5 Questions the Seattle Seahawks Must Answer During Training Camp
Five issues the Seattle Seahawks need to address
On July 25, the Seattle Seahawks will kick off what could be the biggest season in franchise history when training camp gets under way.
Despite their loaded roster and all of the promise that it presents as an early Super Bowl favorite, there are plenty of questions that the Seahawks must answer as the regular season draws closer. Whether it’s on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, Seattle needs to make sure that all of their ducks are in a row before Week 1 rolls around.
Luckily for them, the majority of the hard work is done. The Seahawks turned in one of the most impressive performances of the 2012 season despite falling short during the playoffs. With a young, electric quarterback returning under center, a dominant running game in place and a defensive backfield rivaled by few, Seattle is in a great position heading into training camp.
So instead, training camp will be an opportunity for the Seahawks to fine tune and work out any of the kinks that carried over from last year.
Make sure second-year star Russell Wilson is prepared to fend off any advances made by the dreaded sophomore slump. Make sure the offensive line is ready to keep Wilson off his rear end and out of the dirt. Make sure the defensive line can make a much bigger impact against opposing quarterbacks. Make sure that a Super Bowl appearance is atop of the team’s to-do list.
It’s going to be a good season for the Seahawks in 2013. Before we get there, though, here’s a look at five questions that must be answered when training camp gets under way.
Who will be the Seahawks’ backup quarterback?
While they’re set with starter Wilson, the Seahawks still need to figure out who will be the backup passer before the regular season gets under way. Both Brady Quinn and Tarvaris Jackson were brought in this offseason to compete for the No. 2 gig, and neither appears to be a lock to win the job. It’ll be an interesting competition to keep an eye on, but the Seahawks should be hoping that they never have to resort to using whoever comes out on top unless it’s garbage time.
Who will start at the right guard spot?
Apart from the right guard position, the rest of the Seattle starting offensive line seems to be set in stone heading into training camp. That leaves several players vying for the final starting spot along what should be a solid Seahawks front five. Depending on whether or not James Carpenter returns in time, Paul McQuistan, J.R. Sweezy and John Moffitt should be battling for the right guard gig. It’s anyone’s job to win at this point in the offseason.
Will Chris Clemons be ready for the regular season?
Last season, Clemons was one of the top pass-rushing defensive ends in the league before an ACL tear against the Washington Redskins brought his year to an early end. Even with an improved defensive line heading into 2013, the Seahawks would love to have Clemons back in the lineup. While it’s expected that he’ll be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, training camp will give us a better idea of where Clemons is in his recovery.
What is Antoine Winfield’s role in the Seattle secondary?
This offseason, the Seahawks also stole run-stuffing cornerback Antoine Winfield from the Vikings. Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 cornerback against the run, Winfield should bring physicality and leadership to one of the top young secondaries in the NFL. What exactly will his role be outside of veteran leader, though? With Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner locked in as the starters, expect the Seahawks to implement the nickel defense heavily, especially since Winfield is a better tackler than most linebackers in the league.
Can the Seahawks fully utilize Percy Harvin?
The Seahawks haven’t had a receiver break the 1,000-yard mark since Bobby Engram back in 2007, so it’s not a guarantee that Harvin will go off in 2013. Since 2007, though, the Seahawks haven’t had a dynamic quarterback-receiver duo like Harvin and Wilson, so breaking that streak is definitely possible this upcoming season. If Darrell Bevell can figure out ways to make the most of Harvin’s versatility, Seattle will get everything they were hoping for when they sent a first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for the electrifying receiver.