Detroit's Unusual Attraction to Former Seahawks

Has anyone else noticed how many former Seahawks players have been acquired by the Detroit Lions? Like Al Davis’ attraction to former University of Washington athletes, the Lions seem to have an affinity for players who have played for the Seahawks.

Detroit’s front office is obviously trying to build a competitive football team, but aren’t they aware that Seattle’s roster has only won nine games in two seasons? And don’t they know that most of Seattle’s former players have been dumped as the team moves forward from the Tim Ruskell era?

I understand that sometimes a change of scenery is beneficial for different players. New teams can usually offer better opportunities, more appropriate schemes, and less expectations.

Rob Sims, for example, will probably be a pretty good player for the Detroit Lions. Sims’ style of blocking is more suitable in a power-blocking scheme; the Seahawks switched to a zone-blocking scheme last season, and Sims became expendable.

Playing in the shadow of Steve Hutchinson didn’t exactly promote stress-free development, either. While playing a position that is usually unobserved, Sims was regularly critiqued and criticized for mistakes by Seahawks fans who were used to watching a Hall of Fame guard on the field.

Detroit offers a better opportunity, a better scheme for his talents, and far less expectations for a left guard. Oh, and according to Rob, unlike Seattle, Detroit is a football town.

But why have the Detroit Lions acquired so many former Seahawks? Is it just coincidental that expendable Seahawks seem to fit well with what Detroit is trying to do? Has Detroit’s front office developed a good working relationship with Seattle’s, generating more regular, productive talks?

You don’t typically see one football team plunder another team in decline. Since 2007, the Seattle Seahawks have become older and less competitive, leading to heavy turnover within the franchise. But since that same time, the Detroit Lions have been furiously working to bring in former Seahawks.

Championship-caliber teams are usually victims of pillaging via free agency and trade. After the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL, they lost a handful a starting players and contributors. Other teams, hoping to mimic Seattle’s success, took whatever they could from the talented Seahawk roster.

The Seattle Seahawks are not a championship-caliber team. They have not been one for nearly five years, so it just seems strange that so many former Seahawks are in Detroit.

Nate Burleson, Will Heller, Lawrence Jackson, Julian Peterson, Maurice Morris, and Rob Sims are all currently on Detroit’s roster. Combined, those six players started a total of 166 games for the Seattle Seahawks before they joined the Detroit Lions.

And don’t forget, there were a lot of rumors about Detroit having a lot of interest in signing Leroy Hill as a free agent before the Seahawks secured his future in Seattle with the franchise tag (and then a long-term deal). I wonder if they’re still interested in Hill?

If the Seahawks decide to churn the roster anymore than they already have, the Detroit Lions will surely be interested in whatever pieces are deemed expendable.

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: Al Davis Detroit Lions John Schneider Julian Peterson Lawrence Jackson LeRoy Hill Maurice Morris Nate Burleson Pete Carroll Rob Sims Seattle Seahawks Steve Hutchinson Super Bowl Tim Ruskell Washington Huskies Will Heller

  • Brett Bivens

    Maybe the Seahawks FO should see if they are still interested in Hill. That’s one Seahawks I’d like to see in Detroit.

  • bigmaq

    Sort of like the Cardinals picking up all of the former Steelers.

    • Shaun Dolence

      Yeah, but at least there is an obvious connection there. Not only have the Steelers been very successful, Arizona’s head coach came from Pittsburgh. Ken Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers when they beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

  • Mike Ryder

    I was just thinking the same thing today. I wonder if it has anything to do with Scott Linehan joining the coaching staff in Detroit? As the former Head Coach of the Rams, he got to see these guys beat him up a couple times a year.

  • kerriganj2

    Does anybody see a trend in the seahawks d-line changes. they have two 34 style DE’s as potential starters. looks like a 34 hybrid defense to me. we do have four talented linbackers. just saying.

    • Shaun Dolence

      Sure, Red Bryant looks like a typical 3-4 defensive end, but he also fits in pretty well as a five-technique in Seattle’s four-man front.

      I’m assuming you’re referring to Kentwan Balmer as the other big defensive end. Balmer is probably a better fit as a three-technique tackle; he was forced to a play a different position and scheme in San Francisco. I’m going to do a quick post later about what position will probably fit best at in Seattle.

    • Mike Ryder

      Carroll is a 4-3 Under guy. Check this out…

  • Jim Kelly

    You forgot Marquand Manuel

    • Shaun Dolence

      Nice catch — I guess I missed his name on their roster. Manuel has played for a number of other teams, but he still counts as another former Seahawk playing for the Lions.