Defensive End Raheem Brock has signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks. This move comes as a bit of a surprise to me -- Brock had visited the Patriots this week and it looked like the Seahawks didn't have much interest in him after signing DE Jimmy Wilkerson to a one-year deal on Tuesday. The signing was first reported by Jason La Canfora and confirmed by his agent. The team confirmed the signing shortly thereafter.
Brock busted on to the scene later last season with the Seahawks and finished the year second on the team with nine sacks and also had 19 pressures, per Football Outsiders charting. He was most effective later in the season when the Hawks semi-abandoned their hybrid unbalanced four-man front that had so much success early with Red Bryant manning the strong side DE. They dabbled with replacements Kentwan Balmer and Junior Siavii, but when Siavii went on the I.R. with a neck injury, the Hawks started running Brock at the LDE spot. In the final five games, Brock had six of his nine total sacks. Per a great piece Thomas put together on Seahawks defensive ends and blitz sacks, only one of Brock's nine sacks came from blitzing.
Brock is a veteran guy that played effectively in the Seahawks system last season so I don't think it's a bad move. He can play the strongside DE spot in passing situations and proved last season that he can get to the quarterback. He'll provide depth at LEO, theoretically, and I can assume he'll be cheap, though the money figures haven't been released as of yet. He joins a rather large group of defensive ends, and will face competition from Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilkerson, Dexter Davis, Lazarius Levingston, A.J. Schable, and even undrafted free agents Pierre Allen and Jarett Crittenton.
The signing strengthens my suspicion that the Hawks will be running more traditional looking fronts in 2011 in certain situations, much like they did near the end of the year. I can see a scenario where they run with the hybrid unbalanced front on running downs and then switch to the lighter pass rushing defensive ends like Brock in passing situations. We'll have to see, but regardless it looks like the Hawks really value what Brock brings to the table.
I posted a piece breaking down a sack play that Raheem Brock was involved in, and it shows his quickness getting off the line and getting to the passer. Check it out here. Also, here is a video I actually posted this morning that shows Brock in action against the Saints.