Seahawks Beat Dolphins: Defensive Grades
By Jacob Sosler
4.Special Teams: C+
The Seahawks special teams was a major liability throughout the preseason. John Schneider and Pete Carroll noticed this and made an effort to address this during the roster cuts. Fortunately, the special teams looked better this game. Miami return man Jakeem Grant was unable to break off a game-breaking return, as Cassius Marsh made sure that he properly welcomed the rookie to the NFL with several big hits.
Punter Jon Ryan was far from outstanding his preseason form, but he managed to get off several fantastic punts despite poor long snapping and constant pressure in his face. He averaged 42.2 yards per punt.
Steven Hauschka was 2/2 on field goals, with a long of 39 yards. He did miss an extra point after the Baldwin touchdown. This could have been huge if Miami had gotten to field goal range on their last drive, as it kept the Seahawks ahead by only two points instead of three. Also, Hauschka made a key tackle that might have saved a touchdown by Grant.
Long snapping was an issue yet again, as Nolan Frese continued his struggles. Not only did he fail to produce one quality snap, but he was beaten down the middle as the Dolphins continually swarmed Hauschka and Ryan while they kicked.
While Seattle clearly values Frese’s tackling ability, it’s time to move on. For years, Clint Gresham was fantastic as the Seattle long snapper. Due to salary cap issues, Gresham was cut by Seattle. He’s still a free agent. It is time to make a change in order to ensure maximum performance from Ryan and Hauschka.