somewhat obvious. The NFL, from Peyton Manning down to JaMarcus Russell, averages a 60.9% completion percentage. Clearly, passing is favored and completing a pass probable. That doesn't bode well for the notion that a team can blanket every receiver. Further, included in that total are throw-aways, and any quarterback worth his salt will throw the ball away long before he suffers a coverage sack. Anecdotally, this seems pretty obvious. A true coverage sack almost never happens. Sacks occur because of pass rush. Beside, if the play really breaks down, just throw at whoever Kelly Jennings is covering. What's the worst that can happen?
Long story short, I think Seattle will allow a lot of passing yards. If the formula works, Seattle will counter that weakness with a strong run defense and a rapacious secondary. The linebackers will neutralize the underneath passing game and the safeties will keep big plays in check. The Seahawks will attempt a bend but don't break defense, and this time next year, have hopefully reloaded at pass rusher.
It is not a bad idea given the schedule. Brian Burke recently calculated that the value of an interception is 60 yards. That is significant to say the least.