YOOOAdrian’s 2010 NFL Preview- Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll is back in the NFL after leaving USC, the most dominant NCAA Football institution the last decade.  Jim Mora got only 1 year after a hugely disappointing 5-11 season.  Carroll gets a lot of slack for his ineffective coaching career.  Surprisingly, Carroll has a career 33-31 record.  The Seahawks also made wholesale changes with the team, acquiring Charlie Whitehurst in a trade with San Diego, getting running backs LenDale White and Leon Washington and drafting tackle Russell Okung and safety Earl Thomas in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.

 Quarterbacks

 Matt Hasslebeck- 293/488  60.0%  3,029 yds  17 td  17 int  75.1 rat

Hasslebeck comes off his worst season as a pro throwing for a career high 17 interceptions; 9 of which came in the final 3 games.  He’s had a difficult time staying healthy in 3 of the last 4 years.  The inconsistent line play seemed to propel Hasslebeck to force throws which resulted into turnovers. 

This will most likely be Hasslebeck’s final season as a starter in Seattle.  His contract expires after the season.

Others- Charlie Whitehurst, Mike Teel

Whitehurst is the quarterback of the future in Seattle.  He was acquired in a trade with San Diego.  At 6’4, Whitehurst has the prototypical quarterback size to go along with a strong arm and the athleticism to move within the pocket.  I expect Whitehurst to start by the end of the year.

 

(Charlie Whitehurst)

Teel is a 2nd year guy from Rutgers.

 GRADE- 7

 Running Backs

 Julius Jones- 177 car  663 yds  3.7 avg  2 td  35 rec  232 yds  2 td

Jones may be well equipped in Pete Carrol’s offensive zone running scheme.  Jones is a one-cut and go runner.  He improved in the pass game last year as well.

Justin Forsett114 car  619 yds  5.4 avg  4 td  41 rec  350 yds  1 td

Forsett has big play ability.  He likes to use his blockers and burst into the open spaces.  He is excellent catching the ball out of the backfield.

(Justin Forsett)

Others- LenDale White, Leon Washington

Carrol liked to use multiple backs during his tenure at USC.  White and Washington should each see time on the field.  White is a power back, while Washington is a scatback.

GRADE- 7

 Receivers

T.J. Houshmanzadeh- 79 rec  911 yds  11.5 avg  3 td

There are talks around the NFL that the Seahawks may indeed be trying to move or cut Houshmanzadeh.  He was openly frustrated last season when he wasn’t seeing the football when he was open.

Houshmanzadeh is normally a huge competitor.  He’s a good route runner who gets most of his production over the middle of the field.

Golden Tate- ROOKIE

Tate is a 2nd round pick from Notre Dame.  He is excellent after the catch.

Deion Branch- 45 rec 437 yds  9.7 avg  2 td

Branch won a MVP in Super Bowl XXXIX as a member of the New England Patriots.  As a Seahawk, he’s been a huge disappointment. 

TE- John Carlson- 51 rec  574 yds  11.3 avg  7 td

In 2008, Carlson led the team in receiving.  Last season, he was a bit inconsistent.  He didn’t get as many pass catching opportunities because he was asked to be an extra blocker on the sub par offensive line.

(John Carlson)

Others- Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler, Mike Williams

The Seahawks are just hoping for any wide receiver to emerge whether it’s Obomanu, Butler, or Williams.

GRADE- 7

 Offensive Line

 LT- Russell Okung

Okung has huge shoes to fill with the retirement of legendary left tackle Walter Jones.  Okung is very athletic, possesses long arms and good balance. 

(Russell Okung)

 LG- Ben Hamilton

Hamilton was brought in to mentor Okung, the same way he did for Ryan Clady.  Alex Gibbs the offensive line coach, was the offensive line coach in Denver when Hamilton was there.

C- Chris Spencer

Spencer is quick off the ball and has a nasty mean streak.

RG- Max Unger

Unger is back at guard after playing some center last year.  He’s a tough and smart player.

