JOHN CLAYTON

Kris Richard calls Seahawks’ defensive-line depth ‘staggering’

Jun 13, 2016, 2:31 PM | Updated: 2:39 pm
Defensive coordinator Kris Richard says Chris Clemons can still be an effective pass rusher at 34. ...
Defensive coordinator Kris Richard says Chris Clemons can still be an effective pass rusher at 34. (AP)
(AP)
LISTEN: Kris Richard discusses improvement on defense

The Seahawks’ secondary often gets much of the credit for the dominating defense that led Seattle to its first Super Bowl championship. But a deep and talented defensive line was also a huge part of that 2013 team’s success.

Defensive coordinator Kris Richard told “John Clayton” Friday that Seattle’s current group of edge rushers is similar to what the Seahawks had in 2013 and that the extra talent and depth has improved from last season.

“It’s staggering,” Richard said of Seattle’s defensive-line resources. “It’s very reminiscent of the 2013 year in regards to our edge rushers, which is really cool.”

Leaner Frank Clark ready for bigger role in second year with Seahawks

The 2013 defensive line was so deep that ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, now starters, came off the bench behind Chris Clemons and Red Bryant. Tony McDaniel and Brandon Mebane were the starting tackles that season. They’ve since been replaced by Ahtyba Rubin and second-round pick Jarran Reed, who’s in line to start as a rookie. Seattle drafted end Frank Clark in the second round last year and this offseason brought back Clemons, who recorded 36 sacks during for Seattle from 2010-13.

Clemons’ sack production dipped from eight in 2014 to three last season with Jacksonville, but Richard sees something left in the tank at age 34.

“I think it’s huge,” Richard said of Clemons returning to Seattle one a one-year deal. “He’s a guy who is still effective rushing the passer. He still has the tools, he still has what it takes in order to get to the quarterback. It’s awesome to get him back.”

Richard pointed to Clark as a pseudo dark horse of the group who will have an opportunity to make an impact.

“Here’s a guy who last year was coming in as a rookie and had to grow and mature and develop and mold his professional craft,” Richard said. “He’s a guy who has done awesome in this offseason in regards to his preparation, how he has handled himself, what he has done in regards to his body.

“That’s a wealth of ends with a ton of talent. Guys who know how to get after the quarterback that are going to help this football team.”

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