Time to pick up the pieces and look ahead

Yesterday's day started out with all the hope in the world, with the offense doing exactly what they needed to do and opened up by engineering a long drive that ended with six points. That drive seemed to set the tone, as they ate up yards on the ground and in the air. It seemed to say, "We're here and ready to trade blows."

The Hawks seemed to have all facets of the game running according to plan, with the defense keeping the Falcons out of the end zone on their opening drive and even Devin Hester turning in a throwback performance. There was a point when many at home probably thought that it might not be a bad idea to bring Hester back for camp to compete for a spot.

And just when it seemed that the Hawks were taking their momentum and running away with it, on Hester's longest play of the day, nearing taking a punt back to the house. All was for naught however when the play was brought all the way back, pinning the Hawks against their own goal line. With that flag, the life that was suddenly breathed into them was taken away just as suddenly. Adding insult to injury was when Russell got his foot stepped on after receiving the snap, resulting in a safety. At that point, the game was over.

Atlanta deserves all the credit in the world, but that play should sum up what the Seahawks need to do entering the offseason and why. They need to stop experimenting and get a real offensive line, because it is starting to get in their own way. Sure they have shown hope, with no better example than the Wild Card game against Detroit. But those performances are too far and few between, and will never take place against a squad the caliber of the Falcons.

Maybe the veterans they have been bringing in are actually better than the inexperienced rookies they seem to favor. Though finding veteran talent along the line is tough to find, and the Hawks likely don't have the cap space to bid on it. Therefore this draft needs to focus heavily on the o-line and the secondary, which may need to start finding the heirs for Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. When either was out of the line up their absence was felt, especially Thomas' who is a once-in-a-generation talent. Who knows if the Hawks will be luck enough to find another like him in this draft or in the next five.

Photo: Flickr/Ben Rea




But I think that the team, if it continues down that road, needs more talent at RB *and* in the secondary.

Shead was a fine player, not quite as good as Maxwell I don't think (at least as far as fitting the system--Maxwell was a ball hawk), but I think we need a CB2 and, probably, a high-upside S/CB (like Shead, but cheaper and *hopefully* faster in order to be in man coverage like Maxwell was, which would let Sherman lock down his side of the field).

Honestly, it was a bad year for injuries.  Not horrifyingly bad, but bad.  Russell's legs were gone for 3/4 of the year; we didn't have a legit RB1 OR RB2 for the majority of the season, Kam got hurt, Bennett got hurt, Thomas got hurt, and the latter happened right when we needed him most.  Bad timing, sure, but I think it exposed some depth issues in the organization that could stand to be addressed this offseason.

The D-line was good, if not flat-out great, for the majority of the season.  Bennett and Avril did what they do, Clark took at least two full steps forward, the interior guys (including Reed) did what was needed and even Marsh got in on the fun for the majority of the season.

The LB corps is still strong, though an upgrade is still possible over Morgan (who looked good late, for sure, but wasn't a game-changer).  Not sure much needs to be done there.

It really looks to me like they need to stuff the rb corps to the gills this offseason.  That would probably solve most of this teams' issues on offense.  And some better DB depth is going to be key, I think, given the inexorable march of Father Time on guys like Kam and Earl.  When Kam can't lay out the punishment, and when Earl can't fly across the field due to his superior speed and instincts, this defense is going to be on the verge of all-out collapse.  A little more quality depth there will be important.

The O-line...honestly, it's so competitive trying to acquire high-quality O-linemen that it seems like we're better off not going down that road.


I agree with you that the o-line may not be the place to start looking to improve, it is the easiest to criticize though. But, we have to stop throwing guys out there who have never played o-line or have barely even played football. Especially if we're having them guard our QB's blind side.


Someone near the end of his career, but who can give close to league average production for a year or, at most, two while the youngsters rotate through the rest of the spots, might solidify things.

I'm no longer sold on the idea of bringing in a legit LT, though.  I was all for it this year, when Russell was banged up, but now that we're (presumably) going to start next season at full strength I'd be willing to roll the dice knowing FULL WELL that having a better LT would lower the chances of our QB getting hurt.

The money could be better spent elsewhere since, at least in theory, it could be spent to bring in longer-term players than back-end-of-career LT's.

Not saying it's a terrible idea to bring in a bona fide LT, but it's not where I'd direct my energies.  Double down on defense.

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