Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Looking ahead: Week One and the Seahawks Roster

The NFL season begins tomorrow with the Patriots taking on the Steelers-- two teams loathed by anyone who supports the Seahawks. Just three days after that, the Seahawks will begin their redemptive journey to Super Bowl 50 as they face their rivals in St. Louis.

While everyone-- fans, players and staff alike-- seem to have put the heartache of last year behind them, the excitement for this new season has been somewhat tempered by the absence of perhaps the team's best defensive player, Kam Chancellor.

Chancellor's hold out continues seemingly with no end in sight. Then again, he could be back any day now, perhaps even today.  That is precisely the reason Seahawks fans are finding it difficult to get comfortable heading into this weekend.

Uncomfortable and unhappy as we may be, the reality is that we all need to be prepared to move on this season without him.  We are not a better team without him, there's no argument against that.  You can argue that 'contracts are contracts' and a player should honor them-- but you could just as easily point out that teams disregard contracts all the time, releasing players when they're deemed unworthy of the salary and years remaining on their deals.

I can't offer you any solace for this situation.  Whether he sits out the season, gets traded, retires or whatever may come-- the fans are the ones who lose. Every 12 that shelled out $100 for a #31 jersey loses.  All of us that wake up excited every Sunday at the possibility that we might see Kam clean someones clock are going to be the losers.

Alas, we must press on.

Still, even without Kam, this team's future looks awfully damned bright. Every piece besides Kam is comfortably in place with more depth than they've ever had before. The team is in great health going into the season and will benefit from a Bye week that is smack dab in the middle of the season. Here is Seattle's recently released depth chart:


  • Russell Wilson
  • Tavaris Jackson
Running Back
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Fred Jackson
  • Thomas Rawls
Wide Receiver
  • Doug Baldwin
  • Jermaine Kearse
  • Tyler Lockett
  • Ricardo Lockette
  • B.J. Daniels
  • Chris Matthews
Tight end
  • Jimmy Graham
  • Luke Willson
  • Cooper Helfet
Left Tackle
  • Russell Okung
  • Alvin Bailey
Left Guard
  • Justin Britt
  • Alvin Bailey
  • Kristjan Sokoli
  • Drew Nowak
  • Patrick Lewis
Right Guard
  • J.R. Sweezy
  • Mark Glowinski
Right Tackle
  • Garry Gilliam
  • Alvin Bailey

Left Defensive End
  • Michael Bennett
  • Frank Clark
  • Demarcus Dobbs
Left Defensive Tackle
  • Ahtyba Rubin
  • David King
Right Defensive Tackle
  • Brandon Mebane
  • Jordan Hill
Right Defensive End
  • Cliff Avril
  • Cassius Marsh
Outside Linebacker
  • K.J. Wright
  • Bruce Irvin
  • Kevin Pierre-Louis
  • Mike Morgan
Middle Linebacker
  • Bobby Wagner
  • Brock Coyle
  • Richard Sherman
  • Cary Williams
  • Marcus Burley
  • Tharold Simon
  • Tye Smith
Strong Safety
  • Dion Bailey
  • DeShawn Shead
  • Kelcie McCray
Free Safety
  • Earl Thomas
  • Steven Terrell
  • Steven Hauschka
  • Jon Ryan
Long Snapper
  • Clint Gresham
Kick and punt returns
  • Tyler Lockett
  • Doug Baldwin
  • B.J. Daniels
The inevitability of injury is a reality all teams must face.  With this line up, it feels like Seattle has the depth to endure the bumps and bruises of the season without the fear of falling off at any point.  Sure, if Marshawn goes down, we're not going to get the same production from Rawls and Jackson-- but you get the feeling they're better prepared to lean on Wilson's arm than they ever have before.

Last season, when the offensive line was struggling to develop the run game, Russell had a skeleton crew manning the tight end position.  This year, not only is the tight end group drastically improved, but the receiver room feels like they have the depth of talent to pick up any slack.

Defensively, there's undoubtedly a hole at Strong Safety and plenty of legitimate concern regarding the health of Earl Thomas' injured shoulder.  However, the front seven on the defense has the potential to be remarkably dominant. An improved pass rush and a stout run defense will account for any inconsistency in the secondary.  I'll bet opponents are going to test Sherman early and more often given that Kam won't be helping out up top-- Sherman will make them regret that.

As for our first opponent, we know the Rams always play us tough, especially in St. Louis.  But they have a new face under center in Nick Foles, who isn't going to win many games for them on his own so much as limit mistakes and manage games efficiently.

More troubling for the Rams is the fact that their #10 overall pick, Todd Gurley, won't be available until closer to mid-season and his backup is projected to miss the opener, leaving the Rams with 3rd string running back, Benny Cunningham, to carry the torch.

Seahawks have their work cut out for them opening their season with a pair of challenging road games.  Kam might be hoping Seattle drops those first two contests and come crawling back to him, but if the Seahawks are able to win those first two match ups without him-- they might never look back.

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