Dan Kelly, Field Gulls, and the Linebackers

I’ve got just a few quick things for all of you this Friday afternoon.  First off, writer Dan Kelly is leaving Seahawk Addicts to take over the helm at Field Gulls.  That site has lacked direction ever since John Morgan left, and Dan has both the enthusiasm to make a strong go of it and the writing chops to succeed over there.  We’ll miss him and his contributions here at SA, but I’m excited to watch Field Gulls benefit and grow under his stewardship.  After all, Seahawks blogs are all one big, happy family; when more of us do well, that just means that you the readers have that much more quality content to look forward to reading.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve got a short piece for you on Seattle’s linebackers written by reader Zee Samnani.  I promised him that it would be published last week, but sickness and my own natural forgetfulness intervened.  Well, better late than never, right?  Enjoy everyone, and have a good weekend!

To continue reading, please click on “Read More” below.

The LB Situation
By Zee Samnani

One of the complicated situations currently facing the Seahawks’ organization is their linebacker corps.  Despite being filled with potential, the group as a whole looked mediocre last season.  They weren’t able to generate any pass rush and looked lackluster in coverage.  The one bright spot for the group was David Hawthorne, who is coming off another amazing season with 100+ tackles.  I believe that right now he is the best linebacker the Seahawks have.  Aaron Curry has shown flashes of brilliance, and Lofa Tatupu has obviously lost a step in his game.  Hopefully those two can start to pull their own weight, because if they play up to their potential this could be the scariest group of linebackers in the NFC.

Aaron Curry needs to step up.  Labeled the best defensive player available in the 2009 draft, he needs to live up to the potential that made him the fourth overall selection.  Many players chosen after him like Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, and Clay Matthews have had much better careers to date, and he must have a breakout season to avoid being labeled a bust.  He has the physical tools to succeed, but he needs figure out how to put them to use on every down.  2011 is his year — it’s now or never.

Lofa Tatupu was a pro bowler from 2005 – 07 and was considered one of the elite inside linebackers in the league, but then his knees started acting up and he’s never been the same since.  He’s missed 12 games over the last three seasons and must return to his old self or risk being replaced by David Hawthorne.  At 28 he isn’t too old to bounce back, and he must become great again to make this LB group better.  He has the intelligence to succeed, he just has to be able to play at a high level for all 16 games.

That brings us to Hawthorne, although there isn’t much more that needs to be said.  His play has been amazing, and if Tatupu continues to decline he’ll replace him at middle linebacker.  The depth on the team is very good.  Leroy Hill and Will Herring are good backups for the outside linebacker positions, and they should be bolstered by a pickup or two this offseason. 

This group can be amazing, but in order for that to happen both Curry and Tatupu MUST step up and play to their potential.