A year ago, few people thought the Seahawks could play even .500 ball — due to a completely revamped defense and an offense that didn’t seem capable of winning many shootouts.
Well, as we predicted, the Hawks won 10 games and made the playoffs for the seventh time in Pete Carroll’s nine seasons (and, as we all know, should have beaten Dallas in the wild-card round).
This year, it seems plenty of people have not learned their lesson — still forecasting the Seahawks as an 8-8 or 9-7 team. The main concerns are pass rush and a youthful secondary, plus the permanent loss of Doug Baldwin in the receiving corps.
Carroll knows his pass rush is weaker than it was — “We gotta make something special out of it” — but he also knows his team is otherwise very stout. (UPDATE: The Hawks acquired pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney the day after this was first posted.)
After the Hawks beat the Raiders in the preseason finale, Carroll said, “We’re going to be a really good team. … We’re going to be hard to beat.”
He’s right. When the schedule came out, we predicted 11 or 12 wins. It’s still easy to see that because they look better at
six seven of nine position groups.
Continue reading Hawks have improved almost everywhere
The Seahawks are going to play their third preseason game tonight without nine key players – injuries that have opened up chances for a few other guys while also complicating the roster makeup.
David Moore’s shoulder injury is the latest concern. That and D.K. Metcalf’s knee problem put the spotlight on the receiver position tonight in Los Angeles. But the defensive line, secondary and tight end also have tricky roster situations that make the last two games significant for several players.
Let’s look at key positions and players to watch:
Continue reading Key players in final two preseason games
We’re halfway through the preseason, and injuries along the Seahawks’ roster have prevented coaches (and us) from seeing all of the contenders for roster spots.
The depth issues figure to affect their roster decisions on Aug. 31.
Everyone knows pass rush is the weakest part of the team, which explains why Pete Carroll and Ken Norton Jr. are working on so many different blitz patterns. But they also have injury issues at running back, wide receiver, offensive line and defensive back that probably will affect their decisions at those spots.
Will it also affect their game strategy Saturday in Los Angeles? Will Carroll choose to keep his starters in for only a half so he can keep them healthy and give the bubble players more of a shot?
We project 41 locks and 25 bubble players for 12 open spots — No. 2 QB, No. 4 RB, No. 5 & 6 WRs, No. 3 TE, No. 9 OL, No. 9/10 DL, No. 6/7 LBs, Nos. 8-10 DBs. And, of course, John Schneider will make a trade or two or three to fill some of these spots.
Continue reading Injuries have kept the bubble inflated
A pretty good night by Russell Wilson and Co. was overshadowed by more injuries that cut further into the Seahawks’ depth — with the top three rookies now sidelined.
Second-rounder Marquise Blair was carted off late in the 25-19 loss to Minnesota, back spasms landing him on the injured list alongside first-rounder L.J. Collier, who has been out nearly all summer, and second-rounder D.K. Metcalf, who did not play Sunday night due to a knee injury that will require surgery Tuesday.
Continue reading Top three rookies hurt, but offense looks ready
This week is really the last chance for bubble players to make their cases to coaches.
Week 3 is for the starters and the fourth game generally doesn’t mean much beyond perhaps finalizing the last spot or two on the roster.
Here are the locks, by our count: (QB) Russell Wilson; (RB) Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Nick Bellore; (WR) Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, David Moore, D.K. Metcalf; (TE) Will Dissly, Nick Vannett; (OL) Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones; (DL) Ziggy Ansah, L.J. Collier, Poona Ford, Earl Mitchell, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Cassius Marsh, Jacob Martin; (LB) Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Austin Calitro, Cody Barton; (DB) Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Akeem King, Neiko Thorpe, Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Marquise Blair; (ST) Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott.
Continue reading We need to see more from these guys this week
Paxton Lynch and Jazz Ferguson made redemptive first impressions, Marquise Blair looked like he could be Seattle’s next great safety, Ken Norton Jr. showed signs of how he is going to fabricate a pass rush and the special teams covered all of the bases.
Those were the top takeaways as Seattle beat Denver 22-14 in the preseason opener Thursday.
Continue reading Lynch, Ferguson, Blair, Norton star in opener
As the Seahawks get ready to open the preseason Thursday against Denver, most fans are itching to see rookie wunderkind D.K. Metcalf.
But we won’t see him play with Russell Wilson, because the starting quarterback will not play (a bunch of other starters will sit, too, Pete Carroll said Wednesday).
But there are a lot of other things to keep an eye on, starting with a defensive line that sure doesn’t seem like it will be ready for prime time yet — if ever this season.
Continue reading What we’re watching in preseason opener
Pete Carroll is ready for the season. But his roster isn’t quite.
After the Seahawks finished off their first winless preseason ever with a mistake-filled 30-19 loss to Oakland, Carroll said, “I’m excited about getting to our 53. We’ve got roles for guys to take over. We’ve got a real clear thought about what we’re doing with a lot of stuff.”
Carroll and John Schneider still have some tweaking to do to get to the 53, though. They already have upgraded at backup quarterback, adding Brett Hundley, and you can bet they will be looking for help at a few other places — perhaps safety, corner, tight end and edge rusher.
Ahead of Saturday’s 1 p.m. cutdown deadline, here’s our final roster projection:
Continue reading Final preseason roster projection
As the preseason winds down, teams are already starting to use trades to address weaknesses in their rosters.
It won’t be long before John Schneider joins the fray.
Schneider always makes a trade at some point before the season — he made seven deals from the start of camp to just before the season last year, and he has made 15 other preseason deals since 2010. That’s an average of 2.75 per preseason.
Schneider has been 50-50 in acquiring and moving out players in these deals. Last year, for example, he traded Kevin Pierre-Louis, Cassius Marsh, Tramaine Brock and Jermaine Kearse while adding D.J. Alexander, Matt Tobin, Sheldon Richardson, Justin Coleman and Isaiah Battle (Duane Brown didn’t come until October).
He probably won’t be nearly as active this year, but it’s a good bet he will make some kind of deal — because he always does. So, which trades might he make?
Continue reading Which trades will Schneider make this week?
After three preseason games, the Seahawks’ roster looks pretty set through about 45 positions.
With only Thursday’s game against Oakland left, the Hawks seemingly are set everywhere but their last few cornerbacks, including the starter on the right side, plus their sixth receiver, their last offensive and defensive linemen and maybe their final linebacker. (UPDATE: Backup QB was up in the air until the Seahawks acquired Brett Hundley on 8/29.)
Injuries will play into a couple of decisions. The Hawks probably won’t put fifth-round tackle Jamarco Jones (high ankle sprain) or J.D. McKissic (broken foot) on IR because they don’t want to lose either for the season. So expect the team to keep them both and then possibly use short-term IR on one or both after Week 1.
That will affect the keepers on the offensive line and at running back, where the Hawks might forgo a fullback (as they did in 2016).
Here’s our roster projection through three games (updated with comments from Pete Carroll):
Continue reading Projecting the roster after three games