Seahawks 2017 season grades
By Andy Larkin
Defensive Line: B-
The defensive line played well this season, but considering the talent didn’t quite dominate like I had hoped. Losing Cliff Avril was a blow, but I still had higher hopes for this unit. Michael Bennett seemed to have lost a step this season as he was routinely half a second late on potential sacks. I think Bennett still has some gas left in the tank, but I don’t think we will see him back at the level he was a couple of years ago. It will be interesting to see if he is back with the team in 2018.
I thought Sheldon Richardson played well, but I was hoping for him to make more of a difference in the pass rush. He was not the game-wrecker I thought he might be. Another offseason decision.
Frank Clark was the bright spot of the group. He seems to be figuring things out with each snap. I really like his ceiling heading into next season.
Overall, the pass rush needs to be better next season. There were too many comfortable QBs in 2017.
When it comes to the linebackers, my thoughts are pretty simple. Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright played their hearts out. These two anchored a defense that was depleted by injuries.
Honestly the only change I would like to see for the linebackers in 2018 would be for the team to add another solid player either through the draft or free agency. If Bobby and KJ go down, this group goes from elite to weak very quickly.
Defensive Backs: B
It appears the three pillars of the Legion of Boom have played their last snaps together. It’s highly unlikely that Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman will all be back for the Seahawks next season. I’d say Kam is almost certainly done given the nature of his injury and we will see with the other two. If that is indeed the case, let this serve as my salute of appreciation to the greatest secondary to ever put on the pads. It has been an absolute pleasure watching these three dominate over the years and I hope to see all of them immortalized in the Hall of Fame someday. What a run it has been! The Legion of Boom was the greatest collection of secondary talent ever assembled and it will never be replicated.
Sorry for the mini rant, but I had to pay my respects.
Shaquill Griffin had a very strong rookie campaign. I think this guy is going to be a solid starter in this league for quite some time and has the potential to be great. He held his own all season long and I can’t wait to see what he looks like after he makes the second year jump.
Special Teams: C-
I think a C- is somewhat generous. I think special teams were a big part of why the Seahawks missed the playoffs in 2017. Sure, the Blair Walsh trials were not fun and definitely cost the team a win or two, but it wasn’t all on the kicker. Jon Ryan did not look himself this season and the return game was basically non-existent until Tyler Lockett ran one back in the final game. The coverage on punts was also lacking and severely cost the team in December.
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I think the Seahawks need to retool this unit and find a way to get back to dominating the third phase of the game.