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What Storylines Remain for the 3-11 Seattle Seahawks

I plan an extensive post-mortem spread over many weeks following the season. Losing makes for great conversation. I'm pushing the extended look at Sean Locklear, left tackle, until the offseason because I just don't have the time to do it as well as I'd like. It's a hugely important story and, sadly, one of the last compelling stories left.

Seattle's offense is in tatters. The state of the offensive line makes meaningful evaluation of Maurice Morris, Julius Jones and the pigeonholed TJ Duckett all but impossible. Seneca will once again start, but no matter his numbers, I've seen little evidence this Seneca is that much different than the Seneca of previous seasons. After six seasons in the same offense, he's made some rudimentary strides. He's still only completing 56.9% of his passes. Much of Wallace's perceived value is receiver run after catch (including ~200 yards from four plays by Koren Robinson, Leonard Weaver (twice) and Deion Branch) and an unsustainably low interception rate. Quarterbacks who complete only 56.9% of their pass attempts don't maintain .6% interception rates. If anything, Wallace's success is indication Seattle's passing offense isn't as bad as it looked under Matt Hasselbeck.

The defense is in need of a massive schematic overhaul. There's a ton of talent on this unit, but someone needs to spend the greater part of the offseason studying it, scrutinizing it and devising a defense that fits that talent, because the person who taught Kelly Jennings to attempt picks (I'm looking at you Jim Mora) has played against his team's strengths virtually all season. Which defensive roster would you rather, Seattle or Tampa Bay? And yet...

But there's got to be something left. I mean, sure, virtually nothing about this team will resemble next season's team. Seattle's starting Kyle Williams at left tackle for crying out loud. And the chance Seattle is blown out on Sunday looms large. But there's got to be something left to care about:

Floyd Womack is a free agent in 2009 and not likely to return to Seattle. The injury plagued and effort poor Womack is having his best season. That doesn't mean much. He's had some good moments and more than a few failures. How much is he paid, who ends up with him and how badly will they regret it? To answer my own questions: Not a ton, don't know and only as much as they depend on him.

Do any of the kids see action? Is it so much to ask Justin Forsett see a few snaps? Courtney Taylor a few plays designed his way? Or Someone other than Brian Russell playing deep? I'd settle for Jordan Babineaux. How about this: Why not give Herring or Heater a shot at DD Lewis's job? Lewis has been limited in practice. The team is facing a hole at linebacker with Leroy Hill's potential departure, and between Heater and Herring you have a hard hitter, with good range, and a head for angles of pursuit and someone who might have a clue in coverage. Lewis has played well, but youth and the future must be served.

Speaking of Babs, he's likely out at least this week. That means Kevin Hobbs will get some looks. My not so fearless prediction: we won't notice him.

Brandon Mebane lines up against Alan Faneca and Nick Mangold this weekend. The Jets spent 40 kajillion dollars and a first round pick assembling the two. This might be Mebane's first chance to introduce himself to football America. Hello, I'm Brandon Mebane, the best young defensive tackle in the NFL.

Does Bobby Engram prove himself worthy of being re-signed? His free agent price has surely plummeted, but, conveniently enough, I've seen little evidence his actual abilities have changed. It was reasonable to predict Engram might get injured. It was not reasonable to think Engram might break his right shoulder. Seattle should do its best to reduce its team needs. That could mean re-signing Engram.

Does Baraka Atkins build on his gains? He played well against New England, and has shown flashes, but one game is one game and Atkins needs at least another string of impressive plays before Seattle should count on him.

Who catches on first, Josh Wilson or the NFL? Wilson has some skills to build on, but he's flashing some weaknesses and eventually those weaknesses will be targeted without mercy. Wilson has started 10 games in 26 total games played. He's a ballhawk in both the good and bad sense. He forces fumbles and jumps routes, but also slips tackles and drops coverage. Players like Wilson develop into exciting, sometimes game changing players, or are run right out of the league. Don't forget, it wasn't long ago we were ascribing Michael Boulware many of the same qualities.