Where The Seattle Seahawks Have Improved

Leon Washington

Leon is only part of the Seahawks' stellar special teams unit

The 2010 Seattle Seahawks are a biopolar team. And that’s not good for us fans. One moment, we’re likely inflicting permanent damage to our vocal chords, the next we’re ready to drop a toaster into a bathtub full of water. While inside of it. We’ve looked like a playoff team, we’ve looked like a team primed for a top 5 draft pick. But to be fair, there has also been a lot of tough football. Losing Okung for so many games, rookie growing pains in the secondary, and probably worst of all: injuries to Red Bryant and Colin Cole killed the run defense. And it just unraveled from there.

I’ll just go ahead and say it: the Seahawks do not have many talented players. This topic is a post all in itself, and I’ll write one, but that’s for another day. When a team that lacks talent loses one of its talented player to injury, the effect is magnified. Hence the Seahawks highest highs and its depressing, depressing lows.

So where are the bright sides of this 2010 Seahawks team? Let’s look at what we’ve got to look forward to in coming seasons:

1. Special Teams – This has been the story of the year for the Seahawks. Brian Schneider, special teams coach, has put fielded an unit that’s embarrassing other teams. I pray to God that he’s signed to a nice, big, juicy contract to keep him him in Seattle. By the way, Football Outsiders ranks the Seahawks #1 in special teams DVOA. For like the bajillionth week in a row.  Slight downer alert: Teams are likely drooling profusely at the thought of Leon Washington’s upcoming free agency; unless he’s developed strong loyalty to the Seahawks for giving him a shot after his gruesome injury, I can’t imagine he’s a Seahawk next year. But! The kick and punt return units are doing a phenomenal job blocking for returners. The return game will take a hit without him, but it won’t collapse.

2. This year’s rookies – Go ahead and take a look at Tim Ruskell’s last draft as the Seahawks general manager, and then look at Pete Carroll’s. I think the number of Carroll haters have just about vanished by now. From Ruskell’s last draft, Butler, Unger and Curry remain and though Curry could become an elite player, it’s likely they could all end their careers as just average players, at best. Now this year’s rookies, however, have already shown flashes of brilliance. Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, Golden Tate, and Walter Thurmond have all shown they could easily become above average to elite starters in this league. It’ll be a joy to watch them grow and develop.

3. The Receiving Corps – Mike Williams recently tweeted his desire to stay with the Seahawks. He even mentioned the Seahawks won’t have to pay him much to retain him. His agent likely had a minor coronary when he read the latter. That or a good, hard face palm at the very least. In any case, assuming Seattle’s best wide receiver (by leaps and bounds) is re-signed in the off-season, Golden Tate, Deon Butler, John Carlson, emerging athlete Cameron Morrah will join him in catching passes as a unit for some time. These are all young, talented players that have proven this season they can make plays.

4. Coaching – Pete Carroll has assembled one hell of a coaching staff, and it shows. Jeremy Bates is a young, borderline brilliant offensive mind and it shows by his offensive schemes, formations and play calls. Hell, his 2008 offense in Denver lit the league on fire. Brian Schneider’s special teams are red hot and Gus Bradley has extracted 29 sacks from a ragtag defense of cast offs and mercenaries. Coach Carroll appears to be the genuine, honest, enthusiastic coach that preaches a philosophy and sticks to it. Really sticks to it. I’ll be honest, I didn’t believe the college ‘rah-rah’ method would translate to grown men making millions of dollars, but the Seahawks players have bought in and are 100% behind it, thick and thin. And those that don’t are summarily jettisoned. See: TJ WhoCaresHowItsSpelled. Which leads me to …

5. Heart – Pete Carroll’s team has heart. I’ve not seen a football team fight they way the Seahawks fight. In Carolina, the team went into halftime down 14-3, after suffering injuries and misfortunes one after another. By the end of the game, the Seahawks had scored 31 unanswered points. They fought through adversity and never gave up. I’m so, so proud of them.

There are some pretty big questions regarding the Seahawks in the coming year or so. Who’ll be quarterback? Will our key free agents be retained? And so on. But I do know that we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Curry’s offsides calls and all.

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About Nick

I'm a guy that loves the Seahawks far and away more than any other team in any other sport. I live in Seattle, I'm married to the perfect woman, I work in marketing and I'm nearly into my 30s. Scary. Find me on Twitter talking #seahawks @nandron.
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