Strength in numbers separates Seahawks from the rest
How many teams would Seattle’s backups defeat?
I had a look and found ten I think they could genuinely compete with. Have a look for yourself.
Of course, the Seahawks (touch wood) will never find out the answer to that question. But even if they lose one or two key players to injury, there should be no panic.
In the past the Seahawks have been a slave to injury. This was mostly evident as the Super Bowl XL team disintegrated with alarming swiftness. Players get old, they begin to pick up injuries. Former GM Tim Ruskell bandaged holes with even more ageing stars and didn’t plan ahead at the key positions.
Guys like Patrick Kerney helped keep the window open a little longer for Seattle, but he soon crumbled. When cornerstones like Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones began to deteriorate too you could tell the party was coming to an end.
The thin underbelly of the Seahawks roster was expose and the team became a shambles. A 4-5 win mess that needed major repair work.
That’s not to go over the top in criticising the previous regime. When any team loses key players to injury and age, it’s not easy to just reload. It’s difficult to win football games starting backups.
Yet the current roster appears deep enough to keep this team competitive in a way few can maintain. There’s no band-aid mentality, no short term window.
Don’t get me wrong, if Russell Wilson and Russell Okung go down in week one — it’s a blow they might not recover from. But when you compare it to the alternatives facing this team when Jones and Hasselbeck made way, it’s nowhere near as daunting.
Percy Harvin’s possible season ending surgery was a major disappointment to fans, but one they quickly got over upon witnessing the team dismantle two AFC West foes in pre-season. The Seahawks can cope, be it at receiver or most other positions.
Few teams will be left with the kind of headaches facing Seattle come the end of the month. Cutting down to 53 will be excruciating. Other teams will be circling the facility hoping to be the first to claim the unwanted.
It’s no surprise the Seahawks have combined for 71 points against San Diego and Denver. Such blow outs don’t give you any real evidence in terms of how the starters will fare when the proper football begins, but it does highlight depth. And Seattle has it in spades.
That’s not to say a team exclusively filled with backups can win the NFC West. Of course they can’t. But if one, two or even three have to fill in this year — combined with the remaining starters — Seattle shouldn’t miss a beat.
Random NFL thoughts
- The Broncos could lose Von Miller for six games according to ESPN. They also pathetically lost Elvis Dumervil to Baltimore this summer, saw Derek Wolfe pick up a spinal injury on Saturday and Champ Bailey currently has a bad foot sprain. Speaking of depth, this will test Denver’s defense.
- Good for Blaine Gabbert that he’s been named Jacksonville’s starting quarterback. I’m not sure if it’s because his face doesn’t fit within media circles, but he’s been given a terrible ride from the press. A quarterback drafted to lead a hopeless franchise currently on his third Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator in three years. How was he supposed to succeed? I hope he proves the doubters wrong this year.
- The 49ers have traded first round bust A.J. Jenkins to Kansas City for another round one disappointment in Jon Baldwin. Cut your losses and run. It’s the best way. As much as San Francisco got that pick wrong, their 2013 draft looks scary. This team isn’t going anywhere. As for the deal itself, I like it. Baldwin is a good fit for the Niners and a fresh start could do him the world of good.