Seahawks: Offseason Optimism Fell Flat in 2016
By Brad Howell
We were optimistic about the chances of the Seattle Seahawks to win another championship a year ago, but our logic turned out to be faulty.
Around this time last year, I wrote a beautiful and hopeful offseason piece on the many reasons why I thought Seattle would win the Super Bowl. Well, it turns out I was full of crap. Let’s look back and see just how bad it was.
What I said: Defensive Continuity + Improved Depth = A Return to Historic Defense
This idea included three-mini points: Kris Richard’s in-game management would improve in his second season as defensive coordinator (it did!), defensive player continuity would improve (it did!), and finally the defensive depth was better than it had been since 2013 (it was not!).
Two out of three ain’t bad. Injuries tested the depth and the depth mostly failed. Specifically, the secondary depth proved wholly inadequate. In hindsight, carrying only undrafted free agent backups at both safety positions is a bad idea. Especially when your scheme relies so heavily on those positions.
Furthermore, the implosion of Jeremy Lane really hurt. With Bruce Irvin gone, Seattle ran a nickel defense with Lane on the field far more often than in recent seasons. According to Pro Football Reference Lane played 71% of the defensive snaps last year, almost triple what any Seahawks nickel corner played in the past 3 seasons. He was kind of terrible.
What I said: Creativity key to Creating More Problems for Opponents
I made two points here:
On defense, I supposed the loss of Bruce Irvin would indicate a shift in scheme either to a “Bandit” formation or “big nickel”, wherein Seattle would essentially replace the SAM linebacker with a safety. Seattle did neither, instead opting to go with Brock Coyle and Mike Morgan as the SAM on base downs and Jeremy Lane as the nickel cornerback on passing downs. Both Coyle and Lane were inadequate in their respective roles.
On offense, I am happy with my assessment but the idea failed due to injuries. C.J. Prosise was pure magic when he was healthy enough to actually play. He was possibly the MVP of that game against the Patriots. Hopefully we see a lot more of him next year.
What I said: Improved Competition on the Offensive Line
Puke. Here’s a quote from last year’s article:
“The offensive line last year was a disaster in every sense. The lack of credible depth limited the team’s options to make in season changes and you get the feeling Pete said: never again.”
Or maybe we will do it all over again. How in the world did I think Webb, Sowell, Fant, and Gilliam constituted “credible competition” at tackle? Too much single malt probably.
“Let’s get this out of the way: I’m on team Gilliam. I think he’ll be a very good left tackle this year.”
Oof. That’s terrible. He lasted about 12 seconds as a left tackle and barely more than that as the right tackle.
I also said Britt would be a bad center. At least being wrong about Britt meant that he was actually good.
Next: Seahawks must do better this offseason
Hope breeds eternal misery. But hey, I heard the offensive line is looking much better this offseason! Ok, I’ll stop.