I thought it would be nice start this off by summarizing the seven part positional analysis that I just finished and see what it tells us about the team. In those articles, I analyzed the defensive line, offensive line, linebackers, running backs, defensive backfield, receivers, and the quarterbacks.
As we proceed though the positions and list the needs, we'll label each position as a critical need, needed upgrade, luxury, or not needed.
With Bernard and Green being free agents, it's looking like we have Terrill, Mebane, and Bryant under contract. It's going to be difficult enough to find one defensive tackle, let alone two, so I can see us resigning Green and then looking for a defensive tackle to fill out our rotation.
To Continue . . .
Since we don't have a body outside of practice squad incumbent Kevin Brown, coming up with a defensive tackle becomes a necessity. If we don't resign either Green or Bernard, we'll be needing two defensive tackles. Let's call one a critical need and the other one a needed upgrade since have two options as Seahawks free agents.
If Kerney comes back from his injury, that gives us a good four man defensive end rotation so at this point I'll call the defensive ends not needed.
We actually have bodies to fill all of the positions on the offensive line. We have Spencer at center with Vallos as backup. Wrotto, Sims, Wahle, and Vallos can all play guard. Willis, Locklear, Williams, and Jones are all tackles. Pork Chop could be resigned as a free agent due to his good play last season, his ability to play either tackle or guard, and staying healthy for once. That's a full compliment of nine offensive linemen, so you can't really say that offensive line is a critical need.
Most of you Addicts have expressed an interest in acquiring a guard and of course there's a lot of interest in a left tackle to be Walter's replacement. Lots of people have also expressed the thought that we should upgrade our center position too and maybe move Spencer to guard.
I would put down guard, tackle, and center as needed upgrades, since we already have a full compliment of offensive linemen on the roster and what we're really talking about here is upgrading the players we have.
The sense I get from Ruskell and Mora is that they will franchise Hill if necessary. I believe they will do whatever they can to try and keep our linebackers together. I think D. D. Lewis will be resigned as well.
If Ruskell does his magic and resigns out own free agents, the linebacker position is not a needed position.
Maurice Morris is a free agent, but we have Jones and Duckett still under contract with Forsett ready to start working into the running back rotation. Weaver will be resigned if at all possible and Schmitt is solid behind him.
Some people aren't convince that Jones is the man for our running attack and would like to see us acquire a young back to groom into the starting job. I'd call that one a luxury since we have the backs to go into the season with. An upgrade would only be warranted if we get other more critical positions filled first.
The prevailing cry has been for Russell and Jennings to be replaced. Jennings was replaced by Wilson in the fifth game this season, and Wilson did a good job for us. Once again, with everything else we have to look at fixing, I doubt we can focus on acquiring a bigger cornerback to play opposite Trufant this season.
Russell is another matter. Ruskell and Mora seem to want to keep him on the team for his leadership and locker room presence, if for nothing else. I think you could still talk about acquiring a safety as a needed upgrade on par with the offensive line needing a guard, center, and future left tackle. Finding a bigger cornerback will have to be listed as a luxury.
We have two good receivers who, if healthy, should be able to give the Seahawks a good base for 2009. We have a bevy of younger receivers ready to compete for the last two spots on the roster.
It would seem that we do need a third proven receiver to work in the three receiver sets and be there in case of injury to one of our top receivers again. We don't have that receiver on our team yet, so I'll have to label that position a critical need.
Frye is a free agent and not likely to be resigned. We only have two quarterbacks on the team besides him and at the very least we'll need a third emergency quarterback.
Whether we decide to acquire a third string quarterback just for that purpose or go out and try go find someone who we seriously want to try to develop is the real question. There's an outside chance the Seahawks may take a franchise quarterback with the fourth pick if the chips fall just right.
Either way, we need a quarterback this year no matter what we intend to use him for. That makes quarterback a critical need too, although not necessarily needed in the high rounds of the draft or in top tier free agency.
So, it looks to me like the Seahawks have critical needs to address and those needs will patch the most glaring holes in the team right now. They also have some upgrades they would like to make to bring the whole team up a notch talent-wise.
- Defensive tackle
- Offensive guard
- Offensive Tackle
- Offensive Center
- 2nd Defensive tackle
- Running back
If we're lucky, we might get two starters out of the draft and be able to acquire a couple of top tier free agents outside of resigning our own. That's four starters I see us picking up at the most.
Although getting a 3rd quarterback is a critical need, that's not a starting position and therefore can be handled with a later draft choice or a second tier free agent.
On the other hand, if we're in a position where the three teams ahead of us in the draft take the players we've targeted, the Seahawks might look at a quarterback with that first pick as Matt's replacement and their future franchise quarterback.
Our defensive tackles will be working in rotation and therefore function like starters. When a defensive tackle comes into the game and replaces a starter, we don't want there to be a drop-off in talent or productivity. That might be a priority in free agency since there are not any top rated defensive tackles in the draft.
We would like to get a guard, tackle, and center this season to upgrade our offensive line, but we'll probably have to be happy with just one or two at the most. An offensive tackle with the first pick or a center or guard with our second round pick seem most likely.
A second defensive tackle and/or a safety will most likely be either a second tier free agent or a later draft choice if we even address the the position at all. Cornerback and running back will be long shots to be upgraded this year because of all the other needs and the fact that we have an incumbent in those positions who has shown they can do the job.
In the first two rounds of the draft and free agency, look for the Seahawks to be looking hard at receivers, defensive tackles, offensive linemen, quarterbacks, and safeties.
With Mora hiring coaches that are obviously going to keep running the same schemes that the Seahawks have been running, albeit with different wrinkles, I expect the Seahawks to be able to get the team turned around with a minimum of learning curves.
The Seahawks should be able to find players to take care of the most critical needs outlined here and should be on track to make a dramatic comeback next season. What do you Addicts think?