Five Seahawks that need to make a big impression in 2012

2012 Is Your Year!

With the 2012 season only a few months away, time is running out for players to prove themselves to the coaches in training camp. Some players are going to be  on a short leash once the season starts.

Who will take the opportunity to make a big impression for the Seahawks this season, and who will flop?

While we cannot predict the outcome, we can tell which players hold their own fate in their hands this year:

Matt Flynn, QB

If Matt Flynn is awarded the starting job, then it is his to lose. But just how clear cut is the competition?

Sources (including WR Doug Baldwin) say there is not as much separation between Flynn and former starter Tarvaris Jackson as many predicted.

Flynn’s contract  sure looked like a starter’s, but head coach Pete Carroll has already announced multiple times that pay has nothing to do with the competition.

Matt Flynn

How many games does Flynn get in 2012 to find his groove?

Assuming Flynn does start Week 1, how many games will he get to find his groove?

If Jackson is still on the roster, then not too many.

Jason Jones, DE/DT

Welcome to Seattle, Jason Jones. Check out his player profile here. After signing a one-year contract, Jones is probably here for the next 16 games. A four-year veteran, Jones excelled his 2008 rookie season with the Titans but has not played to his full potential since.

He has experience at both the defensive end and defensive tackle position, with the latter being his most realistic landing spot if he does earn a starting job.

It is a long journey for Jones, especially when Pete Carroll used free-agency and the recent draft to pick up loads of talent to improve the pass rush.

If Jones gets an opportunity to play this season, he needs to get the ball rolling right away. Maybe a new location and a fresh start is exactly what he needs.

Not to mention the 12th man on 3rd down at Seahawks Stadium. (I don’t call it Clink either!)

Bruce Irvin, DE

Bruce Irvin has been the center of attention ever since he was the 15th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. A stunner to say the least, for many fans had never heard his name before.

Many experts have said that Carroll is actually not crazy – Irvin was at the top of other team’s boards as well. With the pass rush being Seattle’s top priority this offseason, Irvin is now the face of change in that department.

He has a lot of weight on his shoulders, and he could be a starter come Week 1. Wait and see what happens with the Chris Clemons holdout/contract saga.

Irvin feels like a hit-or-miss prospect with the potential to be great or to average out as many players do. He should know by now that his performance this next season strongly affects his future.

Sidney Rice, WR

After a shaky 2011 season that was plagued by injuries, Sidney Rice is back at full force. He finally has the opportunity to show Seattle fans what they have been wanting to see.

Winslow Jr

Watch for K2 in most red-zone packages

If he can keep his production up like he did while he played for Minnesota, then he can be the deep threat that the Seahawks have not had in a long time.

Rice has had limited experience in the off-season while recovering from his shoulder injury, but he is still expected to be a starter. Only time will tell, and Seattle has a lot of underrated talent to use if Rice is not playing up to potential.

Kellen Winslow, TE

Seeing TE Zach Miller and newly-acquired TE Kellen Winslow (from Tamba Bay trade) on the field together will create excitement, but that comes with a big question mark about his history of injuries.

Winslow has had several knee surgeries in his career, and has not started all 16 games in a season since 2004.

Production will surely not be a problem, as Winslow has amassed 730 receiving yards in the past three seasons.

He does have a lot of work to do when it comes to blocking the run, and he will use the 2012 season as a chance to prove that Seattle gained a valuable player from the trade.

Watch for him in most red-zone packages, and split out wide in several formations to exploit mismatches with linebackers. One thing we know. He can get separation.

I love this move.


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About Matt Church

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