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Snap Reactions: Seahawks youth movement isn’t all it’s been made out to be

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season on Sunday, and coming off an emotional home victory over the Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson, the team’s performance fell flat. On the other side of the field, the Niners came ready to play, and for all intents and purpose mostly dominated a young Seattle team that was overmatched and overpowered. According to San Francisco defensive lineman Charles Omenihu, the Niners did not come into this game flat.

So, who exactly was on the field for the Hawks while the 49ers were dominating? Turning to the snap counts to answer that, here is who played for Seattle on offense.

The numbers show that Marquise Goodwin and Dee Eskridge played, but they did not do much to make an impression worth remembering. In addition, since Noah Fant, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson combined for 98 receiving yards in the first have against Denver, they have combined for 15 receiving yards over the past six quarters.

As for who played how much on defense.

The back seven certainly played a lot, however, that’s may not be what is worth focusing on when it comes to the snap counts on the defensive side of the ball. The Hawks have struggled to stop the opponent in both games outside of the red zone, and one of the arguments for that has been that they are playing a lot of younger guys and giving them experience for the future. Now, it is certainly true that they are playing a lot of youth, with guys like Jordyn Brooks, Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen near the top of the list in playing time.

However, taking the time to look at the top seven players by snap count, there are a lot of players who saw significant playing time against San Francisco who might not be on the team in 2023 because they are set to be free agents after this year. Specifically:

  • S Josh Jones (unrestricted free agent)
  • LB Cody Barton (unrestricted free agent)
  • CB Mike Jackson (restricted free agent)
  • DT Poona Ford (unrestricted free agent)

There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving developmental players time on the field to improve, but it seems like it could be a bit of a waste to give players who may not be around past the current season developmental snaps.

Potentially even more eye opening is that while these soon-to-be free agents are on the field, several members of recent draft classes are stuck on the bench. The 2021 draft class in particular contributed all of seven snaps against the Niners, with one of those being Stone Forsythe as a blocker on the extra point. The three second round picks added in the last two drafts, Dee Eskridge, Boye Mafe and Ken Walker III were on the field for a combined 41 snaps, or about as many snaps as Al Woods (41) and Quinton Jefferson (43) played individually. If this season is indeed about giving developmental snaps to youngsters, when are the youngsters going to start seeing those developmental snaps?

Coming around to special teams, there are no real surprises to be found in those numbers.

There’s no question it’s a sad day when kicker Jason Myers, who carried the eighth highest cap hit on the roster in 2022 sees the field for three snaps in the form of two kickoffs and an extra point.

The Atlanta Falcons come to town in Week 3, and hopefully the Seahawks can put together a more enjoyable performance for fans.