Reasons for optimism going into the new season
I don’t know about you, but it’s only July and as Hank Williams Jr. once sang, I’m “Ready for some football”.
This is the time of year where every team has optimism and hope for the upcoming season, but not all of those teams will realize that success once the season begins.
There are encouraging signs that the Seattle Seahawks can transform that wide-eyed July optimism into wins come September.
And we’ll look at them here.
1. DEFENSE! DEFENSE!
One of the more physical and imposing defenses of last year, the Seahawks will go into the 2012-13 season with all three defensive Pro Bowlers (Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Brandon Browner) returning, and a cast of other talented players who came together last year to become the team’s best unit.
Add in a full offseason program, more time to gel and know the roles of each player, and you have to be encouraged that this side of the ball will take another step this coming season.
The Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin to be a situational pass rush specialist, and he could help the defense become truly great.
2. The Running Game
As the season wore on last year, the running game really started to click, and became the signature of the offense.
Marshawn Lynch started throwing his weight around and busting through the line for big gains and scores.
The O-line could also grow more comfortable with an offseason program, and hopefully can return to full health and stay that way as the season goes on.
Offensive-line Coach Tom Cablehas really helped with that growth, and we can expect to see them hit the ground running when the season kicks off.
3. The 12th Man gets even louder
The NFL has modified some rules regarding noise violations that will most likely benefit this Seahawks team more than any other.
CenturyLink field is already one of the loudest, if not the loudest stadium in the NFL, and it will become even louder this upcoming season.
The league announce that NFL stadiums can now rile up crowds with video displays, and public address announcers are no longer restrained from inciting racket when the opposing team faces a third down situation.
Get your lozenges ready!
4. They played the NFC West division champs well last year
When the Seahawks faced the San Francisco 49ers in week 1 of last year, the game ended in a 33-17 score for the Niners.
Those who watched the game know that it was a lot closer than the score indicated, as two of the touchdowns were scored on special team kick/punt returns from speedy 49ers return man Ted Ginn Jr.
The second game in Seattle in week 16 ended up being a 19-17 loss.
In both games, the Seahawks hung tough with the team that would be the eventual division champs, and while beating them twice next year won’t guarantee an NFC West title for the ‘Hawks, it has to be encouraging that they can play with the best, and maybe this year turn the corner and win those close games.
5. Could the Quarterback of the future finally be on the roster?
The QB position has been an issue for the Seahawks since Matt Hasslebeck left for the Tennessee Titans, but there has to be some hope this year that the situation was addressed.
To what degree it was addressed, we won’t know until the end of the season, but ex-Green Bay Packer QB Matt Flynn is on the roster, and he impressed in his two starts with the Packers, and in last year’s win against the Detroit Lions, threw for 480 yards, and 6 touchdowns, both Packer records.
With the 75th pick in the draft, the Seahawks took QB Russell Wilson, who has looked impressive thus far.
With Tarvaris Jackson coming back for a second year in the same system, could he make a jump in play?
All this leads to more depth at the most important of all positions, and it has to look more appealing than last season.
Sorry, Charlie Whitehurst.