The Seattle Seahawks are constantly looking to improve their roster, even after a double-digit victory over the Falcons. The Seahawks hosted free-agent pass rushers Demarcus Christmas and Breeland Speaks, per Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. As The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta pointed out, this marks the second visit the Seahawks have had with Christmas.
The Seahawks selected Christmas in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. During his five seasons at Florida State, Christmas had 106 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Speaks was a second-round pick for the Chiefs in the 2018 NFL Draft. The former Ole Miss defensive end played in 16 games with four starts for the Chiefs in 2018 notching 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Speaks did not play in an NFL game last season and was one of the Chiefs roster cuts heading into this season.
The Chiefs Labeled Speaks as Out of Shape in 2019
Every now and then Breeland Speaks will flash you a play to get excited about… pic.twitter.com/9xfWgDYgsZ
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 23, 2018
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach cited Speaks’ conditioning combined with injuries as issues that contributed to a disappointing sophomore season in Kansas City. Veach explained that a “deep defensive line” for the defending champions ultimately contributed to the team parting ways with Speaks.
“That was certainly a unique scenario where, of all the positions – I certainly think we have a very good roster, a very talented roster – that defensive line position is probably our deepest position,” Veach noted, per USA Today. “With Breeland, a different scheme from when he got here. I, and our staff, thought in his rookie year he did some things that you can really lay a foundation on. And we all know that he came in a little out of shape the next year, and then he had the injury. So, I think when you get behind the eight ball in professional football, it’s tough. And then when you get behind the eight ball on a roster with a deep defensive line, it’s even tougher. I will say this – credit to the kid – he did come in in shape and worked hard to get that weight off. Again, he was just up against a very deep and talented defensive line class.”
Reading between the lines, the Seahawks are likely intrigued by the potential of a player just two years removed from being a second-round draft selection. Pete Carroll has not been one to shy away from talented players who have underperformed at prior stops, in large part, because of a lack of dedication. The Seahawks have had confidence in their ability to get the most out of players, and, to their credit, have often been successful in turning careers around.
The Seahawks Pass Rush Looked Improved vs. Falcons
— WilsonForMVP (@wilsonformvp) September 14, 2020
The way the Jadeveon Clowney saga played out combined with the lack of major offseason moves makes you wonder if the Seahawks expected the pass rusher to eventually return to Seattle. The Seahawks continuing to look at available pass rushers show the team understands it could still be a position group that needs more pieces.
The Seahawks did a much better job getting to the quarterback in Week 1 than we saw for much of 2019. Jamal Adams’ ability to be a threat blitzing can only enhance the defensive line’s effectiveness. L.J. Collier had several disruptive plays in his first NFL start at defensive end.