This is a very important, even pivotal, season for the Seattle Seahawks. Following two 7-9 years under Pete Carroll, if the Seahawks don’t show improvement this year, Carroll could find himself on the hot seat or even out the door. If the Seahawks find themselves without a head coach, the uncertainty will almost certainly result in a regression. In order for the Seahawks to show the kind of improvement that will help Carroll keep his job, there are five players that are going to be very important.
The fifth most important player for the upcoming season is Marshawn lynch. Beast Mode is going to be the Seahawks’ starting running back and in order for the Seahawks to win games, he is going to need to produce. The Seahawks lean on the running game in order to get yards as well as touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch is going to lead that charge. If he can continue to create a running game that the Seahawks opponents will fear, the offense looks to be in good shape for this upcoming season.
The fourth most important Seahawk for this upcoming season is Brandon Browner. The big cornerback was impressive in his rookie season, starting all sixteen games and grabbing six interceptions. He is by no means the best player in the Seahawks defensive secondary, that title clearly has to go to Earl Thomas, but his play is going to be the most important out of the back half of players. The Seahawks’ front seven should be much improved this year which should allow ball hawks like Browner and Thomas more chances at interceptions and big plays. The problem for Browner is going to be keeping his penalties to a minimum. He gave up thirteen penalties last year, some of which extended drives for the opposition but all of which made it harder for the Seahawks defense to get stops. If Browner can keep up the aggressive play while limiting penalties the Seahawks defense could become one of the NFL’s best; of course a lot of that will depend on the third most important player on this list.
The third most important Seahawk for this year is Red Bryant. While most of the other Seahawks’ defensive starters make their money defending against the passing game, Big Red is the anchor of the Seahawks run defense. There is a noticeable difference in how well the Seahawks defend against the run in games in which Red plays and in those in which he doesn’t. Bryant has shown the ability to play at a high level and in doing so elevates the Seahawks defense to a much higher level. The problem for Big Red is staying on the field so that he can help out. Luckily for him the Seahawks drafted a guy named Bruce Irvin who can spell Red on passing downs and help keep the big guy healthy.
The second most important Seahawk is Russell Okung. Like Red Bryant, the issue for Okung is staying on the field. If he is on the field and playing at a level near what his ability says he can he can be a dominant left tackle; and as anyone who has read The Blind Side or watched an NFL team flounder without a good left tackle knows, left tackles can make or break a team. The left tackle is the single most important protector for the quarterback and spends most of his time blocking the defenses’ best pass rushers. Without a solid left tackle like Okung, the number one most important player on the Seahawks won’t survive the season.
The most important Seahawk for this upcoming season is whoever the starting quarterback ends up being, so probably Matt Flynn. It doesn’t matter which one of the three candidates for starting quarterback ends up winning the job as long as one of them does and then is able to hold onto it. Continuity at the most important position in the sport ends up being a deciding factor between a team being successful or not. Whichever quarterback wins the job needs to be on the field for most or all of the sixteen games if the Seahawks are going to win consistently. They don’t need to play spectacularly but they need to put the Seahawks’ running game and defense in a position to win games.