After handing over back-to-back games to the Titans and Vikings, the Seahawks are 1-2 and desperately need a spark. But since there are two departmental matchups that are only four days apart, things have to be done quickly. Otherwise, Seattle could stand 1-4 next Friday morning.
While the team’s problems may be based on philosophy and plan rather than staff, it can help them get healthier and shake up the grid – and the squad as a whole. Here’s how:
Dee Eskridge (concussion) returns
The timing for this is ultimately out of Seattle’s control, but the offense clearly missed the presence of their top draft poll. In the two games Eskridge missed, play caller Shane Waldron’s approach has changed noticeably. The use of pre-snap motion was rare and Freddie Swain – although productive in Eskridge’s absence – does not offer the momentum of its rookie counterpart. It is possible that Eskridge can get back to training as early as today. If so, his return should bring Waldron’s offense back on the mission.
Let passers-by do what their job title means
This is more of a schematic thing, but in general it boils down to talent abuse. As part of their bear fronts, the Seahawks occasionally ditch their edge pieces and pounce three on the inside. This was the case with the Vikings’ first touchdown in the game on Sunday. The problem is, Seattle doesn’t have the talent to win that way. These instances only occur a few times per game, but it’s still too often. Alton Robinson, who gets nine coverage snapshots in Minnesota, shouldn’t have happened. Let your pass rushers do what they do best and get to the quarterback instead of approaching Poona Ford (2.5 career bags), Al Woods (6.5), Robert Nkemdiche (4.5), and others left to come home in crucial situations.
Geno Atkins sign
Speaking of the insides, here’s one way the Seahawks could potentially add more pass rush and build a run defense that allows for the third most yards per game (155.0). Now, of course, it’s hard to ignore the fact that 33-year-old Atkins, who hasn’t signed to a team after shoulder surgery, was still signing at that point. There may be more here than you think, but with a line of defense dominated in the trenches for the past two weeks, a shot at the three-time all-pro – with a non-guaranteed contract, no less – sounds at least slightly appealing .
Replace Tre Flowers with Sidney Jones at the right cornerback
It’s been three weeks now and Flowers hasn’t shown any signs of improvement. In fact, it could be argued that this year he’s taken another step back than anything else. The amount of space it gives opposing receivers before snapping is a massive problem. He essentially gives teams free meters and quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins take full advantage of this. While he is not hit by the deep ball as a result, good to elitist distance runners eat him alive. At this point the Seahawks can no longer justify moving on with him. And while Jones is a pretty unproven commodity that still hasn’t been able to crack the lineup after a month in Seattle, it’s hard not to feel like he can’t be much worse than what this is Team from Flowers.
Activate Tre Brown (knee) from injured Reserved
If Jones can’t fix the Seahawks’ cornerback problems, Brown may eventually. Now that three weeks have passed, Oklahoma round four selection from the injured reserve can be activated. Of course, it will understandably take a few weeks for it to regain its momentum before it’s ready to play any meaningful snapshots. Brown might not have presented a preseason that is sure to instill confidence in his abilities, but he arguably has the highest cap of any corners on this roster and plays with an aggressive style that Seattle generally lacks at the moment. Again; how much worse could it be?