What will the Seattle Seahawks look like in five years?
By Lee Vowell
Church of 12s, I promise you that hardly anything in this article will be correct about what the Seahawks will look like in five years. But I give it a go anyhow.
How many of the top Seahawks do you think will still be playing in five years? And how many will still be in Seattle? This is difficult to know from season-to-season, but in five years? Yes, I am an idiot for even trying to guess. But now to flash forward…
2022: A Seahawks Preview
Coming off another playoff appearance, even in a season when Seattle did less well than expected, the Seahawks needed to make a few changes. These are the same type of changes that Seattle made prior to the Super Bowl year of 2017. Of course, there needed to be a slight rebuild in 2018 after safety Kam Chancellor retired immediately following his MVP performance in that Super Bowl. (Chancellor now, of course, is the Assistant General Manager in Seattle.)
Prior to 2017, Seattle signed guard Luke Joeckel. Joeckel surprised many and went to three Pro Bowls in his four seasons with the Seahawks. Seattle also took a chance on kicker Blair Walsh who had a few good years in Seattle before going on the professional karaoke tour. The point is that there needed to be only slight changes to make the Seahawks great again in 2017. That is the same with this year’s roster in 2022.
Head coach Chris Petersen has stated many times over his three seasons in Seattle, “Talent only gets you so far. Chemistry … has to come with it.” Like Hall of Fame inductee Pete Carroll, Petersen knows how to get the most out of his players while having them buy in to a team-first mentality. Having quarterback Russell Wilson back after last year’s torn MCL will help as well, of course.
That said, Seattle learned that if Wilson does not come back healthy or as productive at 33 years old, the team knows Trevone Boykin is still around. Boykin’s incredible season in 2021 – he finished fifth in NFL MVP voting – only happened because of Wilson’s injury in week two. Boykin could have left for a bigger paycheck but has decided to stay because as he puts it, “The Seahawks did not give up on me after my rookie year, so I am in Seattle for life.”
True, the Seahawks only made it to the NFC championship game, but let’s be honest, no team was going to defeat the Cleveland Browns machine last year. And the playoff loss may have helped Seattle GM Walter Moon’s decision to create some minor, yet needed, changes. No longer will the Seahawks rely solely on Alex Collins at running back. Collins is still great but four straight years over 1,300 yards can take a toll. The Seahawks brought in some depth with running back Alvin Kamara. Collins will still be the lead back, of course, but with 100 or so fewer carries, he should be fresher come playoff time.
The defensive line is still stacked with three time Pro Bowlers Malik McDowell and Frank Clark, but Seattle depth should no longer be a concern as Shy Tuttle will fill the backup noseguard position. Linebacker Bobby Wagner, showing no signs of slowing down at 32, will continue to be the playcaller on defense. But with Seattle changing their base to more a four-three, Wagner will have less room he has to run to make plays.
Defensive backs coach Richard Sherman knew a thing or two about coverage, of course, but this year he will have some rookies to teach. The corner position on the other side of the field from Shaquill Griffin has been a question mark for a few years now. Realistically, ever since Sherman retired following the Seahawks Super Bowl win in 2019. While one can argue that the Sherman-Griffin cornerback tandem between 2017-19 might be the NFL’s best ever, there has been no one else who has come close to filling the Sherman-sized void.
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Some observers expect the Seahawks to diminish at some point, but with Petersen still on the sidelines, Wilson returning under center, Collins still in the backfield and Wagner patrolling on defense, Seattle should be very again in 2022. Another Super Bowl win is not out of the question.