Key Player Trade Shakes Up 49ers Roster, Leaves Fans Disheartened

Key Player Trade Shakes Up 49ers Roster, Leaves Fans Disheartened


There are all kinds of football seasons. Some are hopeless from the start. Others deviate partially from the course. It is best to build a crescendo and then decide clearly and firmly that no team is bigger. Seasons are not much different than individual games, quarters or games.

One follows another and then another until the story line begins. Seattle had seasons in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 that combined a crystal clear story. The Seahawks were the team to win in the NFL. They were the next dynasty. Young, brave, talented and blessed with an indomitable will, they were too jealous. Even in a 2015 season that almost ended in relegation, there was an encouraging story to tell if you were following the arc of that season.

This season ends differently. Seattle is no longer a division bully, and there is less reason to expect the improvements needed to reach the top.The Falcons team that beat the Seahawks yesterday probably beat them 70 out of 100 games with the same players and the same place.

Their offense was by far the best unit on the field in that game. Russell Wilson was quoted as saying it felt the same as the 2012 loss in Atlanta, but that sentiment belies the truth. The 2012 Seahawks needed more pass rushers. The season. They had everything else needed.

This team needs their offensive line to go from worst in football to at least average. They need their quarterback to show the ability to consistently take over games and make the throws needed to win. They need a running back who can stay healthy for more than a few games, and cornerbacks with upside.

It may be time for new voices on the coaching staff, with new ideas, and new perspectives. It would be unwise to see the injuries suffered by Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Michael Bennett as poor fortune. The core is getting older, and injuries will be more common.It’s not all doom and gloom. Seattle should be a playoff team for the next decade as long as Wilson plays.

Now is not the time to abandon ship and get into lifeboats. The boat was launched this year, but is still a heavily armed warship. John Schneider and Pete Carroll kept 15 rookies on the roster. They lowered their average age significantly in hopes that this new generation of Seahawks could grow around a veteran core like trees around a Mayan temple.

Those young men were too much of a burden to carry, at least on the offensive line. Those on the roster with scattered supporting roles like Tanner McEvoy, Alex Collins, Nick Vannett and Jarran Reed have gone through their ups and downs in relative obscurity. George Fanti, Mark Glowinski and Germain Ifedi were asked to learn to play in this league as the only things standing in the way of their quarterback and Aaron Donald, Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones.

Judge their game harshly if necessary, but the plan deserves the most scrutiny.The Seahawks have put together an offensive line two years in a row. Two years in a row it was their undoing. The office’s hope must be that they will grow into a reliable and affordable entity. It was a good idea from a head control standpoint, but the lack of veteran depth to fall back on if things went catastrophically wrong was needlessly outrageous.

The line wasn’t the biggest reason the Falcons beat the Seahawks in that game, but it sure is the reason the game was played in Atlanta instead of Seattle.What cost Seattle a chance to win this game was a secondary that couldn’t compete with Matt Ryan and its offense.

No player was unscathed. It would be easy to point the finger at the pass not coming home, but Ryan noticed that the players were running free faster than the receivers were arriving. Richard Sherman has to do to establish himself as the best corner in the league. DeShawn Shead could return from a torn ACL next year, and Jeremy Lane fell victim to the big play too often. Seattle has deep safety issues. Steve Terrell is a good backup, but his challenges in the open field make him a liability starter.Thomas explained that we should never assume that these players want to be around just because their bodies allow them to be.

Both starting defensive ends could play five more years or just one. The cupboard must be filled.Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are both 31 years old. They should remain productive for the next few years, but it’s risky to assume they are. Thomas Rawls and C.J.

The pros showed so much promise, but no one could play more than a few games in a row. What can Seahawks fans hope for?Linebackers are young and elite and just need an extra player for SAM. The receivers, led by Doug Baldwin and a recovering Tyler Lockett, are strong. Paul Richardson and McEvoy represent players with untapped potential. The run defense should remain strong with Reed and Ahtyba Rubin.

Then there’s Wilson.The easiest thing to do would be to point out the throws he missed in that game, including two that were probably touchdowns. It’s harder to gauge how much of his challenges this year were injury vs. porous line play vs. in-game immaturity. He can’t control the line play, but I really hope to hear that he will redouble his efforts this season to be in top shape and master the art of his position. Whether you’re Wilson’s staunchest supporter or his most cynical critic, we can all agree that he might be better than any player we’ve seen this season. This.

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