Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Friday, May 12, 2006

NFC West Overview: Seahawks Defense/Special Teams

And so we come to the finish line in this week's escapade. It's interesting. We schedule a week of NFL blogging and I can't wait to get to the laptop and plug away. Then we schedule a blog about the Mariners and I dread every waking moment, staring at the laptop knowing that, at some point, I must fulfill my duties and put together some haphazard crap post.

Fortunately, we do have Jeff blogging about the World Cup (right, Jeff? Blogging?), because the only (bad taste) joke I've thought about so far is how ironic it is (shows how far the world has come) that, in 2006, the WORLD (including France and Poland) is invading GERMANY. In the words of Fred Willard.... "Wha' Happened?"

And, yes, I will be laughing every time a Frenchman takes a dive in Germany. And, every time a French goalie uses his hand to knock away the ball, I will say (at least inwardly), "Oh, don't hurt your surrendering hand! Not in Germany!" I'm a terrible person.

But, yes, the Seahawks defense and special teams. Right. Well, you could read this from the PI (probably took that writer AT LEAST an hour to put that together), or you could read on. Choose wisely. Goodbye.

Defensive Line:
LE Bryce Fisher, DT Marcus Tubbs, DT Rocky Bernard, DT Russell Davis, DE Grant Wistrom, DE Darryl Tapp, DE Joe Tafoya (and, of course, my favorite white defensive tackle in the NFL, DT Craig Terrill)

Again, what doesn't kill us makes us deeper. That has been Ruskell's mantra this offseason. We have the same defensive line from last year PLUS Tapp and Davis, two possible playmakers. Davis was one of the Cardinal's best defensive players, and is a pretty doggone good trade for Okeafor and "The Playmaker"TM. Tapp makes me sleep a little better at night knowing that Joe Tafoya isn't the next person stepping in if Wistrom or Fisher goes down. And resigning Bernard? Well, let me tell you something. Bernard was the one Seahawk that I was POSITIVE he would leave; that some douche (funny story: ask Gavin to tell you just how he learned what a douchebag actually was) would pay him an exorbitant amount of money and that would be that. Well, surprise! Bernard is back in town, assuring that the pass rush will not come only from the ends position. The final touch of gold is Mr. Terrill, who just rocks my world. Again, this is one more unit that, at least on paper, is better than last year.

Linebackers:
OLB Leroy Hill, MLB LOFA TATUPU THANK YOU JESUS, OLB Julian Peterson, OLB DD Lewis, OLB Kevin Bentley, OLB Isaiah Kacyvenski, MLB Niko Koutouvides

Again, again, again. Depth. Depth. Another position that, on paper, is better than last year. We know how just how cool Lofa Tatupu is, though some idiot commenters over at Football Outsiders are still calling him a reach and saying we should have drafted Khalif Barnes instead. No. Not cool. Tatupu was, is, and is to come. He is Tatupu, and he is the reason that I will always be optimistic about our defense for the next ten years. We then have Hill starting to begin this season (YES!) and, bum ba ba ba bum, bum bittidy bittidy bum ba bummmmmm...... JULIAN PETERSON, who I have watched with dropped jaw for years and, as soon as I heard we had drafted him, I started to feel better about the offseason (readers might remember my pessimistic take much earlier). He is a freak who can do so, SO much. Rush the passer. Check. Protect against the run. Check. Guard the tight end. Check. Play the zone. Check. Do everything awesomely. Check. Even better, that means one more line of defense before having Isaiah stepping onto the field in a non-special teams situation. DD Lewis and Bentley provide some great depth (remember Bentley against Steve Smith last year?), and, basically, this group rocks. This might be the most talented linebacking corps ever assembled in Seattle.

Secondary:
CB Marcus Trufant, CB Kelly Jennings, CB Kelly Herndon, FS KEN HAMLIN, SS Michael Boulware

All hail the return of Ken Hamlin, who was the victim of a terrible incident last year after a freaking Houston Texans game. Hamlin was our most talented player in the secondary, and that injury, in the end, might have cost us the Super Bowl (thank you Etric Pruitt). We all hope and pray that he is able to step on the football field and perform once again, both from a selfish motive and just because it's obvious that he loves what he does. Speaking of budding superstars, Michael Boulware made a tremendous impact during the season and playoff run last year, becoming a soft-spoken leader of the secondary and, indeed, the entire team. His ball-hawking skills are excellent, and every pick seems to be in a crucial situation. Trufant still has to prove that he can become more consistent and an actual stopper, but Jennings will have to learn fast. As I wrote last year about Antrel Rolle, regardless how talented a corner is, it usually takes at least one year to learn the speed of the NFL. Ty Law would be much appreciated here, but obviously not at $10 mill.

Kicker:
Josh Brown

Bad Super Bowl, but he knows how to kick in Qwest, which is needed.

Punter:
Please no Tom Rouen, please P Ryan Plackemeier

It is time to not have Rouen be our punter. Please.

Overview? The defensive line is better, with much more depth. The linebacking corps is better, with much more depth. The secondary is better, with much more depth. Anyone notice the pattern here? This should be a top 10 defense, and, paired with our potential top 5 offense, should help this team remain at the top of the NFC for this season. All hail Ruskell!

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