Well, here we are. It’s that time of the year. Training camp and the preseason are over, the 2019 Seattle Seahawks have trimmed the fat off of their roster, and made a very Seahawky splash trade. I have sat down with my expert panel to break down the roster, and offer our predictions for the season. My expert panel includes myself, my orange tabby cat Earl, and my medium black haired cat Kam.
Here we go.
Quarterback. Russell Wilson and Geno Smith
Curtis: In two preseason games, Russell Wilson has never looked more poised and decisively in control of the offense. He also quicker running the ball. I think he is poised to have a monster year in 2019. It’s his second year in the new system, and his chemistry with Tyler Lockett is off the hook good. He’s going to be an MVP candidate. Book it.
Earl: Let me ask you this. Where are Russell’s weapons? No Angry Doug, they cut Jaron Brown, and DK Metcalf is working his way back from injury, as is David Moore. By the way, y’all ready to trust Moore and Metcalf when they do come back? Russ is fine. He’s a solid QB, but he needs weapons. I don’t see a monster year out of him. If they make the playoffs, it will be on the run game. I actually kinda like Geno Smith.
Kam: Dude, why didn’t you save all that for the Wide Receiver section. This is about quarterback. Personally, I’m not overly worried. I don’t roll like that. Look, this team is going to run. They are going to run at least fifty percent of the time, and they have the best play action quarterback in the game to work off of that. Russ is going to be just fine. Go Hawks.
Running Back. Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, CJ Prosise, and Travis Homer
Kam: Chris Carson is a beast. Might be the best overall athlete on the team. Has the talent to be all-pro. Problem is that he has never played a season of football without missing games due to injury. He got that injury bug, and they got CJ Prosise still on this roster. That is why I think Rashaad Penny and maybe even Travis Homer become more factors.
Earl: CJ Prosise is the ultimate tease. The three percent that he is actually healthy, he looks like one of the best backs in the league. There’s this calico cat three houses down from us that meows and rolls around in the crushed gravel in the back alley, all goofy like, makes you want to bite and lick him, but he runs off every time I head towards him. Prosise is the football equivalent of that. At some point, you just don’t want to even look his way anymore. Love Chris Carson. Penny I don’t know about yet.
Curtis: I think Penny is going to have a breakout year. I get that there’s a contingency of folks down on him. I think a large portion of those folks also firmly believe that you don’t draft running back in the first round in this modern age of football, and that’s a factor. There’s the thing, though; as much as I love Carson, you can’t rely on him to play healthy for sixteen games, and you definitely can’t rely on Prosise. Penny going to see a lot of opportunities, and he might be the type of back who needs to get touches to get going. Shaun Alexander was like that, and he did pretty well. I like Travis Homer.
Wide Reciever. Tyler Locket, David Moore, Jaron Brown, DK Metcalf, Malik Turner, Gary Jennings, John Ursua.
Earl: Good lord in Heaven. Do you see the names on that list up there? Lick your paw if you ever heard of Malik Turner. Anyone? No licking? Nobody? Jaron Brown was initially cut over the weekend, and then just brought back when tight end Ed Dickson was placed on injured reserve, and now might be the starter heading into the opener. Yikes. Metcalf is an athletic freak show, that’s fine, but he is also as raw as the bird I just killed and left on your back porch. I hope they trade for a quality proven veteran.
Kam: What can you say? They are going young here. Tyler Lockett is definitely the man, though. I’m just not that worried. I think they will be fine. Brown, Moore and Metcalf mixed in with Lockett on a team that loves to run, they will be fine.
Curtis: I’m a bit more with Earl on this one. Even my sunnier outlook is seeing a lot of inexperience here, and we are constantly fed this narrative about how long it takes young receivers to pick up the NFL game coming out of college. Three rooks on a roster is a lot of inexperience. I’m going to trust that the team knows more than we do. Love DK’s upside potential, though. I’m willing to wait this one area out.
Tight End. Will Dissly, Nick Vannett.
Curtis: I love Will Dissly. I really hope he plays a full sixteen game season. I love him.
Earl: I love Will Dissly, but I ain’t super hot on Vannett. I hope they call Jacob Hollister up from the practice squad.
Kam: Love Dissly but let’s not anoint him the second coming of Jason Witten just yet. Let’s first see if he can play a full season. He’s a good blocking tight end who can catch. I like that. Let’s see what happens.
