Information has been limited from Seahawks training camp, with the team inviting the media to attend while simultaneously not allowing them to actually report anything.
Regardless, all we’ve really got are a few team-sanctioned tidbits such as ‘D.K. Metcalf is playing well’ and ‘Jamal Adams is good’.
Therefore it was refreshing to get a more revealing and honest report from Jake Heaps on the Brock and Salk podcast this week (see above).
He starts off by praising the impact of Adams and the new-look secondary. Certainly the thought of him being joined by Quandre Diggs and Marquise Blair is a tantalising thought for a defense that wants to be physical. He noted that last year it was Tedric Thompson, Lano Hill and Shalom Luani and the difference is definitely noticeable.
That’s the good news.
At the 42:50 mark in the podcast the conversation turns to the defensive line.
Heaps has close connections to the team. He’s a former player for a start but he also trains with Russell Wilson and receives plenty of access working for the flagship radio station.
Generally speaking, he’s positive about the Seahawks. He could never be accused of being deliberately negative.
So what he said about the D-line was alarming. It also confirmed all of the fears we’ve expressed on this website about the state of the unit and the consequences it could have for the Seahawks in 2020.
Here are some selected quotes:
“It’s still a problem. There’s nothing in my mind, as I look at this group, that has changed. In terms of the number one problem that the Seahawks have had all off-season — identified by Pete, identified by John — all throughout the off-season, has been pass rush. Has been defensive line. And that to me is still the glaring weakness of this equation.”
“Now, they can dress it up. They can try and hide it by unique skillsets of those three guys that I mentioned — Bobby Wagner, Jamal Adams and Marquise Blair — but those three guys can’t mask the overall problem of your defense.”
“Your defense is designed — ‘four beat five’. Four rushers can beat five and we can play our coverage, our scheme behind it. You’re asking guys to play positions or roles that they’ve never played in before. That to me is evident.”
“Benson Mayowa for example… he is a rotational pass rusher. If he was your third pass rusher… I’d be all for it. Now you’re asking him to be your starting LEO. You’re asking Bruce Irvin, who’s always been a consistent six-and-a-half-sacks type of player, you’re asking (him) to be your leading pass rusher in a role he’s never played before.”
“Those are things that you look at and it draws major concern. Outside of Jarran Reed and Poona Ford, your depth at the defensive tackle position is scary.”
“You look at this group and I’m telling you that unless this secondary is one of the best of all time, you can’t hide all the warts that you have across your defensive line.”
“This is going to be a gamble guys and that’s why I say, right now, on Tuesday August 25th, that this group cannot be done. Pete and John cannot be done addressing this issue, that they’re going to make some sort of late acquisition before the season starts.”
The simple fact is the D-line isn’t good enough. When it comes to the key NFC West games or a playoff game down the line — it will cost the Seahawks.
Something needs to be done or there’s a serious risk this unit will deliver a wasted season.
It’s why I keep coming back to this point. Which is worse? Spending $15-17m a year for Jadeveon Clowney on a two or three year deal and it not working out, or not spending that money and relying on Benson Mayowa as your primary rusher in 2020?
Even if it has to be a one-year deal. Get it done. Find a way. You’ve waited long enough.
You’ve gone all-in by trading away two future first round picks for Jamal Adams. You can’t waste that investment by trotting out an atrocious D-line.
The true gamble isn’t spending money on Clowney. The true gamble is not spending the money and hoping what you already have is good enough when it quite clearly isn’t.
If you missed the new podcast over the weekend check it out:
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