RT- Sean Locklear

Locklear is a better fit at right tackle, after struggling to fill in for Walter Jones at left tackle.

GRADE- 7

 Defensive Line

 LDE- Chris Clemons- 11 tck  3 sck  1 p def

Clemons is a speed edge rusher who had a career high 8 sacks with Oakland in 2007.  He accumulated just 7 sacks in two years in Philadelphia.  He struggles against power runners.

(Chris Clemons)

LDT- Brandon Mebane- 49 tck  1.5 sck

The Seahawks hoped that Mebane would present a 3 technique pass rusher.  He had just 1.5 sacks, but he is a good run stuffer.

RDT- Colin Cole- 48 tck  2 p def

Cole is a mammoth run plugger.

RDE- Red Bryant- 8 tck

The Seahawks traded Lawrence Jackson to Detroit, and it looks like defensive tackle Red Bryant will move to end. 

Others- Nick Reed, Robert Henderson, Craig Terrill, E.J. Wilson

The Seahawks will look for Reed, Henderson and Wilson to step up and be effective edge rushers, at least one of them.

GRADE- 6.75

 Linebackers

 LOLB- David Hawthorne- 117 tck  4 sck  3 int  5 p def  2 ff

Hawthorne did a fantastic job filling in for injured middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu for most of the season.  He led the team in tackles.

MLB- Lofa Tatupu- 32 tck  1 sck  2 p def

Tatupu tore his pectoral muscle in week 6 and was done for the season.  The defense missed his leadership.  He’s a speedy player with fantastic instincts.

(Lofa Tatupu)

ROLB- Aaron Curry- 61 tck  2 sck  6 p def  2 ff

Curry encompasses a rare blend of speed and athleticism for the position.  He plays with good instincts and intensity.  He can get out of control sometimes.  Curry looks to be the leading candidate to be the “Elephant” stand up pass rusher that head coach Pete Carroll employed at USC.

Others- Leroy Hill, D.D. Lewis, Matt McCoy

Hill is a good player when healthy.  He gets hurt a lot because of his physical and aggressive play.

GRADE- 8

 Secondary

LCB- Marcus Trufant- 49 tck  2 int  6 p def 

Trufant was hampered by a back injury which cost him the first 6 games of the season and hampered him all season long.  When healthy, Trufant has burst and makeup speed to hang with any wide receiver.

 RCB- Kelly Jennings- 30 tck  5 p def

Jennings is an undersized corner who hasn’t lived up to the 1st round hype thus far.

CB- Walter Thurmond- ROOKIE

Thurmond is a 4th round pick from Oregon.

FS- Earl Thomas- ROOKIE

Thomas is a ball hawk.  He has all the intangibles, athleticism, range and instincts. 

SS- Jordan Babineaux- 104 tck  2 int  6 p def  1.5 sck  1 ff

Babineaux is a playmaker.  He played better as the season went along.

Others- Lawyer Milloy, Quinton Teal

Milloy is a veteran who should teach Thomas a few things.

 GRADE- 7

Special Teams

PK- Olindo Mare- 24/26  47 lg

Mare is a reliable veteran kicker who doesn’t have the leg strength he used to.

P- Jon Ryan- 88 punts  46.2 avg  28 in 20  70 lg

Ryan set a franchise record with a 46.2 punting average.

KR- Justin Forsett- 18 ret  24.0 avg  46 lg

The Seahawks could go with Forsett or Leon Washington.

PR- Golden Tate- ROOKIE

The same goes here, it could be Tate, Forsett or Washington.

GRADE- 7.25

 2010 PREDICTION- 3-13

Pete Carroll is back in the NFL, but he inherits a team in shambles.  Just 5 years ago, this squad played in the Super Bowl.  5 years later, they’re one of the worst teams in the NFC.  There’s some solid young talent on the team, but this team is a few years away until they can contend for a division title in a very weak NFC West.

Offensive MVP- Justin Forsett

Defensive MVP- Lofa Tatupu

Breakthrough- Aaron Curry

Overrated- T.J. Houshmanzadeh

Underrated- David Hawthorne

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