By Andy / PNW Sports
We are halfway through the ever painful tradition of preseason football. I shouldn’t be so down on it, as it is a good way to see what newcomers might contribute and sort out any position battles that may be up in the air. But even so, it does leave one longing for the real deal.
Through the first two games the Seahawks have had some good moments and some ugly ones. The roster is slowly starting to take shape (although there are big cuts still coming). After processing all that has happened over the last couple of weeks I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts and provide an update on the current state of the Seahawks.
One of the main benefits of preseason football is that it allows teams to see just how deep they are? In the Pete Carrol era, depth has certainly been a strength. However with high roster turnover in the offseason, depth has to be a little bit of a concern for the 2018 Seahawks. The team definitely has young players who are capable of stepping up, but it might take a while for them to come along. Having bodies is one thing, but having a strong team requires a team full of guys that can come in and perform at a high level if a starter goes down.
Which leads me to my next aspect of the depth conversation. . . Injuries. Ailments are already starting to add up at this point. A lot of them aren’t thought to be too serious, but to have so many injuries this early on is certainly concerning. Perhaps the most concerning are two players who figure to be key contributors in Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny.
This position needs to be fixed. Germain Ifedi (now in year three) just isn’t a viable option as a starter. At some point the team needs to move on from the Ifedi experiment. I hear that he’s a hard worker and puts in the time, but the guy just isn’t a NFL starter. George Fant is someone I’d like to see get a shot, but at this point any type of shuffling along the line that helps get a better player at right tackle would be a good move. I want to believe that the coaches are going to put the five best guys on the field, but to this point, they haven’t. Let’s see if that changes this week.
Kicking and Punting:
Everything got sorted out in the “foot to ball” department. Jon Ryan was released this week after spending ten epic seasons with the Seahawks. I’m going to miss that guy. He really was a great punter, a pretty good athlete and an entertaining individual. Although, for being more athletic than most at his position, he did get blown up as much as any guy I can remember. The big three that come to mind involved him getting knocked into another dimension against the Bears on a punt return, the broken nose he suffered after trying to hurdle in the ten-below Wildcard game against the Vikings, and of course his 40+ yard dash against the Rams where he juggled the ball and then was practically beheaded. I’m not trying to be mean spirited. All of those things happened and were obviously memorable. But just to make up for it, who could forget his heroic touchdown pass that started the Seahawks furious rally against the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game? That throw on the run was a beauty!
Sorry, enough about Jon. He was cool, but it’s time to move on. Michael Dickson ( the guy replacing Jon Ryan) is insanely good. I think he has a chance to become the best punter the league has ever seen. Not only can he casually bomb punts 60 yards with impressive hang time, he also can put a disgusting spin on the ball that opponents seem to have a hard time catching. When a punter is the MVP of a bowl game, you find a way to get him on your team. Pete and John did just that.
Ok now on to my favorite part of the whole thing. The Seahawks kicker will be Sebastian Janikowski. This is the kicker Seahawks fans deserve. He has been in the league for 19 years, is listed at 6’1″ 260 lbs and is still splitting the uprights at age 40. YES PLEASE! Even if he misses a few here and there, he’ll still be lightyears better than what we had to endure last year. The guy makes kicks. Simple as that. And I really like the thought of having the most unique kicker in football on the roster. He even wears the baggy sleeves!
One quick note here: This team is screwed without Russell Wilson. I know most of you are smart enough to realize that, but yikes. If the team had to turn the keys over to Austin Davis or Alex McGough (though he threw some nice balls last week) I shutter to think what might happen. So here’s to hoping Russell somehow finds a way to play in every game, once again.
I really haven’t thought about Earl Thomas much. I hope he shows up eventually as it would give this defense a much needed boost. I have a feeling he’s sort of feeling forgotten about at this point. I imagine it’s killing him to be away. I think Earl eventually caves and shows up.