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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why the Seahawks Should Sign Darren Sproles

When the season is over and the Seahawks’ season is mercifully finished, look back at the game highlights. If you want to take it further, watch every minute of every Seahawks game played this season (which at this point is a pretty good torture tactic). I’ve watched every game, and I think one of the top problems the Seahawks have, is the supreme lack of a consistent offensive playmaker. I think Josh Wilson can be a playmaker and he’s already made crucial INTs and kickoff returns, the defense has guys that can be playmakers if coached correctly.

The offense? I don’t know where to start. Nate Burleson is the closest thing they have I guess, but there is no other consistent guy on offense that can make a big play downfield. That’s one of the problems in this offense and I hope that Jim Mora and Tim Ruskell realize this; I know I do…..which leads me to my next statement:


The San Diego Chargers running back/special teams return man is an unrestricted free agent after this season. He has had some dazzling performances and is really stepping up as an offensive player since Michael Turner is currently destroying any human being in his path with the Falcons. My reasoning behind signing another running back is simple:

  • Maurice Morris is an unrestricted free agent (and it’s time for another RB’s style). Morris is going to be a running back that teams like the Denver Broncos would want. As much as I like Morris, his running style is pretty much the same as Julius Jones‘. Morris is going to be 30 next season, Jones will be 28. While Morris has never been a solid NFL starter (and to me he can be a consistent starter), the number of years left in him is less than what Jones has. The Seahawks need 2 different running styles and a better backup. Darren Sproles is more deadly in the open field than any player on the current roster. You can split him out wide and/or let him loose on screen passes. In the running game he has the speed to get outside on off-tackle plays, he hits the hole hard and is an ankle breaker with his quick moves. Most importantly, he has BREAKAWAY SPEED, something that is lacking in the Seahawks. Morris is likely to go, Sproles to me would be a great replacement.
  • Nate Burleson’s workload (AKA injury risk) is reduced. When your starting wide receiver is returning kickoffs and punts then that’s a recipe for disaster. While Burleson was placed on IR after trying to make a catch in the season opener, it is best that the man Seattle paid $49,000,000 concentrates being a solid wide receiver. Burleson is probably the fastest receiver on this team and is great after the catch. Perhaps the only deep threat for whoever Seattle’s QB is, and his route running has improved from when he first arrived. Darren Sproles replacing Burleson (who began the season returning punts) is a wise move because….well….because of this and this. Sproles becomes the new #1 punt returner, while Josh Wilson and Justin Forsett remain kickoff returners.
  • Did I mention Sproles is fast? I will say it again, he is fast, tough, can break one for 50 yards at any time….and his size and stature means he really does not need much of a hole to begin with. His play-making ability opens up the offense for play-action fakes, perhaps a release pattern…..oooh I hope this happens. Sproles seems perfect in a single back set running behind Walter Jones and Mike Wahle.

I am pleading for the Seahawks to make an actual splash in free agency. Maurice Morris is going to hit the big 3-0 next season, Darren Sproles is 25 and has a bright future. Sproles is a dangerous offensive weapon that would be crucial in getting this Seahawks offense back to respectability and even greatness. If the Seahawks sign Darren Sproles not only will you have a breath of fresh air, but you will finally have a playmaker that is needed to make this offense succeed.

It’s a slow rebuilding process, but I think at least 1 big offensive splash in free agency is needed, and Sproles is the one.

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