Three former Seahawks who failed with their new teams in 2023

These former Seahawks were not good in 2023.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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A good player who couldn't find the right position: Poona Ford

Shelby Harris did well for himself in Cleveland. Sadly, the same can't be said for longtime 12's favorite Poona Ford. At just 5'11", Ford was never the model of a defensive tackle in the NFL. Despite that, he made the Seahawks roster as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Yes, that was the same year the Hawks signed Penny in the first round. The former Texas Longhorn didn't have quite the same impact as Penny in his rookie year, but considering that he was a longshot to make the squad at all, he provided outstanding value.

Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded Ford as the Hawks' best defensive lineman in 2018. Yeah, I think that's a little crazy too, considering that Jarran Reed had 10.5 sacks. In fact, only Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas graded out higher than Ford that season. I wouldn't go that far, but Ford played far above expectations that season. In 2019 he moved from a rotational player to a 14-game starter. His performance dropped a bit with the additional exposure, but he bounced back in 2020. That year only Wagner ranked ahead of him, according to PFF.

Ford turned in another fine performance in 2021, but the signs were there of his decline with the Seahawks. It was much less about what Ford did than how he was positioned. Let's just say there's a reason the legacy of the great Ken Norton Jr. as the Seahawks defensive coordinator will never die. Norton dropped the 5'11" 310 lb Poona Ford into coverage not once, not twice, but five times. Maybe he thought the opposing QB would be too stunned to throw the ball. I know it's a shock, but all five attempts were completed.

2022 put Ford into an even worse position as the Hawks shifted to a 3-4 defense. He didn't have the length to play end in a 3-4, nor did he have the sheer bulk to play nose. Shelby Harris was a good fit for the first role, and Al Woods was born to play nose. Ford was a man out of position, and his production reflected that. His PFF grade reflected that as well. His grade plummeted from 73.0, still fourth-best of the Hawks in 2021, to 56.6, 15th among all defenders with at least 100 snaps.

His move to the Buffalo Bills in 2023 was a chance at a fresh start. Ford said one of the biggest reasons for the move to the Bills was that they ran a 4-3 defense. Smart man, Poona Ford. The only problem is that the Bills decided to play a lot of 3-4, and there he was, playing the B gap again. That is when he played at all. He was a healthy scratch in 11 games last year, counting the playoffs. He totaled just nine pressures and nine tackles in 151 snaps. Can someone get this man a job in a 4-3 system, please?