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Seahawks Roster Analysis: Linebacker

I had every intention of posting yesterday but my plans didn't go as. Such is life away from the blog. I refreshed my car, but the fuel filter still needed changing. This Saturday, my wife and I are leaving for Olympic National Park and will be gone for most of next week. I am scheduling posts, but content will be light. That will be the absolute nadir for content. Afterwards, we should be wrapping up rookie reports and delving into Pete Carroll and Jeremy Bates respective schemes.

Tim Ruskell would make a wonderful linebacker scout. His emphasis on polish and football ability has kept Seattle stocked with quality linebackers since 2005. A linebacker does not have to be exceedingly large. He does not have to be exceedingly fast or athletic. He needs to be aware, skilled and fearless. Ruskell was at his best drafting skilled rather than toolsy players, and skilled rather than toolsy is good template for a successful linebacker. Less than a year after Ruskell's resignation, Seattle finds itself with quality starters but suspect depth.

Weakside Linebacker

Starter: David Hawthorne

Depth: Will Herring, Matt McCoy, Anthony Heygood

It would thrill me if Seattle rotated Hawthorne and Herring. Their skills are complementary. While I hold out hope for that, Seattle will likely start Hawthorne and play Herring on special teams. McCoy played weak side in Philly, and has the weakside skill set: speed, agility, ball skills, sideline-to-sideline range. He's the wildcard. His talent rates with Hawthorne and Herring, but he's bounced around the league looking for a flame retardant bridge. Heygood is a productive player that might find a roster spot somewhere after cuts and injuries thin competition. He's a long shot in Seattle. If I were constructing Seattle's roster, Heygood would be in the mix, but Seattle has spent big on its linebackers and so the simply good are not likely good enough.

Middle Linebacker

Starter: Lofa Tatupu

Depth: David Hawthorne, Joe Pawelek

Tatupu should be in his prime, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Range has never been Tatupu's game, and so declining speed may not be much of a problem. Tatupu's lucky to be mostly free of lower-body injuries, and the injuries he's suffered, numerous as they are, all seem like the fluke rather than the recurring kind. It's entirely possible that Tatupu will return in 2010 the same linebacker he was in 2007. Seattle seems to be counting on it, because middle linebacker is comparatively thin. Hawthorne is excellent first level depth, but moving him inside weakens the weak side. Pawelek is four-year starter that could earn a roster spot, depending on the status of Leroy Hill and how Pawelek plays in the preseason. He's polished.

Strongside Linebacker

Starter: Aaron Curry

Depth: Leroy Hill, Will Herring

If Hill is dropped or suspended, Seattle lacks true depth for Curry. Herring lacks the power to man the strong side, but can run with the tight end. Hill lacks in coverage, but otherwise fits the profile. Seattle popped a lot of holes on its roster. More than it could fill. It's counting on health. I think, at least in the case of Curry, health is likely.