I had a chance to chat with Keith Myers from the Seattle Seahawks Fansided blog 12th Man Rising this week, and he was kind enough to answer some questions to help us Rams fans get to know our opponent better. As always when we do this, you can head over to his site to see the questions he had for me.
1. Marshawn Lynch is a guy I have liked since college, but he really looks to be hitting his stride. Is he for real, and how good can he be?
Lynch is a solid power back, but he doesn’t have that breakaway speed. He’s also a bit slow getting to the line of scrimmage at times, so running lanes occasionally close before he can even get to them. That said, he really is starting to come into his own and show his ability to dominate at time. Last week against the stout Baltimore defense, he really carried this offense. Overall he’s good, but I don’t think he’ll ever be considered one of the premier backs in this league.
2. Talk about Tarvaris Jackson. How has he looked this season and do you think he deserves more credit than he has been getting?
Jackson looked downright awful in the first couple weeks of the season. He was lost and looked like he didn’t really understand the offense at times, which is sad since it’s the same offense he ran in Minnesota. Since about halftime of week 3 though, he’s really played pretty well for the most part. He had a bad game against Dallas, but that game seems more like a flukey occurrence in the grand scheme of things.
Jackson has done a lot of things well for the Seahawks this season, and his contribution was made very clear when he was out with an injury. If the Seahawks can pick up a few more wins in the second half of the season, I do think you’ll start to see people talk more about Jackson’s play this year.
3. Defensively, how have the Seahawks looked so far? They have some nice pieces, so who should Rams fans be worried about on Sunday?
The Seahawks have been surprisingly stout against the run this year. Their front 4 are especially good at stopping the run. Combine that with arguably the best duo of safeties in the league and, as you said, they have some nice pieces. Overall though, the Seahawks defense still has holes. LB is becoming a bit of a problem, and CB as well. The Seahawks have also failed to generate much of a pass rush in most of their games this season.
As for individual players to watch out for, keep a eye on safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Both are second year players who have been playing at a pro-bowl level this season. And against the run it’s DT Alan Branch and DE Red Bryant. Both are immoveable block-eaters on the line that have given opposing lineman fits all season.
4. What is your opinion on Pete Carroll? Is he a guy who you can see being there for a long time, or is he going to have to start looking over his shoulder?
In my opinion, Carroll has done a good job as the Seahawks coach. He’s made some frustrating bad choices in terms of clock management and such at times this season, but overall those mistake are a small part of the job he’s done. Carroll took over a dismal roster and has turned it over in very little time and now has the Seahawks trending upward. It’s easy to see that, while the Seahawks wont make the playoffs again this year, they will be poised to do so next season.
So at this point Carroll has no reason to look over his shoulder, but if the Seahawks are 3-6 at this point next year I think he’ll want to keep his head on a swivel. I really think next season is going to be the make-or-break year for Carroll. If the Seahawks succeed in 2012, Carroll will likely be here for a long time. If the Seahawks stumble to another 10+ loss season, I can see him taking over a top college program by 2013.
5. I really thought the Seahawks were going to be one of the worst teams in the league this season, but they have won some nice games and held their own. Is this team overachieving, or was the national perception of their talent level way off heading into the season?
You have to remember that this team won a playoff game last season. There’s a lot of talent here. It’s mostly young and inexperienced talent, but there’s still talent. I really don’t get the national perception of this team. With the exception of the Matt Hasselbeck – Tarvaris Jackson swap, the rest of the personnel moves were mostly a step toward improving the team. The idea that a team capable of winning a playoff game would suddenly become one of the league’s bottom feeders seems a bit silly if you think about.
At this point, the Seahawks have played the league’s toughest schedule so far (based on opponent’s winning percentage), and have had injuries to all 5 of their starting offensive lineman. Add in having 2 rookie offensive lineman, a new QB, and a whole new offensive system that had to be implemented with no offseason and you can start to see the genesis of a 3-6 record. But this team is by no means lacking in talent.
Still, the Seahawks do still have their flaws. The transformation of the roster into a legitimate contender is not yet complete. I don’t want to sound as if this team is a superbowl contender. They’re not there yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see this team go 3-1 over the next month.