Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (left) fumbles the ball after being hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) during the fourth quarter of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
With the 2014 Super Bowl only days away – and the Jacksonville Jaguars surprisingly absent – it’s time to take a look at both teams in the big game. First off is a team Jaguars’ fans should be very familiar with in the Seattle Seahawks.
Obviously the first and most important connection is current Jaguars’ head coach Gus Bradley. Before taking the reigns in Jacksonville, Bradley was the defensive coordinator for three years in Seattle, where he led the Seahawks twice to top ten defensive performances in the NFL. Coach Bradley got hired partly for his enthusiasm and obvious leadership ability, but his defensive prowess is something he flashed in his first season in Jacksonville.
Scheme-wise, coach Bradley has tried to install a defense similar to what he ran in Seattle. He and new general manager David Caldwell focused on finding defensive backs who fit into his scheme and thrive. Dwayne Gratz is a long, physical corner in the mold of Richard Sherman while Johnathan Cyprien is a big hitting safety in the back end, similar to Kam Chancellor.
If the Jaguars continue on this route, they should be on a similar path the Seahawks were on a few years ago. Make no mistake, the Seahawks are setup to contend for the Super Bowl for several years to come. Aside from hitting the jackpot in third round pick Russell Wilson, the Seahawks have coupled outstanding drafting with smart free agency pickups. The result is the easily the deepest and most talented team in the National Football League.
That’s exactly why the Seahawks should win the Super Bowl this Sunday. On one down, Peyton Manning has to keep his eyes peeled for Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. On the next down he needs to make sure he doesn’t get hit by Bobby Wagner or Bruce Irvin. All the while he has to basically avoid the half of the field Richard Sherman is covering.
From a pure talent standpoint, there’s no reason the Seahawks should lose this game.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89