Moore: Excitement about Seahawks DB Marquise Blair isn’t making sense
Why is everyone so excited about Marquise Blair? Every time I turn around, it’s someone saying something about him needing to play more for the Seahawks.
Know why? Because he’s a big hitter, and everyone loves big hits, and they miss Kam Chancellor as an enforcer this defense used to have.
But as much as it’s too early to say he could be the next Kam, I’m thinking he could be the next Ethan Pocic, too. Another second-round choice who has yet to pan out as he enters his fourth NFL season.
In fact, I’d bet he has a better chance of not meeting expectations than becoming the type of difference-maker on defense you think he could be.
I say this because if he were all that great last year, wouldn’t he have replaced Bradley McDougald halfway through the season at strong safety? If I’m not mistaken, McDougald had a decent year but it wasn’t as good as his 2018 season.
Yet McDougald was still good enough to keep Blair on the sideline. So what does that tell you? A so-so McDougald was a better option, in Pete Carroll’s eyes, than a highly touted rookie from Utah.
Big hits are great, but apparently that part of Blair’s game wasn’t enough of a strength to compensate for weaknesses in other areas. I sense that he didn’t pick up on coverage schemes and other parts of the defense that are critical to getting playing time.
And think about this – it’s not as if the Seahawks were any great shakes on defense. You’d think that Carroll would have wanted to change it up at some point and see if Blair could make a difference. But he stuck with McDougald and used Blair in occasional dime packages.
Now we hear that Carroll might want to use Blair at the nickel corner spot, giving Ugo Amadi some competition. Carroll says he’s “very interested in finding a role for him” and raves about Blair, talking about his “real special talent.”
If he’s that special, why wasn’t he on the field more often last year? And if he’s that special, why isn’t he good enough to replace McDougald on a subpar defense?
Again, it’s too early to pass judgment on Blair. I just don’t get why you wouldn’t have played him last year, let him experience some growing pains and be better off for it this year.
Initial returns might be encouraging for you, but I suspect down the road we’ll be talking more about Blair being a disappointment than a game-changer for the Seahawks.
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