2018 Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Russell Wilson||Paxton Lynch|
|Running Back||Chris Carson||Rashaad Penny||J.D. McKissic|
|Left Wide Receiver||Doug Baldwin||David Moore|
|Right Wide Receiver||Tyler Lockett||Jaron Brown|
|Tight End||Nick Vannett||Ed Dickson|
|Full Back||Tre Madden|
|Left Tackle||Duane Brown||George Fant|
|Left Guard||Mike Iupati||Ethan Pocic|
|Center||Justin Britt||Joey Hunt|
|Right Guard||DJ Fluker||Jordan Simmons|
|Right Tackle||Germain Ifedi||Elijah Nkansah|
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a 9-7 season, in which they missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Bouncing back from a lackluster season is not easy, and taking on that challenge means making some significant changes.
As Pete Carroll returns for his ninth season as the Seahawks head coach, his supporting cast of characters looks much different than it did a year ago. Differences include six new coaches, several role changes, and signification roster movements.
The team is now faced with many questions. Who will fill the hole left by the departure of so many star players? How will the team respond and adjust to the new voices on staff? Will this rookie class be able to perform? Many people are eager to write off this Seahawks team, but if the Seahawks are able to find the answer to some of these questions, they may be able to exceed expectations.
The Seattle Seahawks faced major upheaval, perhaps most notably in the sheer overhaul of coaching staff. Ken Norton Jr. will step in as defensive coordinator, replacing Kris Richard. Norton spent much of his career with Pete Carroll, and returns to Seattle after a short stint in Oakland as defensive coordinator of the Raiders.
New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer most recently served as quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts. He replaces Darrell Bevell, who spent seven seasons with the team. Pete Carroll seems convinced that Schottenheimer’s quarterback background will serve him well in the coordinator position and that the offensive shakeup will help the team focus on leading with the run and getting even more out of Russell Wilson.
Other hires include offensive line coach Mike Solari, assistant defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, Larry Izzo as the new assistant special teams coach, and offensive assistant Steve Shimko.
Not for nothing, Pete Carroll is currently coaching in a division with some of the youngest head coaches ever. 32-year-old Sean McVay and 38-year-old Kyle Shanahan are two of the youngest head coaches in the league. Carroll has quipped he’s not old enough to think about retiring, but continually competing against much younger coaches may get the 66-year-old thinking.
The Seahawks have their franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson, a stud seemingly in the middle of his prime. However, the team struggled last year with an offensive line that was continually ranked near the bottom of the league. If the Seahawks can reshape the team around Wilson, they may be able to yield a higher return.
Pete Carroll has made it clear that one of his top priorities is re-establishing a run game. Seattle drafted running back Rashaad Penny in the first round. Penny is competing against 2017 seventh-round pick Chris Carson. Especially with running back J.D. McKissic expected to miss four to six weeks with a foot injury, the competition for primary ball carrier is still far from over.
The receiver hierarchy is also very much in the air. Doug Baldwin is back at practice, but it’s unclear if he will be completely healthy this season. In order for the Seahawks to benefit from Brandon Marshall, they will need him to be a big red zone target à la Jimmy Graham. Jaron Brown and David Moore are also still in the mix. At least the Seahawks were able to lock down Tyler Lockett.
Punters and kickers are often not given the respect they deserve. But this year, Seattle’s special teams are drumming up some excitement. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski hit a 55-yard field goal, proving there is still plenty of gas in the veteran’s tank. Rookie punter Michael Dickson also impressed during preseason games. The Australian fifth-round pick sent punts to the one-yard line and had balls getting five full seconds of airtime.
The Seahawks waived defensive end Cliff Avril, traded defensive end Michael Bennett, lost defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and have yet to make a move regarding free safety Earl Thomas. Not to mention strong safety Kam Chancellor’s retirement. And after the Seahawks waived defensive leader Richard Sherman, the cornerback went on to sign with the division rival San Francisco 49ers. With the departure of so many veterans, the defense may have to count on younger players much more than in recent years. At least the Seahawks still have veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner.
One of the most inspiring storylines coming out of the draft this year was linebacker Shaquem Griffin. Griffin impressed at the combine clocking a 4.38 40-yard dash and posting 20 bench press reps. And he did it all with one hand. The Seahawks went on to draft Griffin and he joins his twin brother (cornerback Shaquill Griffin) on the team this year. Shaquem may even be called on to start Week 1 if K.J. Wright isn’t able to recover from his injury in time.
The Seahawks may have taken the seemingly down year as an opportunity to make some sweeping changes they had been avoiding. It remains to be seen if this approach will payoff for Seattle, but there sure is a lot for the 12s to watch for.