As I started last week Every week, I will be contacting the editor of the FanSided team blog the Steelers are playing that Sunday. This week I wrote five questions (plus a little bonus one) to Keith Myers, editor of the Seahawks blog 12th Man Rising. Check out what he has to say after the jump, and be sure to visit his site and let him know what you think about what he has to say.
1. The D-line of the Seahawks looked pretty good against the 49’ers last week. How do you think the line will hold up against a team that has more of a running game philosophy (despite Bruce Arians desire to throw)?
It’s hard to say that anyone is more “run orientated” than the 49ers are right now, and the Seahawks line looked very stout against Frank Gore and company. If I was a Steelers fan, I wouldn’t be thinking that Mendenhall was going to have a particularly good game this week. The Seahawks were actually the #2 defense against the run last season before DE/DT Red Bryant got hurt. After that, and with other injuries as well, things got ugly pretty quick. The point, though, is that with all the guys healthy, this is a really good run defense. And so far, everyone is still healthy.
The pass rush and pass defense… that’s another story.
2. I always find NCAA coaches moving to the NFL an interesting experiment. What are your thoughts on Pete Carroll so far?
He’s definitely managed to change the culture and feel of the Seahawks. No more are players guaranteed jobs because they’ve been here a while (like Matt Hasselbeck and Lofa Tatupu). The team is also no longer made up of the smaller, less athletic, “finesse” players that both Mike Holmgren and Tim Ruskell liked to bring in. Carroll has made a point of wanting to be bigger, stronger and faster than the competition.
So far bigger, stronger and faster has led to the team being better, but I think that will come in time. People tend to forget that it takes time for a team to full integrate a new system. Now try and integrate a new system when you’re swapping out pieces right and left and have a roster that’s in a constant state of flux. Ya, it’s going to take a while.
3. Who has a big game for the Seahawks against the Steelers?
I’m going to pick 2 here. Linebacker Aaron Curry will have a big game against the Steelers running game. He might not rack up a ton of tackles, but watch and you’ll see the Steelers struggle to run to his side of the field. He has the ability to set the edge as well as anyone in football.
I also think Earl Thomas has a big game. The Seattle safety has crazy speed and covers a lot of ground. Big Ben is going to have to be careful with his passes, especially on the “broken plays” that he usually thrives on, or Thomas is going to be getting in his quota of interceptions.
4. Who or what do you think is the weakest link for the Seahawks this season?
Can I put the entire offense in as the answer for this question? The O-Line is a long way from turning the corner and becoming decent. Tarvaris Jackson is the QB. The running game was supposed to be a strength but so far hasn’t shown that it can even dependably convert 3rd and 1 situations. Without Sydney Rice, who’s injured, the receiving corps isn’t going to scare anyone.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine the Seahawks offense finishing outside the bottom third in the league.
5. What should the Steelers be really concerned with (other than themselves) regarding the Seahawks?
The Seahawks defense is better than people think, especially the run defense. The Steelers need to be concerned that Seattle has the potential to make the Steeeler’s offense very one-dimensional.
Bonus: Only because it’s on everyone’s mind. Bill Leavy – factor or non-factor in the outcome of this game?
I really think it’ll be a complete non-factor. As a Seahawk fan, I’m really not worried about it, though I do expect to be COMPLETELY annoyed by the end of the week having been forced to read/listen to people bring it up over and over and over again.
The only way this matters in the slightest is if Leavy, who last year admitted to just how awful he was back in SB XL, gives the Seahawks a couple “make up calls.” But, in all seriousness, that’s never going to happen.