The Seattle Seahawks could very well be a surprising team in 2010. The last few years, they have floundered, though they have shown occasional spurts of brilliance. If a few issues are corrected, the nickname, "Hawks" may once again be on the lips of announcers and sports fans alike.
There are a couple reasons for the potential turn around for the team. The first has to do with the anchor position. For the past two years, Matt Hesselbeck has been saddled with injuries at the quarterback position. This is a detriment to any team, and in the case of the Seahawks, the backup quarterback wasn't consistent.
However, in 2010, Matt returns healthy and energetic. Throughout the preseason, his happy smile has seemed to become contagious, so it goes beyond the skill of this veteran. Historically, when the Hawks have had fun playing, as a team, the team has performed better.
Matt still has a good squad of people who can catch the ball. The team also has some running backs who can break a long one at any time. One of these, Justin Forsett, has shown surprising quickness and savvy. At only 5'8" and 198 pounds, according to the team, Justin isn't an imposing running back. Yet he has the fleetness of foot and the understanding for the position, that allows him to make jack rabbit stops and starts, enabling him to pick up yardage when it doesn't appear that there were any yards available.
Seattle still also has a great kicker in Olindo Mare. This 15 year veteran has proven many times that he knows how to boot the ball. There are many teams that can only wish they had the talent of Mare on their own roster. Probably is biggest point of Olindo's success with the Seahawks is his accuracy. He isn't known as an especially powerful kicker, but he seems to kick them consistently, game after game.
The one area that the Seattle Seahawks do falter is on the other side of the ball. If a defense can't hold opponents, even if the offense his high powered, problems can arise. Little was proven in the preseason when Seattle lost three of four games, and it took part of the first game before the defensive players began to work together as a unit. Though there are new players throughout the roster, though, more than on any team in the league, there are still talented players who have been there for some time.
For instance, 8 year player, Marcus Trufant, is back and he is healthy. In the first game of the season, Marcus not only intercepted the ball, he ran it back for his second career touchdown. This bodes well for the Seahawks.
Most pivotal of all is the new coaching staff for Seattle. Pete Carroll has taken over the reigns. While he has made substantial changes in both player personnel and staff, he brings to the team the collegiate experience of being the head coach of the University of Southern California for 9 years. Pete excelled at USC, his team winning 7 of 9 Pac-10 titles in that time. He infuses the team with college spirit, which is often missing from pro teams, and he isn't afraid to look outside the box.
In fact, in preseason, Mr. Carroll chose to not have any of the starters play the last preseason game, in order to get a better look at other potential players. That could have been a drastic move, since his starters didn't get any playing time. At first, in the first regular season game against the division rivals, San Francisco 49ers, it looked like an unwise move. The cobwebs came off quickly though.
In the 31-6 win over the 49ers, his team showed that they responded well to Pete Carroll's coaching style.
If the players can stay healthy, and the coach keeps doing what he shows he can do, the Seattle Seahawks may not only take the division, they may also advance well into the playoffs, at least. Only time will tell if they have a legitimate run for the super bowl or not. However, it is for sure that this can't be counted out in the early season.