seahawks

2013 Seahawks season preview: The offensive depth chart

Who will be the 1’s come week 1?

I am so glad it’s almost week 1.

I, for one, have never put a lot of stock in what anyone does or does not do during the pre-season.  The Seahawks open up the season on the road this year in Carolina and the players will finally be put to a real test.

Many have Seattle penciled in to win the NFC West, the NFC, or even the Super bowl.  NW Sports blogger Alistair Corp said at the start of 2012 that Russell Wilson would be leading the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in 3 years.  Is it possible that prediction was actually too pessimistic?

News Flash:  It was!

Let’s break down the Seahawks high-octane offense and look the amazing depth we will all enjoy this year.

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Brady Quinn

With high expectations comes serious pressure to perform but I can think of no one better suited to handle that pressure than Seahawks starting quarterback, Russell Wilson.

Last year Russell found his stride in the 2nd half of the season and the Seattle offense was nearly unstoppable at times.  Wilson, joined fellow rookie QB’s Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck in creating the greatest rookie quarterback renaissance the NFL has ever seen.

With high expectations comes serious pressure

With high expectations comes serious pressure

The only debate at the QB position this year is who’s going to be the #2 guy now that Matt Flynn has been sent packing to Oakland.

Tarvaris Jackson gets the nod on my chart.  His style of play is similar to that of Wilson allowing for more continuity on offense if Wilson were to go down.

The only remaining question would be:  Will Pete Carroll carry 3 quarterbacks this season?  Conventional NFL wisdom is to carry 3 QB’s.

Typical unconventional Carroll did not last year.

If 2 QB’s is Carroll’s way of thinking, that could mean that Brady Quinn might not even make the roster.

Running Backs

Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Michael Robinson

Marshawn Lynch is going to continue to be the #1 beast in the Seattle backfield but I do think you are going to see plenty of the other 3 guys as well.

Michael Robinson is actually the fullback but whatever you want to call him, I love this guy coming out of the backfield on 3rd down.  Robinson continues to have the best hands on the running back chart.

2nd year man Robert Turbin will continue to see the bulk of the snaps when Lynch takes a series off to rest.  His style is similar in that he likes to lower his head and run north/south.  Turbin also has a step speed wise on Lynch in the open field.

Rookie Christine Michael (pronounced Kristen) has been very impressive during the preseason.  He’s a power runner but he has the ability to cut and change direction like a guy who is 30lbs lighter than he is.

With Percy Harvin on the shelf for while, unable to return kicks, look out for this Mr. Michael to get some time returning punts and kicks.

Wide Receivers

Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Stephen Williams, Chris Harper

Yes, you can count.  That’s SEVEN wide outs but let’s not forget Percy Harvin is out until, best case scenario, week 10, at which time one of these guys is going to have to go.

Sidney Rice had his mysterious Swiss knee procedure done just before the 1st preseason game.  At 6’4, Rice is the only tall receiver with any real NFL experience on the roster.  Assuming that knee is healthy expect Rice to get targeted the most by Russell Wilson.

Doug Baldwin

Doug is smart and has the knack for finding the open spot

Versatile speedster Golden Tate lines up opposite Rice.  He could also see playing time returning punts.  Despite his perfect QB rating I really hope we don’t see any more of those lefty, shot-put style heaves to Rice this year but I do think Tate will get the call on wide-out running plays such as reverses or end-arounds.

Doug Baldwin will continue to line up in the slot where he has been the past two years, at least until Percy Harvin is good to go.  Baldwin is not tall, not particularly fast, but he’s smart and has the knack for finding the open spot.

Baldwin needs to recover from his sophomore slump last year and get back to the kind of performance we saw from him in 2011 as a rookie.

Jermaine Kearse is going to be the #4 guy to start the season and I think he’s earned that chance based on his solid play during the pre-season.  When the Seahawks go “4-wide” look for the local UW grad to get his chances.

Someone told me today that Stephen Williams is going to be the new big-guy receiver in Seattle, eventually replacing Sidney Rice in a year or two.  At 6’5 he certainly has the physical credentials.

He’s played well in camp and in preseason.

I think he makes the roster as the 5th wide-out.   Look for him to be rotated in as guys need a rest or if someone goes down.

Chris Harper, the rookie wide receiver, was drafted in the 4th round by Seattle.  Converted in college from QB to wide receiver, Harper has above average speed but is not a huge target downfield standing 6’1.

Some people have been critical of Harper not running back to the quarterback during a scramble.  That could be just enough to make him the odd man out if Carroll elects to only carry 5 WR’s instead of 6 while Harvin is out.

Tight Ends

Zach Miller, Anthony McCoy, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath

This has to be the weakest overall position on the Seattle offense, mostly due to injuries.

Zach Miller has been dinged but hopefully he’ll be back at full strength by the start of the regular season.  He brings toughness, experience, and reliable blocking/catching to a very important position on the field.

Anthony McCoy would have been the obvious #2 guy but he is done for the year with a torn achilles tendon.  Behind Miller and McCoy all we have is a wealth of raw, young, untested players and Seattle needs at least 1 of them to step up.

I’ll wager at least $1 that when Pete Carroll and John Schneider decided to take TE Luke Willson in the 5th round this spring the last thing on their minds were, “Hey, we just found our #2 tight end!”

Before the draft scouts described him as having above average speed, good vision and an above average blocker.  Willson is going to need them all as it’s likely that Luke is going to see some pretty significant playing time this year.

Sean McGrath, a 2 year vet, is also going to get a real shot this season.  Having only played in two games last year and not catching any balls, McGrath will be on the roster and be the 3rd tight end in 3 TE sets.

Sean has good size at 6’5 and 247lbs, so look for him to be that extra blocker on the end of the line.

Offensive-Line

Russell Okung RT, James Carpenter LG, Max Unger C, Paul McQuistan RG, Breno Giacomini RT

There is mostly good news when you start looking at the Seahawks O-Line.

First, let’s look at the good.

Max Unger

The consummate professional

Russell Okung:  Super stud- looks like he could turn out to be another Walter Jones. James Carpenter:  If he can stay healthy the guy can just flat out pancake you. Max Unger:  The consummate professional in the middle.  Heady and solid at the position.

Paul McQuistan:  He’s serviceable at the position and has been durable as well.

Then we arrive at the weak point, starting right tackle Breno Giacomini.

I can’t think of a single Seahawks player, past or present, that I have disliked more since the days of Kelly Stouffer.

If you don’t know that name, you are too young and you need to go Google it.

Then you will know my pain.

How Breno has survived as the starting Right Tackle on this team is simply beyond comprehension.  Every time that little, yellow hanky flies on critical plays and the referee calls out #68, a small piece of my soul dies.

My only hope is that Carroll and company come to their senses and come up with a last-minute, creative solution at this position otherwise it’s going to be up to Russell Wilson to find a way to overcome negative situations created by this guy.

Bottom line?

This offense is stacked.  Seattle has a new franchise QB, they are unbelievably talented in the backfield, The WR situation makes for a tough call as to who the odd man out will be, even with Percy Harvin unavailable for a while.  We are a little thin at tight end, and 4 of 5 of our offensive lineman are above average or better.

How can you not like this offense?

Seattle returns to the Super Bowl in 2013.  Enjoy the season!

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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  • Steve

    It’s actually Luke Willson with two LLs, not one…

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