Whenever I need the skinny on the Seahawks I go to Chris Sullivan. Pure and simple, he is THE guy for Seahawks knowledge. Put less simply, he’s more aware of the inner workings of that organization than Gregg Williams is aware of how to get away with an illegal and morally corrupt motivation scheme. Make sure you check him out on twitter, he’s a valuable resource.
So naturally, he’s the first person I went to when the news broke that David Hawthorne joined the Saints. Here’s what he had to say about the Saints’ newest front seven playmaker:
“David Hawthorne was an undrafted free agent from TCU who, in 2008, played his way onto a Seahawks team that was not far removed from having a competent defense and competing for notsucking (as it turns out, those days were gone, but the Seahawks didn’t know that at the time). Within a year, he established himself as a starter, first filling in for the oft-injured Leroy Hill in the WLB position (where I’d expect he will play for the Saints), and later taking over for then-Pro Bowl MLB Lofa Tatupu. That was good and fine… until he outplayed Tatupu. By the time the Carroll regime took over in Seattle, Hawthorne was an established starter which meant absolutely nothing to Carroll. Despite that, Hawthorne survived the most insane roster churn that the NFL has ever seen (just guessing, but well over 500 roster moves in the 2010). So, Hawthorne is good, he’s a great guy, and he has fought hard for the right to just be on the damn field. But, who cares? What can he do?
Pretty much whatever you ask him to do. He is an excellent run defender, so we’ll start there. Hawthorne has sick instincts and will always be where the ball is, especially early in his career. He has notched 7 career sacks, 7 career INTs (including three last year), and he averaged 113 tackles a season as a starter. Better news for Saints fans: his only year as the pure WLB in Seattle he had 4 sacks, 3 INTs, 2 FF, 5 PDs and 8 stuffs. He has good football intelligence, and again, very good instincts.
What can’t he do? Well, he’s not great in coverage (not a liability, either), and his tackling is not the surest, despite his high numbers. If he catches you near the line of scrimmage, you’re toast, but in space… well, flip a coin. The main concern is his knee, which has hampered his play in at least the last two years. He hasn’t missed games, to his credit, but he’s clearly been “off” at times. No bueno. But in Seattle, we still love him, and would have been happy to see Seattle lock him up on a cheap 2-3 year deal. My guess is that the Saints locked him up to the same, with a “5 year” buzzword affixed.“
Sounds like a solid player. More than anything, I think we can all agree he represents a massive upgrade over what we were watching at his position before he showed up. Huge thanks to Chris for taking the time to share his knowledge with the Who Dat nation.