Saturday, October 18, 2008

Does Size Matter?

by: Michael Steffes

There is a lot of talk amongst the Seahawks' fanbase about the size of the Seattle defense. Terms like "midgets" are often used. In fact, the linemen don't escape it either, as there are constant calls for bigger defensive tackles as well. But, is it really the size of the players that are the problem? Let's look at the defensive units for this weekend's game side by side.

Heights and weights taken from the SA roster and

LDE: Patrick Kerney 6-5 272lbs vs Kevin Carter 6-6 305
LDT: Rocky Bernard 6-3 308lbs vs Chris Hovan 6-2 296
RDT: Brandon Mebane 6-1 314lbs vs Jovan Haye 6-2 285
RDE: Darryl Tapp 6-2 270lbs vs Gaines Adams 6-5 258

OLB: Julian Peterson 6-3 240lbs vs Cato June 6-0 227
MLB: Lofa Tatupu 6-0 242lbs vs Barret Rudd 6-2 241
OLB: Leroy Hill 6-1 238lbs vs Derrick Brooks 6-0 235

LCB: Marcus Trufant 5-11 197lbs vs Phillip Buchanon 5-11 186
RCB: Josh Wilson 5-9 192lbs vs Ronde Barber 5-10 184
SS: Deon Grant 6-2 215lbs vs Jermaine Phillips 6-2 220
FS: Brian Russell 6-2 210lbs vs Tanard Jackson 6-0 200

Very interesting, wouldn't you say? The Seahawks are bigger at almost every position than the Bucs, who currently field one of the better defenses in the league. Currently, the Bucs have the 9th ranked rush defense, and rank 13th in overall defense. Kevin Carter is bigger than Patrick Kerney, but he isn't even an every down player on this defense. Carter often substitutes for Greg White, who is only 6-3, 270--very comparable to Kerney. Other than that, everyone is either similar in size or smaller. Amazing.

Somehow, in Monty Kiffin's scheme, size really doesn't matter. The defense gets the job done, thus there are few complaints from the fans. However, in Seattle, management takes heat for what fans perceive to be a fascination with undersized players. However, this is just not the case.

If you look at 4-3 personnel around the league, the Hawks are comparable to anyone in the league. So the next time you want to blame the "midget" defense, think again. The defense that is truly undersized this weekend is one the Seahawks should envy. ~END~