With most national publications working on NFL season previews, the Seattle Seahawks have consistently been picked as a sleeper team in the NFC West that could surprise if everything goes right in head coach Pete Carroll’s first season.
Hunter Ansley of FoxSportsSouthwest.com is one of those media folks sipping the Seahawks’ Kool-Aid. He picks Seattle as a sleeper to regain the top spot in the NFC West.
The 49ers can’t really be called sleepers anymore with nearly every pundit around calling for them to win the division, and the Cardinals will likely to take a giant step backwards after losing Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby. That leaves Seattle (sorry St. Louis, but no) as the go-to pick here. Russell Okung is an upgrade at left tackle, and he might actually keep Matt Hasselbeck healthy for an entire season. Justin Forsett emerged as a scintillating runner near the end of the ’09 season, and anyone other than Julius Jones is a step in the right direction. Earl Thomas is a rookie but should fill the role of free safety better than anyone the Seahawks have had recently.
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Seattle is relying on a lot of first year talent, but if guys like Lofa Tatupu can return from injury with no ill effects, they could begin to see some success after a hiatus from owning the division. If nothing else, Pete Carroll will energize the franchise, and he might be able to coach current bust defensive end Lawrence Jackson into the player he was at USC.
Don’t forget that registration for training camp practices begins today at 10 a.m. over at Seahawks.com.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says that running back Justin Forsett has become an instant Pete Carroll favorite, and lists the hard-working runner as one of his top 10 breakout players for the upcoming season.
Seahawks defensive end Ricky Foley talks about his at one time strained relationship with his father, Don, growing up on a farm in Ontario, Canada, and what it would mean for him to make the team in this NFL On the Fringe video link.
Ben Malcomson of Seahawks.com profiles new Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch.
In his first column for NFL.com, Michael Lombardi has the Seahawks ranked 18th overall in the league in total rushing attempts and pass completions for last season. Eight of top 12 teams on the list made the playoffs. Lombardi believes the statistic is symbolic of a team's ability to execute in each aspect of its offense, but also notes that quick-strike teams like Philadelphia are the exception to the rule regarding this list.
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan fills in for Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback column. Ryan said this offseason he studied the Colts, Cowboys, Patriots, Chargers, Packers, and Saints – high-scoring teams with similar personnel to the Falcons – to see what those teams were doing and whether there were things Atlanta should use.