With the early favorite to replace Brown, DD Lewis, nursing injuries of his own, the burden of trying to replace perhaps the best player on the defense falls to Isaiah Kacyvenski – a man many fans offered up as a scapegoat to the horrendous defense of 2002. There was only one problem with blaming Kaz for the travesty of ‘02, he wasn’t solely to blame. In fact, Isaiah was Seattle’s leading tackler in 2002 before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season. Kacyvenski played very well in coverage and did an adequate job of reading plays while manning the MLB spot.
The main criticism of Isaiah, was, ironically, the very same thing that is often lauded with other players; namely, his non-stop motor. Kaz had a tendency to over-pursue on running plays and sometimes hurl himself at defenders when wrapping up would have been more successful. Kacyvenski believes he’s addressed that weakness in his game. “Now, in my fifth year, I can get on the field and I'm not going 1,000 miles an hour. I can settle down and play. Still play with a lot of intensity, but kind of focus in on each play.”
It is just plain unrealistic to expect a season to go by without injury. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, no team has ever, in the history of the NFL, completed a season without injuries sidelining a starting player for part of the season. The fact is, every championship team overcomes injuries and finds ways to win despite them. The loss of Brown hurts, no doubt, and it is impossible to replace him with equal talent. In the interim, however, his position will be manned by a player with solid ability and a chip on his shoulder. “Every time I step on the field I feel like I’ve got something to prove,” says Kacyvenski.
If this team is truly a Super Bowl Contender, they will buckle down, redouble their efforts and find ways to win. As a fan of a team, I expect no less, and won’t accept the loss of one player as an excuse for failure. I'm betting that the Seahawks won't either.