The Seattle Seahawks‘ defense had no weaknesses last season, but there was a small stretch where they allowed themselves to be gashed by the run. If there is a weakness on the defense this season, it is most certainly that.
Seattle’s defensive line lost Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and Clinton McDonald. Bryant and Clemons, in particular, were vital players because of their ability and leadership, but the veterans were ultimately cut due to salary-cap issues.
Thankfully the Seahawks were able to sign veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams to a one-year contract. Williams is a six-time Pro Bowl player who will be entering his 12th season, so it stands to reason that the Seahawks’ rotational system on the defensive line will be an energizing boost for Williams, who is accustomed to playing full-time. Seattle will also get to see action from Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill and rookie Cassius Marsh, who has looked like a very nice addition thus far. The Seahawks still have Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel.
Some believe that the defensive line is now deeper, but I don’t see how. The top of the rotation is strong, but the depth is unproven and didn’t look all that good against the Oakland Raiders last night. D’Anthony Smith was bad, and I hardly noticed Andru Pulu. I suppose you could make an argument if you count the edge rushers, but I still think it is way too early to tell.
The Seahawks have really good starters on the defensive line, which is obviously way more important. I am in no way saying that you should panic either. The only position that warrants panic during preseason is quarterback, in my opinion. Depth most certainly does not. The depth on the defensive line is mostly young and unproven. That is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just an unknown part of the Hawks’ defense that is otherwise rock solid.
The best way to beat Seattle is by running the ball right at them. If teams are unable to do that, then they are going to have a real tough time beating the Hawks. The Silver and Black were able to accomplish that last night against the Seahawks’ depth. Keep in mind that the Raiders did not have their first-team offense on the field either. Again, it is just depth, and some of those guys won’t make the team, but it is still wildly important.
One thing is for sure: We’ll know exactly where the Seahawks stand when their run defense is tested on Sept. 4 against Eddie Lacy and the Green Bay Packers.