Midseason awards for the surprising Seattle Seahawks
By Jake Luppino
Seahawks MVP – Shane Waldron
I know MVP stands for Most Valuable Player, but I must give this award to offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron. Entering his second year with Seattle, it feels as if the offense has been redefined. Certainly, some of the changes have come as a result of losing Russell Wilson. But, they are all positive changes. Waldron has been a stupendous job in getting creative and getting everyone involved.
The Seahawks currently have the 4th best scoring offense in the NFL, averaging about 27 points per game. One of the biggest reasons for that is the easy setups Waldron gives Geno. Everyone knows the Seahawks love to run the ball. Waldron does an incredible job of sticking to the run and using it to his advantage. How successful have the bootlegs been for Seattle this season? We have seen all 3 of our tight ends block well and catch well.
We have seen different formations. A lot of pistol with two tight ends in the backfield. The aggressiveness on fourth down with the shovel play. In the midst of it all, we can not lose sight of the explosive plays. Both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are on pace for 1,000+ yard seasons.
Most Improved – Ryan Neal
After the season-ending injury suffered by Jamal Adams in Week 1, Ryan Neal was inserted in this defense as the sub-LB in certain packages. To be quite honest, it was frustrating watching him early on. In Week 2 against San Francisco, he struggled in the run game, missing a lot of tackles. Same was to be said in Week 3 against New Orleans when Alvin Karma and Taysom Hill had their way. But, Neal has improved immensely over the last month of the season.
He has really settled into his role with this defense and is playing with confidence. He is no longer missing tackles. He has gotten better in coverage. We see him explosive off the snap as a blitzer. He really has been all over the field, making plays on the ball. A standard that we hold Jamal Adams is too is now what Ryan Neal is delivering. The turnaround alone for him as a player has been really cool to watch and certainly earns him this honor as the most improved player.