Photo credit: Ronald C. Modra / Sports Imagery
Author: Jon Kuzma
The Seattle Seahawks were Super Bowl champions in 2014 but a lot has changed since that championship run. The Seahawks have seen a plethora of talent walk out of the door over the last two seasons in a somewhat mass exodus. With Seattle being up for so long, it’s only natural that sooner or later the team must come down. That happened when the team overspent on Russell Wilson and left the team depleted at other positions on the field. It also set bad precedent because the defense and Marshawn Lynch had been the sole reason the team won back in 2014. After that contract was signed by Wilson, chemistry issues started to pop up across the board for this football team. That eventually led to a questionable culture being built around Seahawks camp and as a result of that players like Max Unger and James Carpenter end up leaving in 2015. Now Bruce Irvin and Russell Okung are the most notable players to skip town this year. All that talent that walked out the door particularly on the offensive line has spelt regression for the Seattle Seahawks. It’s clear the plan was to build around Russell Wilson and that was evident when the team handed him a big contract and then traded for Jimmy Graham. The problem is football will always be a running game first and foremost. Losing that many keep pieces on that offensive front made the running game worse. In 2014 the Seahawks were the number 1 rushing team in the NFL in terms of yards per game with 172 yards per game. After losing Unger and Carpenter the team ranked 3rd in the league with 140 yards per game. Some might not think that is a big drop but it clearly can be the difference between making it to the Super Bowl and losing in the divisional round. Keep in mind the Seahawks barely slipped by the Vikings in the wildcard as well. So clearly the team was running at an optimal level when they were playing fundamental football, running the ball, and using those key offensive lineman upfront. Now with Okung departing, you’d have to think that the Seahawks will drop even lower than 3rd in the league when it comes to running the football and that would likely result in an even worse team in 2016. Look Pete Carroll is a great coach if anyone can turn it around it’s him. However a coach can’t go onto the field and sack quarterbacks for you like Bruce Irvin could. A coach can’t protect the Russell Wilson in the passing game like Russell Okung could. These losses sooner or later could start adding up for the Seahawks. Now with emerging threats in both the 49ers who landed Chip Kelly, and the Rams who are playing in a whole new city. The Seahawks very well could see their team fall to the back of the NFC West for the first time in awhile. It all started with that bad Russell Wilson deal.
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