NFC West Preview- Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are going to have a new head coach this season in Jim Mora, who takes over for Mike Holmgren after Holmgren led the Seahawks to six playoff appearances, four NFC West championships consecutively, and a Super Bowl appearance in 2006. The Seahawks were bit by the injury bug in 2008, and resulted in a 4-12 season and with the news of Holmgren’s departure, it was a send off that nobody in the Pacific Northwest had in mind.

The biggest acquisition in the offseason for the Seahawks was T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who was the #2 target behind Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati. Houshmandzadeh became the leading receiver on the Bengals, and got a big payday from the Seahawks. He joins Deion Branch and Nate Burleson, two of the receivers that was bitten by the Seattle injury bug of 2008. Both guys are coming off knee surgeries, so it will be interesting to see how they perform this season. Mora brought in former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp to be in the same position. Expect more of a balanced attack from the Seahawks, running game paced by Maurice Morris and T.J Duckett as a power/speed combination, and Matt Hasselbeck will be learning a new system, as he has been with Holmgren since 1998, following him from Green Bay to Seattle.

Defensively, the Seahawks are looking to bounce back. They drafted Aaron Curry at #4, and now that he is signed and ready to go, expect him to have an immediate impact on the front seven. Patrick Kerney, who had a Pro Bowl type season with 14.5 sacks in 2007, had an injury-riddled 2008, and is looking to get back to form and be that dominating pass rusher that has given him two Pro Bowls. The Seahawks did get a good run stopper in Colin Cole, who will be large in the middle of that D-line, where he rarely allows the runner to get by. Defensive Coordinator Casey Bradley will have his work cut for him, as he tries to implement the Tampa 2 scheme from former Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin into the Seahawks defense.

As the season progresses, and if they are healthy, the Seahawks will improve, but it’s going to be a year or two, and if the injury bug has left Seattle, then we can talk playoffs. This season is a new system, and it will be interesting to see how the Holmgreen supporters embrace Mora since this team was divided a year ago. Seattle will finish ahead of St. Louis and behind San Francisco in third in the NFC West this year.

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