Earlier today I starting things off with list of 5 predictions for the free agency period. Just for fun, I’ve decided that this entire weekend should be a weekend of lists (Yes, I am counting Friday as part of the weekend). This time I thought I look at the 5 position the Seahawks must find upgrades for before training camp begins.
1) Quarterback – Tarvaris Jackson played better than we thought he would, but he was a below average player at the game’s most important position.While the Seahawks may still go into 2012 with Jackson at QB, there’s no doubt that this team cannot reach it’s potential until they find an upgrade at QB.
2) Weak Side Linebacker - Leroy Hill is a popular player among fans, but he was awful in 2011. The Seahawks ranked dead last against running backs on passing plays in 2011, and much of that is the fault of Hill. While he is decent against the run, there were few LBs worse against the pass that Hill in 2011.
3) Split End – This is the wide receiver position manning in 2011 by big Mike Williams. Williams struggled all season. He finished the year with just receptions 18 for 236 yards and 1 TD. For a guy who started 15 games, those numbers are completely unacceptable. If the Seahawks are going to take the next step forward on offense, they must get more production out of whoever is playing opposite of Sydney Rice.
4) Right Tackle - This one is tough to put on this list, because I think that James Carpenter has a bright future, but if the Seahawks are going to win in 2012 they need to upgrade this position. Carpenter will be out for the entire offseason and likely most of training camp (and possibly the first 6-8 weeks as well if they place him on the PUP list) so the Seahawks need someone at RT no matter what. While Giacomini played decently, his presence in the starting lineup meant that TE Zach Miller was used to help block way too often. An upgrade at RT would mean another target for the passing game on most passing plays.
5) Pass Rush Specialist – The Seahawk defense is built around stopping the run first. Both Alan Branch and Red Bryant are beasts against the run. The problem is that neither is all that useful against the pass. Since the Seahawks use specialists (last season is was Anthony Hargrove and Raheem Brock) to replace those two in passing situations, new starters aren’t needed. Just the specialists need upgraded, but serious upgrades must be made.