Seahawks vs Broncos Recap: Youngsters Show Potential in Loss

In a game that saw the Seattle Seahawks suiting up without stars/impact performers Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch and very little of Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham and the rest of the starters, the Hawks’ youngsters showed well.

Rookies Step Up

Tyler Lockett showed exactly why the Seahawks used a third-round pick on him. The receiver was electric on kick-returns, racking up 186 yards on the day, including a 103-yard touchdown return. He also added 18 yards on a punt return while displaying the speed and elusiveness that will make him such a vital part of the Seahawks’ receiving corps not only this season, but for years to come.

In addition to Lockett, fellow high draft pick Frank Clark (2nd round-pick) looked sharp up along the defensive line. Clark accumulated a team-high nine tackles, while constantly causing problems along the line. At the very least, he’ll be part of the rotation, if not playing a bigger role as the season progresses.

Thomas Rawls wasn’t drafted, but had almost as much an impact as Lockett and Clark. The running back brought a physicality to the running game that reaffirms the Seahawks preference for hard runners. Rawls scored on a 19-yard reception while also adding 31 yards on nine carries.

Pete Carroll’s Referee Collision Course

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is worth significantly more.

Versatility, Versatility, Versatility

The Seahawks coaches are famous for their experimentation with players’ positions. J.R. Sweezy switched from defensive line to offensive line, and now it seems that B.J. Daniels is making the switch. The now-former quarterback is transitioning to wide receiver/offensive weapon. Daniels caught two passes for 15 yards and returned a pair of punts for 50 yards, including a long return of 35 yards. In addition to his offensive contributions he also contributed a tackle on special teams.

While not playing another position, Rod Smith showed an ability to contribute in both the running and passing game. Smith ran for 18 yards on two carries and hauled in four catches for an additional 29 yards. He’s got an uphill battle with both Rawls and Christine Michael also in the mix for backfield roster spots, but running backs who are receiving threats carry a certain usefulness on rosters. Smith’s definitely got a chance to make the Hawks’ final roster, if not the practice squad.

Seahawks Acquire Jimmy Graham

The latest per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports-

The Seahawks haven’t announced anything yet, but knowing how good Glazer is, you can probably expect something official soon.

I guess they didn’t want to waste time in finding Zach Miller’s replacement.

Graham lead the NFL in touchdown catches in 2013 with 16 and had 10 last season. Since 2011, he has 46 touchdown receptions and 4396 yards. His presence, along with Marshawn Lynch, will give the Seahawks two of the best red zone players in the league. Not to mention Russell Wilson, who isn’t too shabby of a player either.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Seahawks Links: Lynch, Miller, Maxwell and Julius Thomas

  • In the off chance that you missed it, Beast Mode is coming back.
  • While Marshawn Lynch will be back with the Seahawks, one player who won’t is tight end Zach Miller, who was cut.
  • In addition to Miller, the Hawks will lose Byron Maxwell. The Legion of Boom member is off to Philadelphia via free agency.
  • It seems Seattle may have found Miller’s replacement, as the Seahawks will reportedly make a “late push” to sign for former Broncos tight end and free agent Julius Thomas.
  • In other NFC West news, the Hawks’ arch-rival 49ers will be considerably different next season. With the Khaki pants connoisseur Jim Harbaugh gone, it seems the Niners will also lose three key players. Frank Gore is joining Maxwell in Philly while longtime defensive standouts Patrick Willis and Justin Smith will retire. The NFC West just goat a little bit easier to win.

Seattle Seahawks: Why They’re Poised to Get Back to the Super Bowl

Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, whatever you want to call it… that one was tough. To come so close to repeating and get that close to scoring. This one will stay with Seattle, team and fans alike, for a long time.

Still, the Seahawks will be back strong for next season, and you can bet that coaches and players alike will be looking to make up for the Super Bowl loss with a ring next year. Here’s why they’re poised to get back to the Super Bowl-

1. Returning Talent

For the most part, the band will be back together next season. The Seahawks will see a small number of their core hit free agency, most notably Byron Maxwell and Jermaine Kearse (more on that later). Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, should he return, will be rejoined on offense by promising receiver Paul Richardson (once he returns from injury), the emerging Riccardo Lockette, Super Bowl breakout Chris Matthews and the vastly underrated Doug Baldwin. Kearse could return, while Luke Willson and Tony Moeaki provide a solid outlet for passes at the tight end position. Like Richardson, Zach Miller will also be coming back from injury.

Defensively, Seattle will welcome back a host of players from injured reserve. Brandon Mebane, one of the game’s best defensive tackles, will be healthy. Promising youngsters Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, Cassius Marsh and Kevin Pierre-Louis will return as well.

Other than the returning injured players, the majority of the starting defense is under contract with Maxwell, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams the only prominent free agents.

2. Few Free Agent Priorities

One of the main reasons the Hawks won their first Super Bowl was due to the additions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, players they were able to poach from other teams in free agency. Last offseason, the team was limited in free agency and had to spend most of their offseason cash on retaining the likes of Bennett and Avril.

While Seattle will spend this offseason thanks to potential extensions for Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner, the team won’t have as many key players hit free agency as last season when the team lost Golden Tate, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan, Brandon Browner, Clinton McDonald and Walter Thurmond. The team also had to cut defensive lineman Red Bryant and Chris Clemons.

Things will be much different this time around. Notable Seahawks hitting free agency include Byron Maxwell, Jermaine Kearse, James Carpenter, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams.

Besides handing out potential extensions, the ‘Hawks should focus on bringing back Maxwell. Since last season he’s seamlessly stepped in the Legion of Boom’s starting contingent. The cornerback will be one of the most sought-after free agents should he hit the open market. The question becomes whether the Seahawks brass trusts Tharold Simon to take over for Maxwell, similar to the recent transition of Maxwell for Browner.

While Carpenter may be brought back, the team can withstand the potential losses of Smith and Williams. The respective emergences of Kevin Pierre-Louis as well as Jordan Hill (5.5 sacks in the last six regular season game) should more than make up for the respective Super Bowl MVP and former Viking if Smith and Williams aren’t retained.

3. Continued Youth Development

Seattle can afford to let Smith and Williams go thanks to the development and potential of the aforementioned duo of Pierre-Louis and Hill. These two are just two of the latest players undervalued in the draft that Seattle has developed into quality contributors or starters, joining the likes of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Wilson, Wagner, J.R. Sweezy, Kearse, Baldwin, Willson, K.J. Wright, Smith, Lockette, Jeremy Lane, Simon and Robert Turbin among others.

Quite frankly, Seattle is the best at finding and developing talent—few NFL teams come close.

The continued development of players like Chris Matthews, Sweezy, Simon, Hill, Pierre-Louis and Cassius Marsh will only improve the Seahawks’ depth and quality heading into next season.

In Conclusion

The Seahawks loss in the Super Bowl was incredibly tough, it may go down as one of the most gut-wrenching and painful losses in the history of the NFL, let alone American sports. Still, if there was ever a group to rebound from it, come back strong and make good, it would be the current group of Seahawks.

Remember, the last time Seattle was dealt a heartbreaking (albeit less painful) playoff loss it was Atlanta a few years ago. The Hawks responded with a ring the next year.

They’ll be back.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl: Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski Play Mortal Kombat on Conan

Be warned, the game can get a little graphic looking at times.

Seattle Seahawks Media Day Highlight: There’s… Waldo?