Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Special Teams in Dire Straits

by: Michael Steffes

Profootballweekly's most recent blurb paints a doom and gloom picture of the Seahawks special teams. Currently this is one of the major concerns of the team heading into camp, along with the wide receivers. However, I am not so worried, it will come together. PFW says...

It’s bad enough that neither free-agent addition Olindo Mare nor seventh-round rookie Brandon Coutu has come close to making anybody forget departed PK Josh Brown, replacements must be found for the coverage unit’s top two performers (free-agent defectors Niko Koutuvides and Kevin Bentley), the new long-snapper is expected to be unproven sixth-round rookie Tyler Schmitt and a scramble is under way among a flurry of candidates to take over a huge portion of Nate Burleson’s return duties, as his role as a receiver has been greatly accelerated. Making matters worse is the untimely torn pectoral suffered by P Ryan Plackemeier while lifting weights that our sources tell us is likely to shut him down through training camp.
This is a bit over dramatic if you ask me. To say that Mare or Coutu are leaving a lot to be desired goes back to my argument for TJ Duckett. So far all they have done was kick field goals on an empty field. Wait until they get to the preseason and we will see if they can kick. To continue reading click...

As for Nate, well it isn't like he left the team. If they have problems finding his replacement, they can always hand the job back to him. They put Bobby back out there last year when Nate was struggling with certain aspects.

As for the gunners, the team expects Laury and Herring to step into those roles. They played well enough last year, and the team is likely to keep Mallard which will provide some veteran experience on special teams. I am not too worried about this aspect. All it takes is a guy who can run, tackle, and tries hard. Our team is full of try hard guys.

And finally, the team hopes Plack will be back by week 1, but if he isn't it won't be the end of the world. We can hem and haw about the snapping last year, but the truth is that Fudge was statistically one of the worst punters. His production was near replacement value, meaning a free agent could be brought in and do just as well. He is very good at pinning the team inside the 20, which would be missed, but overall his punting can be replicated easily.

One final thing that is mentioned is that Matt is the backup holder behind Fudge. I would be very surprised if that continues. They have the whole camp to get somebody ready. My guess is that it would be Seneca. He should be the holder anyway. A dual threat, run or pass, assuming Holmgren makes good on his words to try some fakes.