One thing that I take very seriously in evaluating a team is leadership. This is one reason I always doubted Tarvaris Jackson. In all of his press conferences this year he looked scared and confused, as well as mumbling every word he spoke. It was almost like he didn’t really want to be our starting quarterback, as if his mom was forcing him to go out for the team.
All year long I have been trying to decipher who our leaders are. With the absence of Marcus Trufant, Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu, and Matt Hasselbeck it has been difficult for the Seahawks. We are definitely a young team in transition waiting for leaders to emerge. So with this article I am going to do my best to evaluate which leadership roles have been filled as well as try and spotlight roles where leadership is still needed.
I’m going to start with the two emotional leaders of the team since they are definitely the most fun to watch (as well as being my favorite players). Our two emotional leaders are unquestionably Marshawn Lynch on offense and BIG Red Bryant on defense. The emotional leader on an offense or a defense is the guy that thrusts energy into the heart of every player before kick-off as well as being the one to keep that energy pulsating as the game wears on. They also help pick the team up in situations when they are down, whether with a play on the field or through encouragement on the sideline. Richard Sherman is a player to watch in this regard, for he is too emotional not to become a leader.
One area that we are seriously lacking leadership in is the offensive and defensive quarterback roles. The only real leader on offense we have is Marshawn Lynch and sure you can hand the ball off to your running back the majority of the time, but you can’t have your tail back changing the play at the line of scrimmage. This is one reason why Tarvaris Jackson can’t be our starter next year. He does not have any of the leadership intangibles you look for in a quarterback nor does he have any sort of football IQ whatsoever. We need someone on offense, traditionally the quarterback, who can get the team in the best position to score. The Seahawks are equally in need of a defensive quarterback as well, think players like Ray Lewis, or Troy Polamalu. I do not see any definitive quarterback on the defense, however I would like to see and can definitely imagine Earl Thomas filling this role. However, he is more of a play maker like Ed Reed. I feel this position is better suited to be filled by a linebacker.
The Seahawks are a young team in a major transitional period due to the x amount of roster changes we all know about. These roles will be filled as the team grows together in age. I feel a team faces having someone step up into these roles or die like we did this season. All the penalties that frustrated us with the coaching staff could have also been solved by more veteran leadership. Leaders are the middlemen in the relationship between coaching staff and team. I liked watching Red Bryant and Marshawn Lynch step up into their positions this year and I look forward to seeing others step up in the future.