Offensive Line. Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, DJ Fluker, Germaine Ifedi, George Fant, Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt, and JaMarco Jones
Kam: It’s weird to call this group the strength of the offense, but in four preseason games, this starting unit has looked pretty dang good. Even Ethan Pocic has looked strong, and he was considered a bubble player heading into camp. He might be the most improved player on the whole roster. I love the way they’ve been playing together. So much so, I’m going to rub myself on your shin and roll over and show you my belly.
Curtis: I love that you love this offensive line, and are rubbing on my shin. I’m going to rub your belly until you bite my hand. I love this line, too.
Earl: Yeah, I like this line a lot. But, we haven’t seen Iupati play yet, and DJ Fluker tends to get banged up, and is known to miss a game here and there. Pocic and Hunt are good depth guys. Fant gets more involved as a blocking tight end, and do we really know anything about JaMarco Jones? I don’t want to be a jerk about this, but I would like my starters a bit more durable, and I would like my depth a bit more deeper. But that’s just me. I don’t need my belly rubbed. In fact, I rather hate that.
Defensive Line. Jadeveon Clowney, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Ezekiel Ansah, LJ Collier, Rasheem Green, Quinton Jefferson, Bryan Mone, and Brandon Jackson (Jarran Reed after six game suspension)
Earl: Holy crap-oli. We got Jadeveon Clowney for a third round pick, and a bag of peanuts. If John Schneider is not general manager of the year for how he dealt Frank Clark for a first and second round pick, signed Ezekiel Ansah, and landed this cat for diddly squat, I will poop on the commissioner’s pillow. Clowney changes everything about this defense. He is a monster against the run, and does bring plenty of quarterback pressure. I can not wait to see him and Poona Ford lined up together.
Curtis: Poona, Poona, Poona. Love the Clowney acquisition, but this line’s success is going to hinge on Poona Ford’s ascension as an impact interior player. I think he is more than up for the task. He is the guy who, inside the team circles, everyone is raving about. He was practically unblockable in the preseason. It’s really hard finding talent that can play defensive tackle like that. For as much of a steal Clowney was from Houston, last year, Seattle brought in Poona Ford last year as an undrafted free agent, and that was a massive find. That is like getting a first round pick for free.
Kam: Poona, Poona, Poona. Okay, fine. I’m working it for another belly rub. I admit that. Seriously though. At some point, Seattle is going to have a defensive front four of Clowney, Ford, Jarran Reed, and Ansah. That is sick. Then they are going to have this year’s first round pick LJ Collier rotating in with the others. Nah, I love this line with Clowney. Stop the run. Pressure the quarterback. Poona, Poona, Poona.
Linebacker. Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven, and Shaquem Griffin.
Curtis: Love Russell, the running backs, the offensive line, the defensive line with Clowney, but this linebacker group is the most talented unit on the team. They might be the most talented linebacker unit in the league. Bobby Wagner is the best linebacker on the planet. KJ and Kendricks are pro bowlers. Barton and BBK add ridiculous depth. I don’t know if Seattle has ever had more talent at linebacker.
Earl: I got no worries with this group. If Bobby Wagner misses a game or two, they got Cody Barton to sub in. If KJ misses time, Kendricks can slide over. Shoot, if BBK is having to start week eight, I’m cool with it. I’m just cool with it. Okay, I’m going to go purr and rub on all over your lower leg. No belly rubbing, though, or I’m done with this.
Kam: I got a hot take. I know this defense is built around Bobby. I know they got Clowney up front. I think Mychal Kendricks is going to be a major x-factor on this defense. I think Coach Carroll is going to scheme ways of taking advantage of his rare athleticism and he is going to be a nightmare for running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks. Just you wait. We are going to see things out of this defense we haven’t seen Carroll do, and Kendricks is going to be a big part of it. I want another belly rub. Poona, Poona, Poona.
Cornerback. Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, Akeem King, and Parry Nickerson.
Kam: Yeah, I’m not excited about this group. I like Flowers, Griffin is okay, but I’m just not seeing the depth here that gets me excited. In fact, it’s unnerving. I might need to make a trip to the litter box.
