No matter how positive a spin the eternally optimistic Pete Carroll puts on the situation, there is no denying the Seahawks' concern at defensive end.
Truth be told, we hear Carroll can't help but be a bit edgy about his defense's uncertainty on the edges, where the pass rush was a huge shortcoming last season even before losing three of its top four D-ends (Patrick Kerney, Darryl Tapp and Cory Redding).
That arguably the Seahawks' best-looking defensive end early in training camp has been converted DT Red Bryant — a very pleasant surprise since the coaching staff decided he might be worth taking a look at on the outside — tells you all you need to know about the fragile state of the position.
Bryant has been impressive enough to apparently overtake former first-round draft pick Lawrence Jackson, who played for Carroll at USC, as the starting five-technique end on the strong side.
"It's amazing how much speed he has for a 330-pounder," one daily observer said of Bryant. "He consistently seems to get to the ballcarrier first."
At the other starting end spot, veteran Chris Clemons is a more proven commodity than Bryant, but he hardly set the world on fire with the Eagles before his trade to Seattle in exchange for Tapp.
"They've been pretty happy with him at the 'Leo' position," the observer said of Clemons. "He appears to have a real chip on his shoulder and is making a point of trying to show that he's a lot better player than he looked in Philly."
But it seems nobody knows where the pass rush is going to come from in nickel situations.
The big hope was, and still is, that starting SLB Aaron Curry, who started off strong as a first-round rookie in '09 but tailed off, could flourish in a three-point stance as a pass-rushing defensive end.
"One of the first things Carroll did after he became the head coach was to tell Curry that they needed a lot more from him," the observer said.
Early in training camp, though, Curry has been a nonfactor with a lingering concussion.
Jackson, we're told, also has been a relative nonfactor, in part due to hamstring issues.
"He appears to be struggling to just get enough playing time," the observer said of Jackson.
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