After main the NFL in sacks over the closing 10 weeks of final season, the Seattle Seahawks:
Factor in robust security Jamal Adams (who set the NFL’s sack document for a defensive again with 9.5) in addition to different returning gamers, and the Seahawks are as deep off the edge as they have been since their 2013 Super Bowl workforce.
No one, nonetheless, will confuse their present group of cornerbacks for the Legion of Boom.
After taking stock of their offense final week, this is a place-by-place take a look at the Seahawks’ defense, with a verdict on whether or not every is best, worse or the similar as final season.
Better, worse or the similar: Better
At least on the edge. They downgraded at considered one of their beginning defensive deal with spots after releasing Reed under bizarre circumstances. Woods, in line to switch him on early downs, is 34 years previous, opted out of final season and is solely a run-stuffer.
That means the Seahawks want Ford to proceed to develop as a go-rusher like he did final season. Playing Collier at deal with extra typically — Seattle’s larger defensive ends sometimes transfer inside in passing conditions — could be one other means to assist make up for Reed’s absence. It would additionally make sense with a surplus on the edge in Dunlap, Mayowa, Hyder, Robinson, Green, Taylor and Smith — if he makes the workforce. It’s no certain factor given Smith’s minimal-wage contract (solely $137,500 in ensures) and his latest legal troubles.
The Seahawks need to handle Dunlap’s snaps to maintain the 32-yr-previous contemporary all through a 17-sport season. Having a deep rotation of edge gamers will assist.
Robinson is a younger participant to look at. Last yr’s fifth-spherical decide completed second amongst rookies in sacks (4.0) and third in pressures (16) regardless of taking part in the forty seventh-most defensive snaps (324), in response to ESPN Stats & Information analysis. There is a few thought inside the group that he ought to have performed extra.
Better, worse or the similar: The similar
This is the hardest place to name.
Will youthful, extra athletic and extra versatile imply higher? That’s what the Seahawks are hoping by replacing Wright in their starting lineup with Taylor. But that is not a given contemplating they are going from Mr. Reliable to an unproven and inexperienced participant in Taylor, who spent his complete rookie season on the Non-Football Injury List.
That swap might make them higher if Taylor turns into a playmaking, go-speeding risk like Irvin did when he began taking part in robust-facet linebacker in 2013. It might make them worse if Taylor doesn’t stay healthy or does not make that transition in addition to Irvin. So we’ll break up the distinction for now and name it the similar.
Brooks, final yr’s first-spherical decide, might additionally make this group higher since he is in line to play greater than he did throughout his quietly robust rookie season.
Losses: Lano Hill
Better, worse or the similar: The similar
There had been no notable adjustments right here, with the Seahawks returning their prime 5 safeties from final yr. Even then, there is a case to be made that this group is best by advantage of Adams being wholesome after he dealt with one injury after another final season, together with one to his groin that sidelined him for 4 video games.
Blair’s return from a torn ACL might additionally make this group higher relying on how near prime kind he can get coming off a torn ACL. He appeared like a breakout candidate till he bought harm in Week 2. The silver lining in happening so early is that Blair is on monitor to be prepared properly forward of this yr’s opener. He and Amadi are anticipated to deal with nickelback duties once more.
Better, worse or the similar: Worse
The Seahawks do not remorse letting Griffin stroll for a 3-yr, $40 million cope with the Jaguars, believing they might have needed to overpay to maintain him. But they know that his departure leaves cornerback as their iffiest place group.
They recognized Witherspoon as their prime goal in free company in the event that they needed to exchange Griffin, then signed him to a one-yr, $4 million deal. He seems the a part of an extended, athletic Seahawks nook however was up and down over 4 seasons with the 49ers. There’s a cause he bought paid a fraction of what Griffin did in free company.
Witherspoon and Reed appear to be the most definitely candidates to begin on the outdoors. There’s sufficient expertise between these two and sufficient high quality depth behind them. But there is not an apparent blue-chip participant in the group.