Thursday, August 11, 2016

Football is Coming

The past few seasons have spoiled me.

The space between the conclusion of the Super Bowl and kickoff of the first preseason game once had me clamoring for every football morsel I could scavenge. I would beg the Mariners to keep me entertained through the football void and spend hours spanning the internet and listening to sports talk radio.

You may have noticed that I haven't been very active on this blog since the conclusion of the Seahawks playoff run.  Yeah, I wrote about the draft and free agent moves as it pertained to the Seahawks-- but I didn't delve into the minutia of the offseason.

All that matters to me is seeing this team play for keeps.

Bring on the regular season.  I'm ready for another championship run.  While I am excited to see some of the position battles play out over the preseason-- how can you not be stoked for some of the Seahawks regular season matchups this year?

We got a rematch against the Patriots, post-Brady suspension.  We got a shot at revenge with the Panthers coming to the CLink.  Road games against Rodgers and Brees. The rivalry with the Cardinals is bound to intensify this season.  It has all the makings for a special season.

But what will this team look like?

The front office has been tremendous in drafting and retaining talent.  Wilson, Sherman, Thomas, Wagner, Wright, Baldwin and Kearse are all locked up. Sure, Bennett and Chancellor aren't thrilled with their deals, but they are under contract beyond this season.

How strange it will feel not having Beastmode on this team for the first time in years? Everyone is excited to see Thomas Rawls take over, but the question remains whether he can stay healthy for 16 games.  Rawls has demonstrated the ability to emulate Marshawn's aggressive style and big numbers, but Lynch had a consistency and reliability that might be difficult to replace.

Jimmy Graham resumed practicing-- which is great news!  It was reported that he is 15 lbs lighter this season. Couple that with the selection of Nick Vannett in the draft and you have to believe that the Seahawks are going to finally let go of the idea of converting Graham into a Zach Miller-type of blocking tight end and let him do the things that earned him a huge contract in New Orleans as a pass catcher.

Another change that might be less noticeable once the regular season begins is the absence of backup
quarterback, Travaris Jackson.  The Seahawks have opted to go into the preseason with Trevone Boykin, a rookie undrafted free agent, as the presumed backup to Russell and coin toss caller. Jackson got into some off field trouble that he has since been absolved from, but Boykin impressed enough for the team to move on from T-Jack.

 I'm pulling for Boykin.  His play style is complementary to Wilson's and seems like it would be beneficial in keeping the offense in rhythm, should Russell ever miss any time with injury.  He should see considerable playing time in Saturday's matchup in Kansas City.

Perhaps no position group looks more different from last season than the offensive line. Every position across the line will be manned by an entirely different player.  Only Gary Gilliam and Justin Britt started the season before, but even they will play entirely new positions with Gilliams switching from right to left tackle and Britt moving from guard to center. Despite the drastic change, I actually feel better about this season's group than the previous two years.

First round draft pick Germain Ifedi is slated to start at right guard, and he's already showing some grit in training camp. Ifedi has been in multiple scrums with some of the veteran defensive players. This group has to play with an edge this season.  They're getting ripped by criticism before they even set foot on the field.

Football is almost here-- and I'm feeling pretty good about these Seahawks.

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