Seattle Seahawks: Cliff Avril May Play Key Role Against San Francisco 49ers

By Todd Pheifer
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks need to put pressure on Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. Who may be a major contributor in this Week 2 grudge match? Cliff Avril.

That is assuming that Avril is actually ready to go. Here is the problem with Avril. The Seahawks have no idea what this guy will be able to do. He remains an unknown quantity simply because he is a new player that has yet to get much time with the defense.

Avril has been hurt for quite some time, and this will be the first time he takes the field in the 2013 regular season. It is hard to feel confident about a pass rusher that will have to track down a mobile signal caller like Kaepernick. Avril’s injuries have been foot and hamstring-related, which does not bode well for a guy who needs to be quick off the line.

The Seahawks made headlines when they signed Avril in the offseason, particularly since Seattle was able to ink him to a relatively affordable two-year, $13 million contract. Granted, no deal is going to be perceived as affordable if a player can’t get on the field.

There was some speculation that Avril’s 9.5 sacks in 2012 were aided by the skilled Detroit Lions defensive line players such as Ndamukong Suh. That may be true, but a player that gets almost 10 sacks still has to possess some quickness and strength. I guess we’ll find out if the talented Seattle defense can help Avril get a similar total. Chris Clemons is inching his way back, but there is no telling how effective he will be.

For now, Avril just has to get on the field and make his presence felt. Seattle fans hope that he can add to an already ferocious defense. Avril may be the key to keeping Kaepernick in check.

Todd Pheifer covers the Seattle Seahawks for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @tpheifer, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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