I know, I know. I am a party pooper. Everyone and their pets are picking the Seahawks to be in the Super Bowl. Harvin! Bennett! Avril! Maybe Woodson! Maybe Winfield! Fact of the matter is this is uncharted territory for the Seahawks. I remember back when I was a teenager and looking at Sports Illustrated's 1997 spring training cover, "Mariners are going to win the World Series". Griffey! Arod! Big Unit! Moyer! Buhner! Edgar! Fassero! Who was going to beat us???As it turns out that fateful year in 1997, Mariners was a pretty decent team. Playoff team even, winning 90 plus games. But ultimately, not as good as everyone thought they were in the beginning of the year. Why? They lacked a dominant closer and bullpen necessary to win close games. The 2013 Seahawks right now is in a similar state. Pound for pound we probably have the most amount of talent in the NFL, especially in the skill positions (QB, WR, RB, DE, CB, FS, SS... etc) But... do we have enough beef up front?
It is my believe right now we are a Russell Okung injury away from the whole thing crashing down. After Okung and Breno, our backups right now are Mike Person and Paul Mcquistan. Do you really trust those two to step up their games if one or both of our starters go down? Okung has not proved he is an iron man before 2012. The injury bug could creep back up this year. With the way we spent in free agency on skill positions, right now we can only afford veterans on minimum salaries or rookies to build more depth. Who knows if Sweezy/Moffit/Carpenter could raise their level of play this year? Jury is still out on all three.
You can see Pete and John are somewhat changing their teams' pound the ball and stop the run philosophy. They are looking for more explosive playmakers on offense, which should translate to bigger leads. Less close games means they can do more exotic stuff on defense to blitz and attack the quarterback because less of a concern about stopping the run when you are up 14-0 after 1st quarter. But without a talented and cohesive offensive line, it will be a challenge for us to score as many points as this model requires.
And if that is the case, we would have to rely on stopping the run more. So, who have we added this year to a very poor run defense last year? No one yet. You might say... poor run defense? Hawks defense was no.1 in yardage most of year! But check out these opponents'rush per attempt starting with the Patriots game that resulted in a win or loss less than 10 points:
Vikings 9.0 yards per attempt
The Lions and Patroits had two of the most anemic running attacks last year. (common, danny woodhead?) All the other numbers except maybe the Chicago game is very concerning. If our offense doesn't score as much as we expect, it will put tremendous pressure on a front seven that are currently not equipped to stop the run besides Red Bryant.
Which is why I believe the Hawks will do everything they can from now till minicamp to address the two lines. I'm thinking at least 2 OL from the draft, 1 FA, plus 1 run stuffing DT. What about you?