When a team redesigns a major part of its defense in the hope that it better suits your talents, you know you have some juice. That’s exactly what happened with Aaron Curry in this off-season. In a post I’ll publish later tonight, I’ll explain what has changed and what to look for. For now, I want to focus on one of the positions, the “SAM” LB. The strongside, or SAM, LB lines up across from the Tight End. It is called the strong side linebacker because the offensive tackle has the assistance from the TE in blocking.
Aaron Curry is our starting SAM. As you’ve likely read elsewhere, Curry will be lining up on the line almost exclusively this season. The hope is that Curry can be more single-minded in moving forward at the QB or RB. Attack. Attack. Attack.
The problem thus far (albeit only one pre-season game) is that Curry still has a bad habit of running really fast right into the chest of his blocker, often taking himself immediately out of the play. He has not shown the ability to get consistent pressure on the QB, or wreak havoc in the backfield.
In comes Dexter Davis. Davis played DE at Arizona State, and was known as a fierce pass rusher that was undersized for a DE. The Seahawks drafted him in the 7th round, and have started to play him at SAM. Last Saturday against the Titans was the first glimpse of the experiment, and by all accounts, it was a rousing success. Davis recorded a sack, and had multiple QB pressures. Granted, he did this against backup lineman, but his presence was felt nonetheless.
Nobody in their right mind would predict that a 7th round choice would eventually unseat a #4 overall pick after seeing one pre-season game. I never claimed to be in my right mind. I don’t care what Pete Carroll says about competition, the only way Aaron Curry comes out of the lineup this season is if he’s hurt. But next season? If Curry is a flop again this year, don’t be shocked to see Dexter Davis or someone like him, force Curry to the bench.
You heard it here first.