The upcoming 2021 season is going to be really competitive in the NFC West. The Seahawks will have several games that will be closely contended, both within the division and general.
So to use a phrase taken from the leading Cycling team in the world, marginal gains could be crucial in turning potential losses into potential wins.
One area that often goes overlooked is that of special teams. The Seahawks ranked second in this department across the NFL in 2020, which was a largely unheralded contributor to winning the NFC West.
Can special teams make the difference for the Seahawks in 2021?
“Yes” is the answer.
Larry Izzo takes over as special teams coordinator in 2021 having joined the Seahawks after successful stints as a special team coach with the Giants and the Texans. Izzo was primarily a special teams player during his playing career, in which he collected three Super Bowl rings whilst playing for the Patriots.
The Giants special teams were instrumental in them gaining an overtime victory in the conference championship game via a blocked punt and a Lawrence Tynes field goal. They subsequently went on to win the Super Bowl that year, netting Izzo his fourth Super Bowl ring.
In his two-year tenure with the Texans as a special teams coach, their special teams went from being ranked worst in the NFL to being a top ten unit. So, there is every reason to believe in Izzo as the special teams coordinator in 2021.
Added to that, all the special teams personnel that took the Seahawks to that overall 2nd ranking in the NFL last season have been retained. Indeed they have been potentially added to via the draft and from Un-drafter free agents.
All this could be critical to turning those tight games in 2021 into crucial wins that make the difference between a 10-7 record and a 13-4 record.