I had a chance to sit down and talk with Clark Judge of CBS Sports, who’s covered the NFL for 22 years. Judge is in town to check out the Seahawks after making the rounds to several training camps. He watched practice Thursday morning.
Like other national writers who have passed through the Emerald City, Judge is high on Seattle provided one thing – they stay healthy.
“I look at the talent here and I think there’s talent everywhere here,” Judge said about the Seahawks. “I think there are a couple things that concern me. Matt Hasselbeck’s back is one of them. And I’ve talked to him, and you have as well, and he insists everything is OK. You still worry about back injures.
“But I worry about the left tackle position, too. I don’t know what’s going on with Walter Jones. And in fact T.J. Houshmandzadeh was saying to me earlier, ‘It’s not Matt Hasselbeck’s back. It’s protecting Matt Hasselbeck’s back. We better make sure we protect him, otherwise we could be in trouble.’”
Judge also said the Seahawks establishing a consistent running game so opponents can’t stack defenses against the team’s weapons in the passing game will be important.
“You have to have a decent running game to make people respect you,” Judge said.
Judge likes the acquisitions of defensive lineman Cory Redding and Colin Cole, and believes if Seattle can create a consistent pass rush they’ll be able to protect a vulnerable secondary.
Overall, Judges believes Seattle should compete with Arizona for the top spot in the NFC West, and thinks the Cardinals might experience a Super Bowl swoon after making it to the big game last season.