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Huard: Seahawks’ issue is they’re ‘not teaching this defense very well’

The Bills dominated the Seahawks through the air in a 44-34 win. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ defense has played so poorly this season that it would rank as the worst in the history of the NFL if the season ended today in both total yards allowed and passing yards allowed.

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It’s quite the situation for a 6-2 team that leads the NFC West and has been one of the most exciting offenses the league has seen in recent years.

So… what in the world is going on?

Brock Huard, co-host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast and an NFL on FOX color commentator who called Sunday’s 44-34 Seahawks loss to the Buffalo Bills, was asked that Tuesday morning on Danny and Gallant. Well, to be more specific, Danny O’Neil asked Huard, “Do you think that Pete Carroll has lost his ability to build a defense?”

The response: “I would say Pete Carroll and the staff through eight games is not teaching this defense very well. I would say that very, very clearly.”

Now, Huard wasn’t aiming his answer directly at Carroll, as his full comments covered a wide range of things he’s seeing and hearing from other experts about a unit that gave up the most points since Carroll took the job of Seattle’s head coach in 2010.

“Just reaching out to some of my folks and friends that were defensive players,” Huard said, “I come at it many times from a QB perspective, an offensive perspective, so I do try to balance how hard defense can be to play by bouncing it off some of my defensive peers, and to hear what they’re saying a little bit off the record is like ‘Wow.’ … It’s bad – the technique is bad, the tackling is bad, the fundamentals are bad, the scheme is bad, the awareness in the situations.”

Carroll’s Seahawks have always had a reputation for strong defense, but that’s been less and less true in the past few years and especially in 2020.

“The beauty and the pain of the NFL is that tape doesn’t lie. That is your résumé,” Huard said. “It doesn’t really care what you’ve done in the past. It is perplexing.

“… Something is missing. Pete knows every X’s and O’s 100 times better than any of us do. … He knows all, but whatever it is, from he to the staff to the teaching to the players to the implementing of it, it’s not working. It’s broken. If the season ends today, this is the worst defense statistically in the history of the NFL – total yards and pass defense. That’s not where you want to be.”

What the Seahawks need to do

When listing the issues that Seattle is facing on defense, one thing Huard didn’t point to was the personnel the team has put together. In fact, he went through a number of players that are currently healthy that he sees should be playing at either All-Pro, Pro Bowl or near-Pro Bowl levels – linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, defensive tackle Jarran Reed, and recently-acquired defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

“A lot of it is gonna fall on Bobby and K.J. and Jamal and Diggs and now Dunlap and Jarran Reed – guys that have done it at the highest levels in this league. It is going to be incumbent upon them to just put it together, and frankly many of those, save for Jarran and Dunlap, did not play well once again in Buffalo, were not difference-makers and were part of the problem. … That’s half of your defense that I just referenced. That half has to pick up their pace.”

You can hear the full discussion between Huard, O’Neil and Paul Gallant in the Blue 42 segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Related: Either Seahawks’ D is about to take off or coaching is the problem

Danny and Gallant Show