There are problems and then there are problems. If you are a Carolina Panthers fan you know about problems, namely where are the receivers? If you are a Dallas Cowboys fan you know about chronic problems; pick your year and I’ll give you a problem. If you are a Miami Dolphins fan, there are internal problems. We could go down the line from the Arizona Cardinals to the Washington Redskins (is using that name a problem?) listing each team’s problem area.
And then we come to the Seahawks’ problem. What is their problem you ask? Their depth chart is…how should I put this….too deep. There are so many quality players sitting on their roster that it is almost unfair to other teams. The Seahawks front brass have been so good at cross-breeding, cross-pollenating and cross-training that they have found quality players at every position…three deep. And those players are versatile enough that many can play multiple positions.
I listen to national talk shows analyzing each team’s quarterback position, discussing the lack of back-ups if a starter goes down. I look at the Seattle Seahawks and feel that they have two quality back-ups with a ton of upside. I have all the confidence in the world in Tarvaris Jackson to succeed in a back-up, don’t ask him to do too much, position. I don’t know much about Terrelle Pryor other than he is big and fast. It doesn’t sound like he is all that accurate yet, but give him a month with our coaching staff and I bet he can become serviceable.
I think about a receiving corps that lost their leading receiver last year and then realize that their receiving corps, by all accounts is better, with about eight receivers having a legitimate shot at making the team. There are a few locks to make the team; namely Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse. I expect Paul Richardson to be lined up come opening day. Kevin Norwood was drafted with high expectations after playing in a quality program at Alabama. Chris Matthews (whom I hope does well) came out of the CFL with serious promise and serious size. We know about Sidney Rice and his potential and size. We can’t forget Ricardo Lockette and his speed. And this doesn’t include five others that are currently listed on their depth chart. I look forward to this year’s group of wide receivers.
I look at a defensive line that lost several key figures to other teams and then realize that we have replaced them with several guys that are receiving a ton of accolades from coaches during mini camp. Some of those guys ‘red-shirted’ last year and now are ready to take up the mantle this year. Others were drafted or un-drafted players looking to make a mark in this league (think Jackson Jeffcoat). We have maintained our defensive anchors e.g., Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Brandon Mebane. In reality it doesn’t matter how any of these players arrived on our roster, just as long as they are hungry to play.
Our offensive line took a beating and was the one area that we had to make an improvement. This position is probably the thinnest one of the bunch. But did we make improvements in the offseason? I think only time will tell but from what the coaches are saying the answer would be ‘yes.’ If James Carpenter has truly turned the corner and Michael Bowie continues his rise then things are looking pretty good. Max Unger holds down the center position, albeit he is the only one listed on the depth chart, which is worrisome. If Russell Okung can stay healthy and protect Wilson’s blindside then that would go a long way to solidify our offensive line. Add to that the tenacious Justin Britt who looks like he is going to be the real deal for the Seahawks and I would say they have upgraded this position.
Bottom line, I dread final cuts because I know that I am going to look at those that didn’t make the team and shed a tear or two. There are so many quality players that I will feel slighted that they didn’t make the team (can’t we just keep 63 players instead of 53). Of the players cut I know that many will find places on other teams and that makes me even more upset. Our front office found these guys and trained them up and now they take their newly acquired skill set to another, undeserving, team. It happened last year and it will happen even more this year. That is a testament to the quality and depth of this team. It is exciting to think that in one month we get to see all of these players lay their hearts on the line and try to make the roster of the defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks. Go Hawks!