Walter stated recently he has never felt better to do battle in the trenches, if what he says is true then Seattle’s opponents are in for a rude awakening when they try to rush or stop the run on his side of the ball.
Almost any player in the NFL will tell you Walter Jones is the toughest player to play against on the defensive side of the ball. Walter brings a key to an Offensive line decimated with injuries last year including Walter Jones.
Walter Jones is the center piece of a Seahawks Offensive line that went through many growing pains last year Seattle was projected to win the West again but with all the injuries sustained that task was next to impossible with the resurgence of the Arizona Cardinals
In order for Seattle to be successful in 2009 the core offensive lineman must stay healthy, if they do not then no matter what Seattle does they will be a sub par team regardless of new additions T.J. Houshmanzadeh and a healthy Deion Branch and Nate Burleson contributing to the offensive scheme of things.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters – LT Walter Jones, LG Mike Wahle, C Chris Spencer, RG Rob Sims, RT Sean Locklear. Backups – Ray Willis, Max Unger, Mansfield Wrotto, Kyle Williams, Steve Vallos, Na’Shan Goddard, William Robinson, Andre Ramsey, David Washington.
If Jones and Wahle return healthy, the Hawks have enough depth here. If they do not, then they could have some problems, both running the ball and in pass protection. Also, Spencer and Sims must stay healthy. Unger is coming along with the second unit, but still needs to adjust to the more physical play at this level.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters – LDE Patrick Kerney, LDT Brandon Mebane, RDT Colin Cole, RDE Cory Redding. Backups — Darryl Tapp, Lawrence Jackson, Red Bryant, Baraka Atkins, Craig Terrill, Kevin Brown, Brandon Miller, Nick Reed, Michael Bennett.
Although they haven’t practiced yet in pads, Mebane appears to have made a nice transition to the 3-technique role. Mora has made glowing comments on the progress of defensive ends Jackson and Tapp. If both continue to show improvement, and Patrick Kerney can come back healthy, this unit should be much better in 2009. Mebane also has been complimentary of new teammate Cole’s play inside. And Bryant has been a disruptive force in camp during off season workouts.
LINEBACKERS: Starters – WLB Leroy Hill, MLB Lofa Tatupu, SLB Aaron Curry. Backups — Will Herring, Aaron Curry, D.D. Lewis, David Hawthorne, Lance Laury, Dave Philistin, Tony Taylor.
This should be the strength of Seattle’s defense. So far Curry has proved to be the real deal, pleasantly surprising the Seahawks coaching staff with his ability to rush the passer. Curry’s presence in the starting lineup adds versatility to the linebackers’ unit. Once he returns to the field, Lewis will continue to offer versatility by being able to play all three positions. Hawthorne is a solid backup for Tatupu, while Herring has potential to contribute.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters – LCB Marcus Trufant, FS Brian Russell, SS Deon Grant, RCB Ken Lucas. Backups — Josh Wilson, Jordan Babineaux, Kelly Jennings, Kevin Hobbs, Marquis Floyd, C.J. Wallace, Jamar Adams, Courtney Greene.
This unit struggled last season and must play better in order for the defense to improve. Grant and Russell will once again serve as the eyes and ears of the defense from the back. Expect fewer situations where Russell is left alone in single safety coverage over the middle. However, Mora still likes to pressure, so defensively Seattle will pick their spots to blitz. Wallace, Adams and Greene have seen time at both safety positions.
“We’re not really necessarily going after the Cardinals; we’re going after everybody” Mebane told a Seattle-area radio station. “We’re going to play everybody hard like we’re supposed to play them. The Cardinals, we’ve got to give them that because they won the NFC and the division last year. But that was last year and this is a new year so we’re going to play everybody hard, not just the Cardinals, but everybody.”