The Headline: When Seahawks training camp opens up this weekend in Seattle, I can assure you that Pete Carroll and John Schneider will stay true to the ‘Always Compete’ mantra and there will be some surprises.
In their first year at the helm, it was the much criticized trade for Charlie Whitehurst and the release of starting wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, just a season removed from signing a 5 year, 40 million dollar deal with Seattle.
In the off season following a division championship and a playoff victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, Pete Carroll and John Schneider weren’t done; allowing long time starter Matt Hasselbeck to leave, and replacing him with former Viking Tarvaris Jackson.
Fans dreaded the coming competition for starter, between Whitehurst and Jackson, but instead Carroll immediately appointed Jackson the starter due to his familiarity with new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense, from their time together in Minnesota.
Following the trend created by the last couple seasons, Hawk fans are anxious to get the preseason underway.
Brian Banks will be added to the 90-man roster
Linebacker Brian Banks, whose story is now very well known, is still looking for a job in the NFL after unsuccessful tryouts in Seattle, San Diego and San Francisco.
With the roster limits raised to 90 until week 3 of the preseason (when they’re cut to 75), there is a better chance of Banks catching on somewhere, and where better than Camp Compete?
Banks will compete with recently converted linebacker Allen Bradford for the last spot.
Look for the biggest feel good story of the 2012 off-season to push for a spot on the final roster, or at least the practice squad.
More than one surprise release
Earlier this month, Pete Carroll released one of the best comeback players of 2010, Mike Williams, after an injury riddled 2011 campaign. The move was surprising, despite the depth and talent at the wide receiver position.
I believe there is more surprises to come. Sticking with the receiving core, longtime Seahawk Ben Obomanu will be bounced from the team, with a group already consisting of Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Ricardo Lockette, Kris Durham and Golden Tate as locks as well as bubble players Phil Bates and Jermaine Kearse competing.
Russell Wilson takes over
Pete Carroll has said time after time this off season that Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson will each receive equal reps through training camp as the coaches continue to evaluate who is best suited to be the starter.
Within a few short weeks, I believe Wilson will have separated himself from the pack.
So much so, that if Jackson doesn’t impress within the first two preseason games, I think he will be part of the 15 player group cut during the third week of the preseason.
Questions about health
It seems media/critics are always looking for anything to talk about negatively, when it comes to Seattle. This offseason will be no different.
Look for any missed practices by Sidney Rice to result in claims of the risk not working out (when in reality, look for him to have a career year)!
Same issue with sophomore James Carpenter, it’s looking like at best he will start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and that will only light the media fire more so.
After all is said and done, I truly think that the Seattle Seahawks will silence those critics, and will prevail this season as champions of the NFC West.
Like always, the 12th Man will be loud about it all!