Friday, February 25, 2011
Scouts Inc.: Three concerns for Seahawks
By Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck is poised to become a free agent. Of course, he isn’t the long-term answer, but because the Seahawks were in the playoff hunt in the terrible NFC West, they never really got a great opportunity to see what they have in Charlie Whitehurst, for whom they paid a premium a year ago. This is a predicament for the Seahawks, who can’t possibly consider themselves as true Super Bowl contenders. But bringing Hasselbeck back for one more season does make some sense, as they can re-evaluate this situation a year from now -- hopefully with more playing time by Whitehurst to evaluate. In the meantime, using a second- or third-round pick on a guy with long-term upside would be wise while they improve the quarterbacks’ supporting cast overall.
Secondary: On the surface, many would think that Marcus Trufant is the one player in this defensive backfield who Seattle could count on. That simply is not the case. For two seasons running now, Trufant has not been an upper-tier cover man. Although still inconsistent, free safety Earl Thomas appears to be a find for the Seahawks. But his highlight tape is more impressive than watching him on a down-by-down basis. The Seahawks could lose Kelly Jennings, Lawyer Milloy and Jordan Babineaux via free agency. Change is needed here, but Jennings and Babineaux were serviceable. Trading Josh Wilson to Baltimore was a big mistake.
The run game: He was great in one playoff game, but for the most part, Marshawn Lynch has been very ordinary. Justin Forsett is an underrated runner who deserves many more touches, but he also isn’t the type of back who can make a ton of yardage without at least adequate blocking. The run blocking for this offense just wasn’t close to being good enough. I believe Seattle has a future Pro Bowler in left tackle Russell Okung, but right tackle Sean Locklear and center/guard Chris Spencer are up for free agency. Line depth is a problem as well. Dynamic part-time running back Leon Washington could also depart. Improvement all around is required.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.