Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mora Thinks We Have Necessary Defensive Line Talent

by: William P. Tomisser

Jim Mora thinks that newly hired defensive line coach Dan Quinn can take the talent we already have and get them playing at a higher level:

"I believe we have some really fine young players, and an outstanding player in Pat Kerney," Mora said. "I also believe that it is the responsibility of a coach to try to -- as you evaluate your players -- figure out how to put them in the right position to have success. To come up with pass-rush plans, to educate them on protection schemes."

Clare Farnsworth wrote about Mora's assessments in his Seattle P-I column in today's edition.

Mora mentioned Bryant, Mebane, Jackson, Tapp, Miller (DE picked up off waivers last season), and Atkins as players who have the desire to be great players. He feels that desire coupled with a coach like Quinn will cause the defensive line to play at a higher level next season and produce an increased pass rush. Speaking of that dynamic with respect to Seattle's defensive ends, Mora said:

"If you couple their intelligence, their hunger, with what Dan Quinn brings to the table, I believe you'll see an increase in our outside pass rush," Mora said.

To Continue . . .

Patrick Kerney thinks that the injury to his left shoulder was the type of injury that has a low probability of happening again. He said that he caught his arm up just so for the injury to occur and that situation probably won't manifest itself again. He expects to be back playing next season.

Mora acknowledged that it was absolutely necessary for Kerney to be healthy for them to increase their pass rush with their existing personnel. Their success as a team in the pass rush department is almost twice as effective when Kerney is in the lineup.

Absent from Mora's comments was any talk about Rocky Bernard, which probably pretty well seals his fate and his career as a Seahawk. He had 8 1/2 sacks in 2005 but has only managed 11 in the three years since.

There doesn't seem to be much interest from the Seahawks in trying to pry All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth away from the Tennessee Titans or defensive end Bertrand Berry away from the Arizona Cardinals either. Mora seems confident that we already have good players on the defensive line and that they just need to be developed and coached up.

Farnsworth's article sums it up by saying:

"WHAT THEY NEED: To get Patrick Kerney healthy, and keep him healthy for an entire season. To have their young linemen step up to the next level, especially Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson. The Seahawks also need to turn into reality all the talk of improvement that Mora makes sound so reasonable."

Jim Mora has us all dazzled with his enthusiasm and has some of us believing that infusing the team with that same kind of emotion and desire can make a big difference with the talent we already have on the team.

He seems to have supreme confidence in his newly hired coaches and the coaches he left in place from Holmgren's staff to be able to get more out of the current players and get them playing at a higher level. In addition, adding top draft choices and a couple of free agents should give us the necessary talent to compete with the rest of the league for the championship.

Are we drinking the Kool-Aid yet? Do you guys here at SA buy into the theory that our current defensive linemen can raise their level of their play and become a top pressure unit in the NFL next season and put the kind of suffocating pressure on opposing quarterbacks that Mora wants to see? Do we have sufficient talent that a good defensive line coach can come in and make that kind of difference?

Even assuming that we will resign Green in free agency, if Bernard goes then we still need to acquire another defensive tackle unless Mora is counting on Kevin Brown from the practice squad to step in and enter the rotation this coming season. Mebane, Bryant, Terrill, and Green are four of the probable five DTs that we would maintain on our 53 man roster next season. We carried 5 defensive tackles last season along with 4 defensive ends.

Bill T