Earl: Unnerving. Unsettling. Not satisfying. Griffin isn’t terrible. He’s just not great. He might end up being pretty good this year, we will see, but if that dude get injured, suddenly your starting corners are Flowers and King or Thorpe.. yeah, I don’t want to think about it. I need the litter box now.
Curtis: See, here is where I am going to go full on optimistic. I think Shaquill Griffin is going to have a big bounce back year. He is a ridiculously talented athlete. I suspect he got caught up thinking too much last year. He just needs to use his technique and do his job. He doesn’t need to grab six interceptions. He just needs to make it so quarterbacks are less likely to complete a bunch of passes on him. He can do that. Also, I think Seattle is going to adjust their scheme to make things easier on their corners.
Safety. Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Leno Hill, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi.
Curtis: I’m okay here. McDougald is a solid player. It’s disappointing that injuries hampered Blair’s preseason. He played pretty fiercely in the first preseason game and then got injured and dropped off. He’s probably behind the eight ball for quality playing time anytime soon. So, it’s Tedric and McDougald for now. If I’m to throw a hot take into this, I kind of get the vibe Ugo Amadi might be the one rookie to have the most impact on the defense this year. He just has a genuine playmaker vibe to him, and he’s not lacking in confidence. I really like his potential.
Kam: I like Ugo Amadi, a lot, and I am hopeful that Blair can eventually get caught up. I gotta be honest though, there is very little about Tedric Thompson that gets me excited. At best, we can say he is assignment sound. If he was a backup, that would be cool. “Oh, Blair is injured. Let’s put Tedric out there. He is assignment sound.” Problem is that Blair isn’t anywhere near ready, and Tedric doesn’t make plays. Maybe Leno Hill can step up.
Earl: I’m bummed as #$%^ that Blair isn’t ready to start, and I hope his injuries aren’t going to be a continual issue. Ugo is interesting. I’m not sold on Thompson or Hill. I’ve seen what I needed to see, and I’ve surrendered to the factor Seattle no longer has great safeties. It sucks, though. I want to poop on your pillow just thinking about all this.
Special Teams. Kicker Jason Myers, Punter Michael Dickson, and Long Snapper Tyler Ott.
Earl: Jason Myers can kick the #$%^ out of the football. Did you see that 58 yarder the other night? Holy #$%^.
Curtis: Watch language or I am cutting your Greenie supply down. Myers is the man. Dickson is the Holy Roman Emperor, though. Holy #$%^!
Kam: Yeah, Seattle is good here. I would rather not talk about kickers, though. Poona, Poona, Poona. Belly rub me.
Curtis: I think Seattle finishes at 11-5, and they win the division. I think Russell Wilson will be in MVP consideration, Poona Ford becomes the new star on the defense, and if Will Dissly stays healthy, he’s the big break out player on the offense.
Kam: I can see Seattle winning the division. I don’t think the Rams will be as good this year, and I just don’t think the 49ers or the Cardinals will be any good at all. DK Metcalf is going to be the new young star everyone is going to get excited about. Seattle’s front seven will mitigate that lack of quality in the secondary. Poona, Poona, Poona.
Earl: I think Seattle goes 10-6, and they probably land another wildcard spot. I’m not expecting them to make a deep playoff run, if they get in. I know you two love sunshine blown up your butts, but sixteen games is a lot of football for injuries to mound. They got some interesting depth, in places, but are also razor thin at others. As long as Russell is quarterbacking, they will be in contention, but if in week sixteen Travis Homer is the starting running back, JaMarco Jones is the starting left tackle, the starting wide outs are Malik Turner and Gary Jennings, there is only so much you can likely do.
Earl: Trade for a quality veteran wide receiver. You got plenty of cap room and draft capital. Do that, and maybe we can start talking about winning this division.
Curtis: Seattle needs to start fast out of the gate. They need to win their home games, and includes taking care of those pesky Rams. With the addition of Clowney, Seattle has a chance to be the more physical team in an offensive minded division that loves to spread things out. They need to beat up on these other teams with an SEC style of ball. They kinda did that last year. They need to do it more this year.
Kam: Protect Russell Wilson. How do you do that? Run the ball. That is the recipe. Take advantage of play action. Defensively, stop the run, and take away the explosive plays down field. Don’t always need sacks. Just get quarterback pressures and get the offenses settling for field goals. If they kick field goals and you score touchdowns, you should win. It’s really that simple, folks. Poona, Poona, Poona.