A discussion was raised in another fan post, "How badly do you want a franchise QB?", asking if you would want the Seahawks to trade away one of our (future all pro) safeties to move up and draft a QB. We all rehashed the perceived importance of the QB position in the dynasties over the last 2 decades. Certainly the QB position is a key piece of the cog, certainly QB performance depends on the pieces surrounding him on offense, certainly it is possible (though probably less likely) to win the Big One without an elite QB, or even with a good/elite QB who has a bad performance in the Super Bowl.
But football is a team sport, and special teams and defense also certainly help win championships. So instead of rehashing the whole "What is the value of QB in winning a Superbowl" question, I present to my fellow 12th men and Fieldgullers the following table of Super Bowl winners, losers, and the starting safeties for the last 11 years:
2001 BAL Kim Herring/Rod Woodson --- NYG Sam Garnes/Shaun Williams
2002 NE Lawyer Milloy/Tebucky Jones --- STL Adam Archuletta/Kim Herring
2003 TB Dexter Jackson/John Lynch --- OAK Rod Woodson/Anthony Dorsett
2004 NE R Harrison/Eugene Wilson --- CAR Mike Minter/Deon Grant
2005 NE R Harrison/E Wilson --- PHI Michael Lewis/Brian Dawkins
2006 PIT T Polamalu/Chris Hope --- SEA M. Boulware/Marquand Manuel
2007 IND Bob Sanders/Antoine Bethea --- CHI Chris Harris/Danieal Manning
2008 NYG James Butler/Gibril Wilson --- NE R Harrison/James Sanders
2009 PIT Polamalu/Ryan Clark --- ARI Adrian Wilson/Antrel Rolle
2010 NO Roman Harper/Darren Sharper --- IND Melvin Bullit/Antoine Bethea
2011 GB Charlie Peprah/Nick Collins --- PIT Polamalu/R Clark
I've bolded a few of the names that stand out to me, but I've refrained from providing any statistical ranking as I cannot really conceive of a ranking system be able to accurately rate success at some position whose responsibilities are as amorphous as a safety.
Danny Kelly did a really nice piece on safety play in PCs defensive schemes. Essentially, Carroll sees the safety as the QB of the defense, deciding coverage, looking for weaknesses, compensating for scheme or individual failures on the fly, and being a leader. I personally think our safeties are both playing at a level that deserves consideration for Pro Bowl accolades. But I am also the first to admit that I do not have the requisite knowledge to determine if their performance from play to play warrants All Pro consideration, though as a Seahawks fan, I sure hope they are really that good.
So, I pose the question "What is the value of a franchise safety (or two) in winning a Superbowl?"