We don't know much about how to objectively evaluate football talent, but we do know that throughout sports, most players reach an athletic peak in their twenties, and players seem to hit a sweet spot between ability and athleticism sometime in their mid- to late-twenties. If you look at the Saints, for instance, you'll see most of their players fit within this theoretical prime: Drew Brees, 30, Jeremy Shockey, 29, Will Smith, 28, Jonathan Vilma, 27, Jabari Greer, 27, Roman Harper, 27, Devery Henderson 27, Marques Colston 26, Mike Bell, 26, Anthony Hargrove, 26, Pierre Thomas, 25, Robert Meachem, 25, and Reggie Bush, 24.
Seattle's youth lies in its defense, though it has some youth and talent in its offensive line and in the skill positions. Namely, Justin Forsett and John Carlson. To capture the primes of Darryl Tapp, Brandon Mebane, Josh Wilson, Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, Lawrence Jackson, David Hawthorne, Rob Sims, Chris Spencer, Max Unger, Carlson and Forsett, it needs to take major strides on offense and soon.
I know this is going to blow some people's minds, but the offense is a quarterback, left tackle, complementary running back and wide receiver away from being good -- potentially very good. The quarterback will almost certainly require an early first round pick, unless a spare Kurt Warner is lying around, and so will the wide receiver, unless Herr McDaniels is committed to remaking the Broncos is his own ghastly image and willing to trade Brandon Marshall for spare parts and draft picks. The left tackle will need to go somewhat early, likely the latter half of the first round or early in the second, unless Alex Gibbs works his magic, and, well, Alex Gibbs has been known to work his magic. The complementary running back should be easy to find. Perhaps Pete Carroll could phone up Chauncey Washington or wager a late round pick on Stafon Johnson. Or both.
Seattle needs some other stuff too, bits and piece and completing players on defense, and even if this plan was followed and executed to a "T", it wouldn't ensure success, but the future doesn't have to be spent on that awful thing, that self defeat we euphemize as rebuilding. Pity the fan that buys that crock of shit. The future can be spent on winning and taking our shot at glory, but it requires Carroll and company to trust in the team's youth and draft somewhat for need, and not follow the suddenly vogue strategy of drafting "best available talent", as if that's even knowable.
The other option is that Seattle could forfeit contending anytime in the near future and just add talent where it can. That's sort of the rebuilding strategy, and it comes with the caveat that a team that attempts to rebuild often does nothing of the such. It loses established players with a future in an attempt to remake a roster. It's a word the vision-less use for not having a plan. But that requires believing that the young talent Seattle has is capable of being great. And that's a much more controversial assertion.
So I open it up to you, the Field Gulls readership. What should be Seattle's short term plans?