Believe it or not, the World Champion Seattle Seahawks could be even better in 2014.
Though they did lose some key contributors in the off-season, it appears that they will have no problem filling those voids with their draft picks, acquisitions, developing subs, and players returning from injury.
In fact, the offense looks to be vastly improved.
Of course, it all starts at quarterback.
The champs have the luxury of having one of the brightest young gunslingers in the league in Russell Wilson. Given his work ethic and “why not me” philosophy, you can only expect that he will continue to improve into his prime. Not to mention, he will have a much deeper arsenal of weapons to work with this year in the way of receivers and runners.
Of course, like pretty much every other team in the league, if he were to go down with an injury, it would be very difficult for the team to recover.
At running back, the Seahawks also appear to be stronger, which is of tremendous importance given their run heavy offense. Even with Marshawn Lynch getting older, this remains a position of strength for the champs.
Much of the excitement coming out of OTAs and mini-camp was the anticipation around Christine Michael’s forthcoming role. Though he is slightly bigger than Lynch, he possesses equal or greater elusiveness, and far more breakaway speed. In fact, some have said that he reminds them of Adrian Peterson.
Though that is likely a bit of a stretch, it has led some analysts to say that the Seahawks now have the deepest backfield in the league.
Of all of the position groups, the biggest improvement was definitely in the way of their receiving corps. Though they did lose their primary receiver from last year, Golden Tate, they now bolster a far deeper corps overall. Not only is Percy Harvin healthy, but Doug Baldwin is back and appears ready for an even bigger role in the offense.
Furthermore, they selected receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood in the draft, both of whom appear ready to contribute immediately. Richardson, in particular, has been extremely impressive thus far, as he has demonstrated the blazing speed and home run capabilities in OTAs and mini-camp that made him a target for the Seahawks in the draft.
As if that weren’t enough depth, they also have possession receivers Jermaine Kearse and Sidney Rice returning as well. This group not only provides far more depth than last year, but gives the Hawks one of the fastest receiving corps in the league.
Accordingly, I do expect the Hawks to spread the field more via more multi-receiver sets and a slightly more balanced attack. Just think of how hard it will be for defenses to contain a three-receiver set featuring Harvin, Baldwin, and Richardson. RIDICULOUS!
The beauty of all of this is that an improved offense should actually make the Seahawks No. 1 defense even more effective. Obviously, an improved offense will lead to better time of possession ratios and, as a result, a more rested defensive unit ready to wreak havoc.
Not to mention, as the Hawks should score more points and, in doing so, build bigger leads, their opponents will have to rely more on their passing games, which will allow the Legion of Boom to focus primarily on duck hunting.