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October 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Friday morning links and notes: Why hasn’t the pass rush been as good this season?

The above question is one that Jayson  Jenks attempted to answer in his story for the Friday paper.

As Jenks notes, one possible reason for the struggles is that Seattle is having to rely too much on just a few players to get the job done up front.

What was one of Seattle’s greatest attributes a year ago was a deep and versatile defensive line that allowed the Seahawks to keep their players well-rested while also mixing and matching personnel to best fit the opponent and situation. But the losses of the likes of Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and Clint McDonald changed the dynamic, and Seattle hasn’t gotten all of the production it thought it might out of some of the younger players on the roster this season.

That deep line meant that last year, Seattle had seven players up front who pretty evenly shared the snaps, from 46.1 to 57.5 percent. Here was the 2013 breakdown up front:

Michael Bennett, 600, 57.5

Chris Clemons, 570, 54.7

Cliff Avril, 551, 52.8

Brandon Mebane, 531, 50.9

Clint McDonald, 530, 50.8

Tony McDaniel, 528, 50.6

Red Bryant, 481, 46.1

Here are what the snap counts look like this season for the line, based on a total of 395 snaps for the defense in seven games:

Bennett, 322, 81.5 percent

Avril, 252, 66.1 percent

Mebane, 195, 49.4 percent

Kevin Williams, 174, 44.1 percent

McDaniel, 155, 39.2 percent

O’Brien Schofield, 150, 38 percent

Jordan Hill, 141, 35.7 percent

Cassius Marsh, 72, 18.2 percent’

Bruce Irvin has also played some snaps in a rush end role, and that could expand now that Marsh is out and Hill  is again sidelined  with a sprained ankle for a second straight game.

The numbers spell out how much more the team is relying on Avril and Bennett. That’s something the team had said might have to happen this year after the off-season losses, and it hardly explains everything. But it does say something.

Pete Carroll said the snaps could be adjusted beginning with Sunday’s game at Carolina. So we’ll see what that means.

In other news. …

— Here was our notebook for the Friday paper.

— Here’s a roundup of all the national picks on the game, with everyone still mostly picking Seattle.

— with some thoughts from Kam Chancellor.

— The Panthers say they are looking forward to the challenge of facing Richard Sherman.

— The Charlotte Observer with a feature on Russell Wilson.

— The latest on Charlotte’s injuries.

— FieldGulls also examines Seattle’s lack of sacks.

— Finally, you can listen to the podcast of Carroll’s Friday morning show here. No real personnel news, but Carroll does say that the reports of locker room division “don’t make any sense.”


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