The Seattle Seahawks are making some changes this offseason as they prepare for a run at Super Bowl XLVIII. One of their biggest weaknesses, defensive tackle, still hasn’t been completely addressed, but should be by the time the 2013 NFL Draft is over.
If that’s the case, second-year defensive tackle Jaye Howard could quickly become the odd man out for the Seahawks.
In order to avoid that, Howard must improve on the lack of effort that kept him on the inactive list for the majority of his rookie season. His inconsistency allowed seventh-round pick Greg Scruggs to surpass him on the depth chart, playing in 11 games while Howard only saw the field in two.
Throughout the 2012 preseason, Howard showed some promise as an interior penetrator. In four outings, he tallied nine tackles, a safety and a pass deflection. His inconsistent motor and lack of devotion to perfecting his art landed him near the bottom of the defensive tackle rotation.
There were signs coming out of University of Florida that effort could be an issue for Howard. On film, Howard often showed an unwillingness to fight blocks and only went full speed when an early opening presented itself. Many times, he would let himself get blocked rather than fight and put himself in a position to make a play.
Even at the next level, that his proven to still be the case for Howard. He’ll need to show massive improvement in 2013 to make himself valuable to coaches amongst a sea of incoming defensive tackle talent.
If nothing changes, the former fourth-round pick could soon be headed for the free agency market. Considering the high expectations that the Seahawks have heading into this season, there’s no room for players unwilling to give 110 percent on every down.