Pro Football Weekly’s fan contest with voters weighing on which team has the best defense in the league makes for an obvious poll question.
Right now, you can vote for the Seattle Seahawks as the best team in the league as they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the finals.
Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm and Mike Wilkening debate the issue in the video above.
But is Seattle really worthy? Yes, they finished No. 9 overall in total defense last year. And the Seahawks have one of the best young defensive backfields in the league. But Seattle still has questions to answer at middle linebacker and on the defensive line in terms of generating better pass rush. I don’t know if I would rate them better than San Francisco at this point.
Vote in our poll here.
ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin finished with the best third-down conversion receptions rate among NFC West receivers.
ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha writes that players have no one to blame but themselves in dealing with the unchecked power of league commissioner Roger Goodell.
ESPN’s KC Joyner puts Brandon Browner on his most overrated players in the NFC. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this Joyner: "Browner made the Pro Bowl on the strength of his six interceptions, but he had abysmal coverage metrics and was a penalty machine. He was terrible against short passes (6.7 YPA, ranked 72nd), vertical passes (11.3 VYPA, ranked 63rd) and stretch vertical passes (14.8 SVYPA, ranked 66th). Plus, one of his interception returns for a touchdown was a gift, due more to the highly inaccurate arm of Bears quarterback Caleb Haniethan any action on Browner's part. All Browner did was drop back into zone coverage and catch a pass that was thrown right to him."
I understand Joyner’s reasoning, but Browner finished with the most pass deflections in the league, and six interceptions, including two returned for a touchdown, are not easy numbers to obtain. Browner also is one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the league.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles undrafted rookie free agent offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson, who turned some heads during offseason workouts this year.
ESPN’s John Clayton tells ESPN 710 Seattle’s Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore that Tarvaris Jackson might be asked to take a pay cut from $4 million to something like $1.5 million if he does not win the starting quarterback competition in this audio link. I don’t know if I necessarily believe that. Seattle paid Charlie Whitehurst $4 million to be the backup last year. Jason Campbell will make $3.5 million as Chicago’s backup this year. Kyle Orton will make nearly $6 million in total compensation to play behind Tony Romo in Dallas this year.
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports writes that some NFL observers believe making neck strength a measurable at the combine could cut down on concussions. I know when I played developing neck strength was a point of emphasis from junior high all the way through college. But it seems to be something that has not been emphasized as much over the years.