NFL Preview: Seattle Seahawks

Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Offensive Coordinator: Jeremy Bates
Defensive Coordinator: Casey Bradley
Special Teams Coordinator: Brian Schneider
Chairman: Paul Allen

Offensive Starters (Projected)
QB: Matt Hasselbeck
HB: Justin Forsett
FB: Owen Schmitt
WR: TJ Houshmandzadeh
WR: Golden Tate
LT: Russell Okung
LG: Ben Hamilton
C: Max Unger
RG: Chester Pitts
RT: Sean Locklear
TE: John Carlson

Defensive Starters (Projected)
DE: Chris Clemons
DE: Red Bryant
DT: Brandon Mebane
DT: Colin Cole
LB: Leroy Hill
LB: Lofa Tatupu
LB: Aaron Curry
CB: Josh Wilson
CB: Marcus Trufant
FS: Earl Thomas
SS: Jordan Babineaux

Special Teams
K: Olindo Mare
P: Jon Ryan

Schedule:
San Francisco
@ Denver
San Diego
@ St. Louis
BYE
@ Chicago
Arizona
@ Oakland
New York Giants
@ Arizona
@ New Orleans
Kansas City
Carolina
@ San Francisco
Atlanta
@ Tampa Bay
St. Louis

Position Battles:
There are not a lot of positions that are locked down right now.

Both the offensive and defensive lines are up for grabs at just about every position.

Running back is going to be a battle to get the bulk of the carries with Forsett, Julius Jones, and Leon Washington all looking for time and carries.

Rookies to Watch:
Russell Okung will be when he signs and gets into camp. He’s a premier tackle and should be able to jump into a starting role on a line that doesn’t have a lot of depth.

Golden Tate has some experienced competition in camp, but he has the physical skills to win a starting job. He should develop into a nice target for Hasselbeck when teams are paying too much attention to the run or Housh.

Season Expectations:
I think the team did a great job in the draft, landing the best OT and one of the most polished WRs in the draft. Even with those additions, there are still some big holes on this roster. None of the running backs jump out at you as game changing backs or even backs who would be considered starters on other teams. Put those behind a work in progress line and the running game doesn’t seem like much of a threat to other teams. For the team to be successful this year they are going to have to throw the ball consistently and accurately. Matt Hasselbeck has been a top QB in the past and he needs to get back to that this year or Charlie Whitehurst can jump in and take the job. The team has skill at the outside positions with Houshmanzadeh, Deion Branch, Golden Tate, and John Carlson. While all solid, there’s not a true, deep threat. Tate had good enough speed to get deep in college, but in the Pros his speed will play as average and he’ll have trouble running past guys.

On defense, the team is pretty good on the back 7. The linebacking core is solid and will be boosted by a healthy Lofa Tatupu. The secondary has two talented corners in Jennings and Trufant and the safeties are some of the bigger hitters in the game. However, as good as the back side is, the line has a ton of holes and big questions about production. And even the best secondary can’t cover forever, you have to get pressure eventually and it’s yet to be seen if the Seahawks will be able to get pressure this season. The schedule is favorable for them to take a jump in wins from last season with only New Orleans, Atlanta, and both San Francisco games as truly daunting, and even San Fran might not be that scary. This is a team that could jump back into the hunt for a divisional championship, but only because 8-8 might win the division.

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