Seahawks are back in action (and HawkTalk too!)

HawkTalk is back for another year of Seahawks and NFL Draft coverage, and I couldn’t be more hyped about the upcoming season.

The Seahawks are starting a new chapter after a turbulent year, having moved on from most of the LOB-era defensive core. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright now lead a defense that’s as youthful and unproven as the LOB was entering the league together. Can Pete Carroll build this new edition into something special as well, and how long will that development take?

Meanwhile, Seattle doubled-down hard on the running game this offseason. They hired (underrated) run-first OC Brian Schottenheimer, drafted an exceptional RB in Rashaad Penny, and repeatedly voiced a renewed commitment to the ground game.

Is it enough to re-create the glory years produced by Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch & Co? Amid the LOB’s extended dominance, it’s easy to forget the offense ranked 4th, 7th, 5th and 2nd by Football Outsiders’ DVOA Ratings from 2012-2015. And despite fielding a hideous running game over the last two years, they’ve still managed league-average (17th and 14th) ranks in overall offense. Just how high is the offense’s upside if Wilson has the support of a productive rushing attack?

Carroll has a proven winning formula – maximize the impact of the: 1) running game, 2) defense, and 3) special teams – to control the outcome of the game. He returned amidst rumors of retirement this offseason, and he’ll finish his career living or dying on that hill.

It could prove to be a challenge in this new era, without the likes of Lynch, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and (seemingly) Earl Thomas. But that’s why they play the games! A new season brings promise and possibility, and it’s hard to put a cap on what a Wilson/Carroll-led team can accomplish.

Go Hawks.

Tomorrow I’ll have some quick thoughts on the first week of Training Camp, including:

  • Duane Brown’s new contract.
  • The Earl Thomas stalemate.
  • Who starts at Safety?
  • Chris Carson standing out at RB.
  • The open competition for three WR spots.