JIM MOORE

Moore: Reed gets No. 90 back and Seahawks appear to move on from Clowney

Apr 29, 2020, 10:02 AM | Updated: 12:31 pm
Seahawks DT Jarran Reed...
Seahawks DT Jarran Reed is returning to No. 90, Jadeveon Clowney's number in 2019. (Getty)
(Getty)

Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed caused a stir Wednesday morning with a Tweet: “To clarify all questions, yes I am back in number 90.”

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Reed wore No. 90 for his first three seasons but gave 90 to Jadeveon Clowney last year. So does this mean once and for all that Clowney won’t return to the Seahawks? Certainly sounds like it.

I mean, wouldn’t Reed have to ask one of the higher-ups, such as GM John Schneider, if it was OK to switch back to No. 90? And wouldn’t one of those higher-ups have told him, “Hey, Jarran, can you wait on that a little bit longer ‘til we clear things up with Jadeveon? That all right with you?”

I’m assuming some sort of question was asked, and Reed got the green light to go back to his old number. Which is fine by me. We saw what this defense was like with Clowney last year, and it was below average.

For everyone who thought Clowney was God’s gift to defensive linemen, if that were the case, why are 32 general managers balking at paying him what he thinks he’s worth? It’s because of his injury history, inconsistency and the inability to get sacks and give him a physical.

I understand that the Seahawks’ defense could be worse without him. But is there a chance it could be better without him? I’d like to find out. Why? Because even with Clowney, they were one of the worst defenses in the league at getting to the quarterback and stopping running backs. They also gave up far too many completions to wide receivers and made too many average QBs look like future Hall of Farmers.

On Tuesday’s show, Dave Wyman stopped me in my tracks when he said: “Man, you really don’t like the defensive line.”

It was a fair comment, especially since I tend to get overly negative at times. But then I thought, Dave’s right, I don’t like the defensive line.

When you look at the rest of the defense, you feel good about the linebackers. And now with the addition of Quinton Dunbar, you feel good about the cornerbacks, aside perhaps from the nickel spot. Same goes for the safeties with Quandre Diggs, Bradley McDougald and the potential of Marquise Blair.

The defensive line is the weakest group of the bunch, and maybe the defensive end part of that will change with the drafting of Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson and free-agent acquisitions of Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa. It’s overly optimistic to think Taylor and Robinson will come in and offer significant contributions as rookies, but Irvin and Mayowa should help right away.

And Schneider figures to add another veteran sack specialist at some point, although Carroll sounds like he’s good to go as is with his pass rushers, saying: “We’ve addressed an issue and now we have to make it come to life.”

Reed is one of the keys to a better pass rush. After getting 10.5 sacks in 2018, Reed had only two in 10 games last year after serving a six-game suspension to start the year. Reed experienced dramatic dropoffs in all statistical categories, going from 24 QB hits and 12 tackles for loss in 2018 to eight QB hits and zero TFL’s in 2019.

“It’s important that J-Reed comes back to the kind of production he had a couple years ago,” Carroll said.

Based on his production last year, I didn’t think Reed warranted the contract the Seahawks gave him: a two-year, $23 million deal with $14 million guaranteed. If you’re the Seahawks, you’re thinking if Reed has a full training camp and full season, he should return to his old form. I’m guessing we’ll see a Jarran Reed who’s somewhere in between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and if that happens, it won’t be worth $11 million a year.

As much as we talk about the Seahawks needing a better pass rush, I think they need to beef up in the middle of that line too. They lost Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods in free agency and could use one or two more bigger bodies to add to the depth behind Reed and Poona Ford. Sign me up with those who think the Seahawks should bring in Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

Dave was justified in calling me out. But if they can get 35 to 40 sacks and reduce the yards per carry from 4.9 to 4.2 this year, disliking the defensive line won’t be a topic of conversation anymore.

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Moore: Reed gets No. 90 back and Seahawks appear to move on from Clowney