Huard: Seahawks have a 2-pronged problem on defense

Nov 27, 2021, 1:59 AM
Seahawks Rasheem Green Colt McCoy...
Arizona QB Colt McCoy avoids the sack by Seahawks DE Rasheem Green on Nov. 21. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

An old problem is back for the Seattle Seahawks.

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Just like in 2019 and the first half of 2020, the Seahawks are struggling to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. While Darrell Taylor, technically a rookie, and Rasheem Green pace the team with four and three sacks, respectively, that’s not exactly a good thing considering the veteran players on Seattle’s roster who are supposed to be proving the majority of sacks.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who helped spur on a surge of Seahawks sacks in the second half of 2020, has just one half-sack this year. That hurts even more considering that the role for strong safety Jamal Adams, who led Seattle with 8.5 sacks last season to set a single-season NFL record for defensive backs, has clearly changed, as he has zero sacks this year.

So that’s the problem for the Seahawks’ defense, right? That the lack of pressure is preventing Seattle from creating turnovers or getting off the field on third down?

Well, it’s not as simple as that, according to FOX Sports college football analyst and former NFL quarterback Brock Huard. On a recent edition of his daily segment on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show, Huard pointed to the Seahawks having a two-pronged problem on defense, one that was on display when they lost to an Arizona Cardinals team led by backup quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 11.

“What do you want to do to volume passers?” Huard asked, referring to McCoy, who completed 35 of 44 passes for 328 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. “You want to hit him early. You want to disrupt him, you want to take away their first option or second option. Make him at least get to the third option or check downs.”

And what that adds up to is the Seahawks’ defensive backs not providing tight enough coverage to give Seattle’s pass rushers time to get after the quarterback.

“When the first option is open, and the ball is out in less than two seconds, (what can the pass rushers do)?” Huard said. “… The only time (McCoy) had to hold it, he did get sacked, right? (Bryan) Mone did get home, they did get after him. Most of the time that ball’s out in less than two seconds and it’s completion after completion after completion, because you play sub-zones and your linebackers aren’t sticky and they don’t pattern read and they don’t have a feel, so it all blends together.”

You can hear Huard’s full conversation with Mike Salk in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Mike Salk

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Huard: Seahawks have a 2-pronged problem on defense