Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ranking The Teams Within The Team: #3 - Linebackers

Just for kicks, I decided to take a look at the various units on the Seahawks team and attempt to project how good, or bad, they may be in the upcoming season. I ranked the units based on their top-end potential as well as their low-end potential, and also how much confidence there was in predicting their performance. Here are the units that I ranked (in no particular order):

Kickers
Coverage
Offensive line
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Defensive line
Linebackers
Secondary

#3 - The Linebackers

Potential Stars in 2010: Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, LeRoy Hill, David Hawthorne
All of our top four linebackers either have been stars, or could be. Reality has been that only Hawthorne has played at a Pro Bowl level in the past few seasons. He started 12 games and amassed 110 tackles in those games for an average of 9.16/start. Patrick Willis led the league in tackles, and averaged 9.5/start. Hawthorne was better than Tatupu. Tatupu and Hill's best seasons were their rookie years. We need them to step up...a lot. Curry could be the best of the bunch if reality catches up with potential.

Potential Disasters: Curry
Curry was a major disappointment last season. The line we are getting that Lofa's injury was the reason Curry started to struggle is complete and total bullshit. Curry was missing open field tackles, blowing coverage, and disappearing from games before and after Lofa got hurt. Curry had one pass rush move, which was to try and blow by tackles. After people learned this, they just gladly guided him past the pocket. Curry was a liability last season. That's unacceptable in his second year.

Easiest Players To Project: Hawthorne, Hill
Hawthorne makes plays whenever he's on the field. Hill is a steady open-field tackler that seems to have peaked below a pro bowl level.

SUMMARY:
Money and legacy may hold this unit back. Lofa and Curry are unlikely to be taken off the field for any reason other than injury. If Lofa is still averaging 5.3 tackles, as he did last season before getting injured, we are far better off with The Heater stepping in. Depth here is a concern as we only have Will Herring after the top 4. No more excuses. This unit must lead the defense, and make impact plays, or else it is time to restock the cupboards.

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