The Seahawks head into training camp this year healthy, happy, and ready to meet sky-high expectations for 2016.
The Seahawks head into 2016 with expectations higher than ever. Remember that at this point last season, we were all still trying to wipe away the tears from The Game That Will Not Be Named and reading gruesome injury reports about star members of the Legion of Boom Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, not to mention a troubling contract situation with the third member of the LOB, Kam Chancellor.
As you know, Sherman and Thomas were stiff at times early in the season (although they were still better than pretty much any other free safety-cornerback combination in the NFL) and Chancellor would hold out for weeks into the regular season.
This year, with draft resources going into the offensive line, new contracts for Pete Carroll, John Schneider, and Doug Baldwin; and a healthy Thomas and Sherman, the Seahawks are in better shape than 2015.
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Even though Marshawn Lynch retired, the Seahawks offense could be the best we’ve seen in the Carroll era. You read it right, folks. Thomas Rawls averaged the most yards per carry in the league last season filling in for Lynch. Quarterback Russell Wilson is a happily-married man again and could be better than he was last season, which is scary. Just in case Rawls’ leg injury lingers into this season or he turns out to be a flash in the pan, John Schneider and Pete Carroll drafted three running backs: C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins, and Zac Brooks, to share running responsibilities.
Running back will be an intriguing position battle right up until Week 1. The trio of rookies all have differing experience levels and slightly different skill sets, but regular season playing time could go to any of these guys. Prosise has NFL-ready backfield blocking skills and soft hands, something all NFL coaches dream about. Collins is a tough interior runner who was wildly productive in his college days, and Brooks, despite his bench role in college, is athletic, agile, and fast in space.
The only training camp distraction at this point is on defense. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is said to be griping for a new contract. While it seems for the moment that he won’t hold out, the situation is a distraction still for one of the best defensive lineman in the league who may now have an uncertain future.
No torn rotator cuffs, no certain hold outs, and no Super Bowl hangover have the Seahawks primed for a productive training camp in 2016. We’ll keep an eye on it for you here at ECS.