Seattle Seahawks Gameday Preview: All Eyes On Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse


Welcome to Sunday. It’s the day we’ve all been looking forward to since, well, last Sunday, and the Seattle Seahawks even went and pulled off a legitimately stunning trade in the interim! As far as the days between games are concerned, we’ve seen duller. But now it’s Sunday, and our questions about this team are about to be answered.

Percy Harvin is gone, of course, having been shipped to the New York Jets for a forthcoming draft pick. We’ve already discussed this a couple times, with more coverage to come. That’s the big news of the week, and it’s about as big as news gets in the wake of the Super Bowl favorites dropping to 3-2: star player gets dumped on a bottom-feeding team, leaving town amidst a sea of nasty accusations and stories of unrest.

Even with Harvin, the Seahawks weren’t particularly strong at wide receiver. Golden Tate was never a superstar, but he was at least a solid option the last few years. When he left town, it just highlighted how much the Hawks were expected to lean on Harvin’s contributions. Well, now they’re both gone, and every pair of eyes in the city of Seattle is focused on Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse.

Maybe it’s not fair that we’re going to be paying so much attention to those two guys today. The Seahawks, after all, are famously a running-based offense. Maybe the focus should be on Marshawn Lynch, as it so often is. But like it or not, Kearse and Baldwin are going to be looked at as the guys with big shoes to fill. Which they are, sort of.

See, there’s no replacing Percy Harvin. He’s as unique and versatile of a player as there is at the receiver position, but his style of play is also strangely uniform. Such as, you’d expect a receiver to be willing/able to go long, right? But that’s just not something Harvin does. He’s not into it, and even if he could be a long guy, short and sweet gains have always been his style. Which is cool, except that’s not exactly Russell Wilson‘s bread and butter.

Kearse and Baldwin are more the type of receivers the Seahawks have traditionally deployed, and each of them will be asked to step into a role that Harvin would never have occupied. And really, what better time than now? The Seahawks needed to revamp their offensive approach after the disaster that was last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. If there’s a better excuse for getting back to your roots than an embarrassing loss, it’s a drastic change in available personnel. The Hawks have both. Thus, expect change.

Before the Harvin trade the Seahawks were a ground-first team with an explosive receiver who only did a small number of things, but did them really well. What the Seahawks have now is an opportunity to get back to their roots as a running-and-defense juggernaut, while also providing some chances for Kearse and Baldwin to shine. Ignore that they shipped a star out of town on a bad note, and focus on the fact that this is a good football team situated as well as anyone for present and future success. Which is a nice thing to be.