NFL Season Preview: The Seattle Seahawks are the Team to Beat in the NFC
Led by renegade head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have executed some of the most unconventional personnel moves in order to rebuild the franchise into a team that can realistically vie for NFC supremacy. They are quite literally the team to beat in the conference. After the Seahawks drafted project/reach DE Bruce Irvin in the 1st Round (which was universally panned by personnel people around the NFL), the Seahawks grabbed virtual unknown LB Bobby Wagner in the 2nd Round, and “undersized” QB Russell Wilson in the 3rd Round. Each player paid huge dividends in the resurgence of the Seahawks in 2012. Wilson was an eye-opener all season, stringing together a set of 50-Point outbursts, Irvin had double-digit sacks and Bobby Wagner came in and immediately led the LB corps for Seattle, a bunch that is very athletic and rangy.
Additionally, with an all-world secondary featuring outspoken CB Richard Sherman, the soft-spoken, but super-sized and menacing CB Brandon Browner, (who is 6’4” 225 lbs, bigger than most safeties, let alone most CBs) and a tandem of safeties who range far and hit hard (FS Earl Thomas and SS Kam Chancellor), the Seahawks boast the best secondary in the NFL. In 2013, they only further bolstered their outstanding offense by snagging WR Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings, to go with WR Golden Tate, and WR Sidney Rice. Barring injury, everything is looking upward for the Seahawks’ fortunes in 2013, considering that the 49ers may be taking a step (or even two) back this season.
Defensively, there are not enough superlatives to express what the unit is capable of accomplishing. The defensive line is active, each of the players – even the defensive tackles – make plays outside of the trenches. Red Bryant, Irvin, Chris Clemons (who is completing rehab on an ACL tear that he suffered in the Wild Card Playoff vs. Washington last season), and Brandon Mebane all make plays. Carroll retained his old USC recruits, Allen Bradford, Mike Morgan and Malcolm Smith to go along with Wagner, KJ Wright, Heath Farwell, and rookie John Lotulelei. With the aforementioned secondary, which will be returning players who are talented, but injured last season (Walter Thurmond and Jeremy Lane, along with Winston Guy), the Seahawks also plucked veteran CB Antoine Winfield from Minnesota, which only provides even more depth to a unit that is already the best in the NFL.
Nearly every hole is plugged for the Seahawks entering 2013. Barring significant injury to key players on either side of the ball, they are easily the team to beat this season.
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