The Seattle Seahawks massive decline in 2021 has been shocking and confusing. First place in 2020 and last in 2021? Yeah, that happened. Heck, last place in the NFC West might be expected in 2022.
That is unless Seattle makes some really good choices and changes to re-make the team some for next year. Doing the same thing next year expecting different results is the definition of insanity, right?
One of the most puzzling decisions the Seahawks made was taking L.J. Collier, a starter in every game in 2020, and reducing him to a very little-used player in 2021 and making him a healthy scratch in most games early in the season.
What have the Seattle Seahawks done with L.J. Collier?
What happened to make Collier fall out of favor with Pete Carroll and others we might never know. But Collier wasn’t bad in 2020 so not giving him a chance in 2021 is just, well…weird. Especially as Seattle’s pass rush was horrible for most of the season and Collier at least should have been given a chance to help fix it.
There is why the Seahawks seem dumb for not playing L.J. Collier more and why the team looks worse over this decision than does Collier. Collier has played 16.4 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps this year, yet he ranks fifth on the team in quarterback hits (5). In fact, Collier has a quarterback hit in more games when he has played than in games he’s played without a quarterback hit.
Doing the math, if Collier had played all 1,070 defensive snaps Seattle has had this year, he would have had 30 quarterback hits (2.8 percent per snap played). Rasheem Green currently leads the team in quarterback hits with 15 (4 more than anyone else). If Green played every defensive snap for the Seahawks this year his percent of quarterback hits per snap (2 percent), Green would have 21 quarterback hits.
QB hits mean QB pressures. No, Collier doesn’t have a sack this year but he has been relatively consistent in putting pressure on opposing QBs relative to other Seattle defensive linemen.
L.J. Collier also has missed 0.0 percent of his attempted tackles this year. Green, in comparison, has missed 14.3 percent of his attempted tackles. This isn’t to shine a negative light on Green because he has been relatively solid. This is more a matter of asking what the heck Seattle is doing with Collier? Because Collier’s productivity implies he’d be good with more playing time.
Instead, Collier is becoming yet another wasted first-round draft pick in the Pete Carroll/John Schnieder era. Collier is still under contract for 2022 and releasing him makes little financial sense (Seattle saves less than $1 million by releasing him) so Seattle should use him more next year. But if he is good next year then what the heck was Carroll and company thinking in 2021?