Pass coverage issues
Expectations were quite low, entering the season, considering the Seahawks were without Thomas, Sherman, Chancellor. In addition, they were starting a pair of second-year players, as well as a rookie they converted from safety to corner.
The defense isn’t dominant in pass coverage, at least in terms of overpowering success, something most Seahawks fans recognized instantly. Bradley McDougald, however, has excelled and is quite a bit more effective as a pass defender than his predecessor.
Experience matters in the NFL and no amount of practice or coaching can overcome a lack of it. There have been plenty of mistakes. Every time an opponent converts third and 20+, every time a back receives a swing pass and there is no defender within 20 yards of them, every time a receiver is running free in the middle, 30 yards downfield, it’s either a coverage error or communication error.
These issues occur even with the most experienced players. With younger players, however, it happens much more often. There have been many mistakes like these this season with Seattle, and it’s to be expected. Watch this Phillip Lindsay video for a reminder.
New defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and his assistants knew this unit was raw, coming into the season. They also knew the way to help that situation as well. Which brings us to the second facet of what Seattle’s defense struggles with.