Those east coasters do all they can to avoid giving the Seahawks coverage even when they’re the top seed in the NFC.
So during a 2-5 campaign, it would be especially easy to fall under the radar.
Chris Clemons is doing just that, my favorite acquisition of the Carroll era is quietly putting up elite numbers once again.
His 5 sacks through 7 games ties him for 7th amongst defensive ends, and 10th amongst defensive players. He has more tackles then four players ranked above him in sacks.
He is on pace to match his 11 sack total from last season, a career high and 10th amongst defensive players, if he finished with 11.5, he would have been tied for 7th. Amongst defensive ends only John Abraham, Justin Tuck, Charles Johnson, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Babin, (the Seahawks actually traded for him once), finished with more sacks in 2010.
Clemons always seemed to be the sort of player who just needed to be given an actual consistent opportunity to perform to his full potential. He had 8 sacks with Oakland in 2007 when he appeared in all 16 games and notched 2 starts and he played less then half of the teams overall defensive snaps.
Still, he has proven to be more then just a competent defensive starter, in fact he has developed into arguably the best pass rusher the Seahawks have seen since the 2007 Patrick Kerney who garnered defensive player of the year vote(s). Before that you have to go back to Michael Sinclair, who posted three consecutive monster seasons averaging 13.5 sacks from 1996-1998.
For some of the tongue lashing Pete Carroll is receiving; before he came here the Seahawks didn’t have Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Chris Clemons, Kam Chancellor…
They had a (broken down) Walter Jones, Deon Grant, Julius Jones, (a washed up) TJ Houshmandzadeh, John Carlson, Darryl Tapp, and (a broken down) Lawyer Milloy at the same positions.
Let the production of players like Chris Clemons, the rising talent level, and vastly lower age figure be a reminder that although things aren’t pretty right now, it’s going in the right direction.