Unsung Seahawks who could be very important in 2017
By Lee Vowell
Everyone knows Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks. Many times seasons are won or lost by lesser known players. Here are three who may play bigger roles with the Seahawks this season.
No matter how much 12s think they know the Seahawks, every year there is a lesser-known player or two who exceeds expectations. In 2015 that player was Thomas Rawls. Last season, Justin Britt became a Pro Bowl-quality center in his first year at the position. Though Britt had played with Seattle for a few seasons, the good quality of his play was unexpected.
Based on early training camp results, and the possible opportunities of these players, here are three who could make a big impact in 2017.
Sure, McDougald has been in the NFL for a while. He has been a pretty decent player. The reason he is on this list is because he has never played in Seattle and the importance he brings. Last year we saw how much the defense suffered once Thomas was lost for the season. Chancellor seems to always miss a few games every year too. In 2016, the Seahawks did not have an answer to either players absence. There are reasons 2016 backups Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell are no longer in Seattle.
McDougald has the ability to play both free safety and strong safety. Plus, and possibly even more importantly, he has the ability to play the slot in nickel. If McDougald can do this last bit well enough, and Thomas and Chancellor stay healthy, this not only helps the passing game but also the run game. Chancellor can cheat closer to the line knowing he has a proven veteran in coverage. McDougald might allow more plays like this to happen…
Garvin has not done much as far as linebacker goes in the NFL, but he’s pretty good with special teams. Still, the Seahawks might see something in him even for the SAM position. Though Seattle did re-sign Mike Morgan on Monday, they also let go Arthur Brown and not Garvin. Garvin is actually the player Morgan will mostly likely have to beat out to regain his SAM spot. Of course, the SAM is only in on 30 percent of the Seahawks defensive snaps, but Garvin could end making an impact on those plays. He has the speed to do it and might excel with more playing time.
Collins had a great career in college at Arkansas. He ran behind an excellent offensive line. Then Collins came to Seattle and may have had to re-learn how to play running back. In limited time as a rookie in 2016, Collins did not impress.
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So far in training camp, though, Collins has been very good. According to head coach Pete Carroll in June, “He’s leaner, he’s faster, he’s quicker.” Collins played a bit bigger in college because that was what was asked of him. He needed to be able to take punishment. With Seattle, Collins needs to use his speed more. Collins may not have been ready for this transition out of college. Through two days of camp, though, he looks ready to take on a bigger and more productive role with the Seahawks.
That is, if he can find playing time behind Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise.