By DJ Siddiqi @DJSiddiqi on June 5, 2014
The Seattle Seahawks enter 2014 as the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Seahawks throttled the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII. Entering 2014, the 'Hawks return most of their key pieces as they look to become the first repeat champions since the New England Patriots did it in 2004. Here are five of the Seahawks' most intriguing players in 2014.
Bruce Irvin was the 15th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Irvin had a solid rookie season as a rotational defensive end in 2012, as he recorded eight sacks. In 2013 however, Irvin played OLB in the 4-3 scheme while playing DE in the team's nickel scheme. Despite starting 12 games, he recorded just two sacks. With the loss of Chris Clemons through free agency, the 'Hawks need all of the production they can get out of Irvin.
Paul Richardson was the Seahawks' first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The main gripe with the Seahawks throughout 2013 was with their receiving corps - the team received very little production out of Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. Richardson addresses the team's top positional need. The question is, how will Richardson contribute in his rookie season?
Russell WIlson has led the Seahawks to two playoff appearances and a Lombardi Trophy within his first two seasons as a starting quarterback. Though there have been no signs to indicate that Wilson or the Seahawks are slowing down, the last two Super Bowl Champions have missed the playoffs the following season. Wilson's production and ability to remain composed will be key if the 'Hawks want to repeat as champions.
Percy Harvin played one regular season game in 2013 before making a huge impact for the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs. Harvin made his return to the team in the NFC Championship Game versus the New Orleans Saints before exiting in the first half due to injury. In Super Bowl XLVIII, Harvin had two touchdowns, including a kickoff return for a TD that put the Seahawks up 29-0 on the first play of the second half.
Richard Sherman is one of the top corners in the NFL, if not the top corner in the league. Sherman was rewarded a contract extension last month when the Seahawks made him the highest-paid player at his position. Sherman will earn million guaranteed with $ 57 million in total salary. Now that Sherman is a rich man, however, will his play remain stable, or will he start to decline?
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