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News » Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-17


Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-17


Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2009-02-17
With the rash of injuries Seattle experienced last season, the Seahawks will look to create depth and experience at wide receiver and offensive line, and improve that talent level at defensive line and the secondary.


Seattle started nine different receivers on offense last season, and the lack of cohesiveness led to inconsistency because of Mike Holmgren's dependence on receiver play in the West Coast offense. Seattle's inability to sustain long drives also meant the defense was on the field more. The Seahawks defense, with all 11 starters returning, did not play up to expectations in 2008, finishing 30th overall in total defense and last in the league in pass defense

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

Seattle will have to decide if keeping linebacker Leroy Hill is important to revamping the team's defense. Seattle could use the franchise tag on Hill, but it will cost them more than $8 million for one season, and the Seahawks might want to use that money in free agency to shore up other areas of the team.

The Seahawks also will have to make a decision on Rocky Bernard, who becomes a free agent at the end of February. Although it appears likely Seattle will let Bernard go and look for other players either in the draft of free agency to fill the void.

TOP THREE TEAM NEEDS

1. Offensive line: All five projected starting linemen at the beginning of the season finished the year on the injured reserve. The most talented of that group is perennial All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones, who had season-ending microfracture knee surgery on his right knee. Jones, 35, is expected to be ready for training camp. But Seattle does not know how Jones will respond to surgery, and might want to draft Jones' heir apparent and start grooming that player for the future.

2. Defensive tackle: Seattle still has trouble stopping the run, and could use a run stuffer up front to pair with emerging talent Brandon Mebane. Rookie Red Bryant showed flashes of brilliance last season but couldn't stay healthy. Veteran Rocky Bernard did not have his best season in a contract year, and could be on the way out. Craig Terrell and Howard Green are good fill-in guys, but aren't every-down players.

3. Wide receiver: If Nate Burleson comes back healthy from ACL knee surgery and Deion Branch continues to play like he did at the end of last season, then the Seahawks could be OK here. But that's a big if. And the Seahawks still need to decide if they want to bring veteran Bobby Engram back. Engram brings value to the offense along with leadership, but Ruskell may have soured on him after he threatened to hold out for more money last season.

MEDICAL WATCH: WR Nate Burleson (knee) appears ahead of schedule and should be ready for training camp.

--QB Matt Hasselbeck (back) has said he plans on participating in the team's first minicamp in April.

--OT Walter Jones (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp in July.

--DE Patrick Kerney (shoulder) had his second, season-ending shoulder surgery in as many seasons and will need to rehab to get back on the field.

--OLs Mike Wahle (shoulder) Sean Locklear (toes) and Rob Sims (torn pectoral muscle) are all rehabbing.

--WRs Logan Payne (knee) and Ben Obomanu (shoulder) need to get healthy in order to fight for a roster spot next season.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--DT Rocky Bernard had been productive for Seattle up until last season, but might not be a fit in the Seahawks revamped defense.

--WR Bobby Engram missed the first three games of the season with a cracked shoulder blade and only finished with 47 catches for 489 yards and no touchdowns in 2008.

--QB Charlie Frye started one game and struggled, finishing 12 of 23 for 83 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-17 loss to Green Bay.

--DT Howard Green was used as a backup in spot duty and should receive another training camp invitation.

--LB Leroy Hill's status for 2009 should set the wheels in motion for other Seahawks' moves.

--LB D.D. Lewis proved a valuable backup that knows Seattle's defensive scheme.

--LB Wesley Mallard finished on the injured reserve with an injured hamstring.

--RB Maurice Morris finished with 574 yards on 132 carries for a 4.3 yard-per-carry average. Probably on the way out with Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett already signed.

--LS Jeff Robinson filled in nicely when rookie Tyler Schmitt suffered a back injury during training camp. Seattle may lean on him again in 2009

--WR Koren Robinson was productive in spurts but does not have the top-end speed he possessed early in his career. May be off to greener pastures.

--FB Leonard Weaver has improved as a blocker and gives the team versatility with his pass-catching and running ability. Other teams may be interested, including NFC West rival San Francisco.

--OL Ray Willis plays with a mean streak and started 10 games at both right guard and right tackle. May command more money than team is willing to pay him.

--OL Floyd Womack was healthy for the first time in several years and showed his versatility by playing both right guard and left guard. He should be back.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--LB Lance Laury was a valuable special teams player for Seattle.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: None.

PLAYERS LOST: None.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 18, 2009

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