Thursday, August 20, 2009
2009 NFL PREVIEW- Seattle Seahawks
2008 RECORD: 4-12
(3rd in NFC West)
HEAD COACH: Jim Mora, Jr.
Key Additions: WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (FA/Bengals) DL Colin Cole (FA/Packers) RB Justin Griffith (FA/Raiders) CB Ken Lucas (FA/Panthers)
Key Losses: RB Maurice Morris (FA/Lions) DL Rocky Bernard (FA/Giants) DL Howard Green (FA/Jets) WR Bobby Engram (FA/Chiefs) RB Leonard Weaver (FA/Eagles) TE Will Heller (FA/Lions) QB Charlie Frye (FA) WR Koren Robinson (FA) LB Julian Peterson (trade/Lions)
Offense: Injuries were a problem for Seattle in 2008 and Matt Hasselbeck will be back as the starting quarterback this season.
Hasselbeck threw for 1,216 yards and had five touchdown passes while throwing 10 interceptions in '08. Meanwhile, Seneca Wallace threw for 1,532 yards and had 11 TD passes with just three interceptions.
The running back spot has Julius Jones returning as the starting halfback after rumbling for 698 yards and two TDs last year. T.J. Duckett backs up and had 172 yards rushing with eight touchdowns in 2008. The fullback is Justin Griffith, who was signed as free agent from Oakland.
The wide receiving corps gets an upgrade in 2009 as T.J. Houshmandzadeh comes over from the Cincinnati Bengals after years of being the "other" wide receiver opposite Chad Ocho Cinco.
Houshmandzadeh caught 92 passes for 904 yards and had four touchdowns for the Bengals last season and will line up in '09 as the main target along with Nate Burleson, who is coming off an injury plagued season that saw him catch only five passes all season.
Deion Branch and rookie Deon Butler (Penn State) are the backups. The Tight End is John Carlson, who led the Seahawks with 55 receptions a year ago.
The offensive line has Walter Jones and Sean Locklear at the tackles and Mike Wahle and Rob Sims at guard. The center is Chris Spencer.
Seattle Head Coach Jim Mora, Jr. takes over for the retired Mike Holmgren and would like to see the offense score more often in 2009 as the Seahawks scored only 294 points last season, which ranked 25th in the NFL.
Defense: Seattle's defense slipped in 2008 after being ranked high in the NFC for a number of years.
The Seahawks allowed 378 yards per game in '08, which ranked 30th in the league and allowed 392 points.
The 4-3 defense will have Patrick Kerney and Lawrence Jackson at the ends and Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole (free agent signee from Green Bay) at the tackles.
The linebackers will be different as well as Julian Peterson is no longer in the fold after leaving as a free agent.
Lofa Tatupu is the middle linebacker with Aaron Curry and Leroy Hill at the outside LB spots. Curry is a rookie from Wake Forest who will get his feet wet right away this season. D.D. Lewis, Will Herring and David Hawthorne are the backups at linebacker.
The secondary features Marcus Trufant and Ken Lucas at cornerback with Deon Grant and Brian Russell at the safeties.
The Seahawks had only nine interceptions all season while registering 35 sacks. In fact, the Seahawks pass defense ranked last in the NFL in '08 by allowing 259 yards passing per game.
OUTLOOK: The Seahawks made a lot of changes after Holmgren retired from his position as Head Coach following a terrible 4-12 season.
Health will be a key for the Seahawks in 2009.
Hasselbeck has been an All-Pro in his career and if healthy, he has shown he can be among the top quarterbacks in the game. Remember, Seattle made the Super Bowl just four years ago and Hasselbeck was a main cog on that team.
Julius Jones is also coming off injuries last year and has been a 1,000 yard rusher in his career and with Houshmandzadeh leading the receivers, Seattle has a chance to be more of a legitimate threat offensively this season.
The defense must improve as well, especially against the pass.
Mora has been a Head Coach in the NFL before (with Atlanta) and he knows what it takes to turn a team around.
The Seahawks face a relatively tough schedule in 2009 while trying to regain their status as kings of the NFC West division. With so many new players coming into the mix, including learning a new system with a new coaching staff, Seattle will do well just to get to the .500 level once again.
Look for the Seahawks to finish 6-10 in '09 as they look to continue to improve for a better future in the Jim Mora, Jr. era.
Week 1- vs. St. Louis (Sept. 13)
Week 2- at San Francisco (Sept. 20)
Week 3- vs. Chicago (Sept. 27)
Week 4- at Indianapolis (Oct. 4)
Week 5- vs. Jacksonville (Oct. 11)
Week 6- vs. Arizona (Oct. 18)
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- at Dallas (Nov. 1)
Week 9- vs. Detroit (Nov. 8)
Week 10- at Arizona (Nov. 15)
Week 11- at Minnesota (Nov. 22)
Week 12- at St. Louis (Nov. 29)
Week 13- vs. San Francisco (Dec. 6)
Week 14- at Houston (Dec. 13)
Week 15- vs. Tampa Bay (Dec. 20)
Week 16- at Green Bay (Dec. 27)
Week 17- vs. Tennessee (Jan. 3)