seahawks

2012 Seattle Seahawks season preview part 4: The defensive depth chart

Defense Wins Championships

That’s the old saying, and that is absolutely what it will come down to when deciding the NFC West Champion this season.

The two contenders are the San Francisco 49ers, which are coming off a 13-3 season backed by an outstanding defense.  And the ‘underdog’ in most circles is our Seattle Seahawks. 

That’s the side of the ball I’m going to break down.  You can find my part one depth chart analysis on the offense here. You can find our Season Preview here. Part 1 & Part 2

Seahawk Defense

Defensive Lineman

Defensive End:  Red Bryant – 6’4”, 323.  Jason Jones – 6’5”, 276.

Defensive Tackle:  Alan Branch – 6’6”, 325.  Jaye Howard – 6’3”, 301.  Clinton McDonald – 6’2”, 297.  Brandon Mebane – 6’1”, 311.

LEO:  Chris Clemons – 6’3”, 254.  Bruce Irvin – 6’3”, 248.

The defensive line will look the same as last season, consisting of Bryant-Branch-Mebane-Clemons.  The two biggest additions to the defense won’t even start every down.

Jason Jones should slot in for Branch during obvious passing downs, and Irvin will take Bryant’s spot to spell the big man.

In nickel packages, the D-line will be either Irvin-Jones-Mebane-Clemons or McDonald instead of Mebane.

That makes me feel a whole lot better about third and longs this year, and it should make the secondary even better.

Rookie 4th round draft pick KJ Wright the new starting SLB

That’s an exciting thought.

Linebackers:

Weakside:  LeRoy Hill – 6’1”, 283.  Malcolm Smith – 6’0”, 226.

Middle Linebacker:  Bobby Wagner – 6’0”, 241.  Heath Farwell – 6’0”, 235.

Strongside:  KJ Wright – 6’4”, 246.  Mike Morgan – 6’3”, 226.

With the departure of David Hawthorne this past offseason and the addition of Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagnerwho brings a speed element to the linebacker core that was missing last season.

LeRoy Hill is hoping to build on his first full season since his rookie year, and he is the old man in a young linebacker core.

KJ Wright surprised everyone last season with his excellent play as a fourth round rookie, and did enough to get Aaron Curry traded (tough job).

Corner Backs:

Richard Sherman- 6’3″, 195.  Brandon Browner- 6’4″, 221.  Marcus Trufant - 5’11”, 197.  Jeremy Lane- 6’0″, 190.  Byron Maxwell- 6’1″, 207.  Walter Thurmond - 5’11”, 197.

Sophomore’s Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are back again this season and starting.

Sherman looks to improve on a season that he became a fan favorite and one of the most dominant corners in the NFL. Browner’s job this season is to cut down on the penalties, and big time.

Veteran Marcus Trufant is healthy again this season, and looking to make the transition from a starting cornerback to nickel corner. Byron Maxwell backs him up in that role.

The best safety tandem in pro football is back!

Walter Thurmond will challenge Trufant for the starting role when he returns from a broken leg.

Safeties:

Strong Safety:  Kam Chancellor- 6’3″, 232.  Jeron Johnson - 5’10″, 212.  Winston Guy - 6’1″, 218.

Free Safety:  Earl Thomas- 5’10”, 202.  Chris Maragos – 5’10″, 200.

Thunder and Lightning, E.T. and Bam Bam, Chancellor and Thomas. However you say it, the best safety tandem in the NFL is returning for their second year starting together.

Both players are coming off their first Pro-Bowl appearances. I’m going to be writing that line (minus the word first) for the next ten years!

Rookie Winston Guy is hyped coming into the regular season, and looks to fill the role Lawyer Milloy did such a good job with during his time in Seattle, blitzing off the edge and making plays.

Thanks for reading Northwest Sports Beat’s Season Preview’s, and stay tuned to NWSportsBeat.com for continued coverage throughout the regular season!

You can find part one on the offense here.

CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!

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