Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus recently graded the Seattle Seahawks’ starting lineup for the upcoming year.
Hornsby lists four Seattle players as elite at their positions – Percy Harvin, Richard Sherman, Max Unger and Antoine Winfield as a slot defender in Seattle’s nickel package.
My only beef is with Earl Thomas being ranked only as “above average” on his rating scale.
Here’s what Hornsby has to say about that:
“I know the player’s grade who will get everyone excited is Thomas. The truth is, though, we think — while he’s a decent enough player — bracketing him with the likes of Weddle, Byrd etc. is a long stretch. When I think of the position safety the first word that comes to mind is “safe” and missing 20 of 81 tackles (inc. playoffs) doesn’t give me a feeling of comfort.”
I love what Pro Football Focus does, and it certainly tells part of the story of what is happening on the field. But judging players using numbers-specific metrics does not give us a complete picture, in my view. First off, measuring missed tackles is subjective. Secondly, Thomas, because of his range, has more opportunities than most free safeties due to his speed and anticipation.
Lastly, the true measurement of a free safety is how many times he gets beat deep IN THE PASS GAME, and how many plays he makes. And I think there is no argument that Thomas is elite in this area.
ESPN’s Mike Sando looks at Pro Football Focus’ player rankings from an NFC West perspective.
Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle takes a closer look at Seattle’s situation at the safety position.
Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times debates what Seattle receiver will have the most catches this season. He goes with Percy Harvin for most catches, and Sidney Rice for most receiving yards.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com talks with Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn about defensive end Chris Clemons, who was surprisingly left off of the NFL Network’s list of the top pass rushers in the game.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com puts Seattle’s health concerns at defensive line as one of his top four NFC West questions heading into training camp.
More Rosenthal: The competition for backup running back between Robert Turbin and Christine Michael is among his top 25 NFC position battles. I think I would have replaced this with the competition at right guard between John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy.
Adam Schein of NFL.com ranks Percy Harvin the most important player on Seattle’s roster heading into training camp.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland pens an interesting article on the lineage of the best quarterbacks in NFL history starting in 1959, ranking who held the crown as best quarterback of the year for each season. Needless to say, no Seattle player makes the list.
Russell Investments has teamed up with Russell Wilson, and will donate $2,000 to Wilson’s foundation for every touchdown pass or run he records this season.
Clark Judge of CBS Sports lists the competition for the NFC West division crown as one of his 10 storylines to watch for in 2013.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports writes that San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh taking the Seahawks to task for the team’s PED issues rings hollow after he traded for former Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright, who served a four-game suspension last season for reportedly testing positive for Adderall.