Friday, May 27, 2011

SEAHAWKS: State of the Defensive Tackles

Brandon Mebane
This entire state of the defensive tackles and where the Seahawks go with the position revolves around one man.

Brandon Mebane.

Mebane has gone from a fat guy who can only stop the run to an intimidating force in the middle who has added pass-rushing abilities to his arsenal. He only accumulated one sack in 2010, but that’s because teams double teamed him. With Mebane being doubled, it left guys like Chris Clemons to take their guys 1-on-1 and get the sacks.

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So basically, when Mebane wasn’t injured (he was out 4 games), he dictated the opposing offense’s entire blocking scheme. But we have a problem. Mebane is going to be a free agent once the lockout is lifted, and he’s likely going to be asking for an expensive, long term contract.

Pete Carroll has a choice here. Does he re-sign Mebane and get his production but eat his huge contract, or does he let Mebane go and leave the DT spots to Colin Cole, Craig Terrill, and Dexter Davis?

Oh yeah, the other guys. Colin Cole started alongside Mebane in the right defensive end spot, and did a decent job there. It probably helps that he’s 6-2, 328 lbs. We all know what we get with the hardworking, slow, field goal blocking Terrill, as he’s been in Seattle since 2004. Dexter Davis is a bit of a wild card, as he didn’t get a ton of playing time. But bottom line, none of these guys could replace Mebane’s production.

And to add to the issue, the Seahawks did not draft a defensive tackle in the draft, so it seems we’re stuck with this group.

Let’s go back to the question: Should the Seahawks re-sign Mebane even if they have to eat a big contract? The answer is yes. I’m not comfortable with Craig Terrill starting at D-tackle, and I don’t think anyone else is either. Yeah, Mebane is going to cost a lot, but his production is worth it.

2011 projected starting lineup
Starters: Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole
Bench: Craig Terrill, Dexter Davis, another signed free agent.

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