While you’re missing Jarran Reed, just remember Poona Ford

What a [interior pass] rush. Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Poona Ford was the subject of many an exclamation of astonishment on the internet against the Minnesota Vikings.

First, a friendly reminder:

Overstated, maybe, but what’s Twitter for anyway? Agreed, the vast majority of preseason statements aren’t going to amount to much more than making people look foolish (see Kenny’s examples). But foolishness we must risk, because I have a thought on this lovable bowling ball of a man.

Second, the hype train going to hypeville carrying all of the Seattle SeaHypes this season:

Third, the results:

Three tackles, two solo, one for a loss, in two drives against starters. He also forced a fumble that was called back for a McGregor-Pacquiao level of early forward progress call. Multiple routes disrupted, significant pressure created by moving linemen backwards. He’s as fast into the backfield as anyone on the field, Jarran Reed included.

And lastly, some more Hypoons coming your way:

The Reality of the Situation

Jarran Reed is playing right now, but will miss the first six games of the season, this we know. The NFL median last year for snaps per game was 63. That’s the average of offensive plays run per team, so it’s also the amount of defensive snaps received. Multiplied by six, and we get 378 snaps before Reed comes back for the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

What I really, really did not want Seattle to do was go into panic reactive mode and sign defensive tackles like it’s a barn sale. There’s a thing to be gained by holding firm and seeing an opportunity within instead of a question that must be answered from the outside.

The decision-making logic on the one hand is about as straightforward as it gets. We just lost a key player, so we must do something to replace said player in such-and-such position group.

But when a player like Reed goes down due to injury or suspension, the replacement not currently signed to a team will never replace that level of production. Especially for a position that rotates through and uses multiple players, it’s extremely difficult to determine what impact one player will have on the defensive over and above his replacement.

Thinking Long Term

So when I say the Reed suspension is not devastating to the team, it’s not because I believe based on Sunday night’s game that Poona Ford will replace Reed play-for-play. It’s because the best option for the team is to let someone with potential see the bulk of those 378 missing snaps. Someone already in the system, who showed flashes of impressive playmaking ability last year, and will cost the team virtually nothing.

Ford’s undrafted contract grants him under $700,000 per year for the next two seasons. His total 3-year guaranteed money is $8,000.

Ford lands himself in that in-between world where this upcoming type of opportunity grants the potential for the best of all scenarios for the Seahawks. He’s now considered a defensive line starter. The preseason is too small for him, but the regular season action he saw last year didn’t reveal enough to show how consistent a presence he might be in the NFL.

Consider this: Ford saw only 231 snaps on defense all of last year. If he gets two thirds of what’s left over from Reed, he’ll have had invaluable time to continue to develop, against real competition, on a line that will be the team’s weakness anyway, on a team who generally finishes the season better than it starts.

For the same reason, I’m not all that interested in Cassius Marsh taking practice and preseason number one reps over Jacob Martin, but that’s another story.

Go back through the tape of the first two drives and watch the slipperiness of these two big dudes on the inside. Quarterback pressure is quarterback pressure; it doesn’t matter if it comes from the designated edge rusher or not.

Defensive Russell Wilson

Perception is reality – to most GMs (and fans) concerning the draft position of nearly every athlete. It’s why Seattle gave $8 million to Luke Joeckel, former top-3 pick and gave yet another look at Dion Jordan, again a top-3 selection. Yes, even John Schneider is mortal.

But he’s also more willing to think beyond the first round than many GMs. More specifically, he’s willing to look underneath the generally accepted measurables.

This from Walter Football ~

Sources from multiple teams said the reason why Ford went undrafted was because they graded him as a free agent. They did not have Ford worthy of going in the late rounds, so to those teams it was appropriate that Ford was not selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 6-foot, 300-pounder is very undersized and lacks length for the NFL.

If you play like this, and your name is friggin Poona, who cares – get the man some more play (read: development) time.

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Tyler Alsin
DistinctAthlete.com is an entertaining sports site. The site specializes in viral sports content. Content includes controversial and original opinions, news stories, off-beat stories, humorous videos, entertaining photos, exclusive interviews, and witty banter between the writers and commenters. Distinct Athlete was launched in May of 2012 and has been featured and/or cited on several prominent sports sites.