Seattle Seahawks: 4 Preseason Standouts
The Seahawks’ preseason has come to a close and fans were able to get a glimpse of the upcoming campaign.
After a 4-0 finish, excitement is growing at the prospect of the Hawks’ 2012 season. With Russell Wilson under center and a young exciting defense, there are reasons to believe the Seahawks can ascend to the top of the division.
Some players had forgettable preseasons, but that’s nothing to dwell on. Instead, the standouts of the preseason will be highlighted as they look to prolong their dominance.
Here are some players who will continue their strong showings from the preseason.
Russell Wilson, QB
No one on the Seahawks roster had a more important preseason than Wilson.
He nabbed the starting quarterback spot, won over both the fans and coaches and showed he could thrive in an NFL system. He showed poise in the pocket and good instincts while under center.
He finished the preseason by completing an impressive 63.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns against only one interception. By protecting the ball while leading scoring drives, Wilson provides the Seahawks with a dynamic playmaker under center, which they have lacked for years.
Outside of his passing statistics, Wilson has also been magnificent as a ball-carrier. He has collected 150 yards on only 10 carries and scored one touchdown. He finished third on the team in rushing yards in the preseason.
Wilson went from a third-round pick to the starter and there should be a ton of excitement about the thought of him having an entire season to mature.
He will only continue to grow and get better as the season progresses and the results could be electrifying.
Braylon Edwards, WR
He may have not had as impressive as a preseason campaign as Wilson, but Edwards’ performance was admirable nonetheless.
People forget that Edwards is only 29 years old, partly because he has been on three teams in the last four seasons before finding a home in Seattle. But Edwards has shown that he still has some left in the tank.
He is a big target on the outside and will be an insurance policy of sorts for his new quarterback. He showed that he could get vertical and make plays, and that will continue into the regular season.
The Seahawks released Terrell Owens, which shows that head coach Pete Carroll obviously has some confidence in Edwards. It will be Edwards, and not Owens, who will be on the outside opposite of Sidney Rice when the Seahawks kick off the regular season.
He was second through the preseason in receiving yards, as he hauled in 83 yards.
Look for Edwards to continue to adjust to the Seattle offense and hopefully turn into Mike Williams circa 2010.
Bobby Wagner, LB
Wagner was spectacular during the preseason.
There are a lot of things to like about the rookie linebacker out of Utah State: his 4.4 40-yard dash time or his ability to make tackles all over the field.
There was a reason the Seahawks shipped Barrett Ruud off to the New Orleans Saints. That reason was Wagner, as he grabbed the starting spot and would not relinquish it to Ruud.
With Wagner in the middle, the Seahawks gets yet another young, exciting playmaker that is sure to bolster their already skilled defense.
Through the preseason, Carroll has tried to get Wagner as many snaps as he can, as the youngster continues adjusting to the NFL.
Wagner has gotten some very positive feedback from teammates. Fullback Michael Robinson compared him to a younger version of Patrick Willis. Robinson played with Willis during his first couple seasons in San Francisco.
That comparison may be a little far fetched, but there is substance behind that claim. Wagner is fast, smart and can make plays all over the field, much like Willis does.
Wagner was a defensive stopper throughout the preseason and will continue as he anchors the Seahawks linebacking core.
Earl Thomas, DB
He was excellent last season and if the preseason was any indication, there is still room for improvement.
His 75-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Chiefs was simply jaw dropping and Thomas is still getting better. He is entering only his third season and with a secondary that is coming into its own, Thomas will be the stalwart of the unit.
Along with Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman, Thomas will be counted on to lead the group. The Seahawks intercepted six passes during the preseason and two of them went for touchdowns.
Thomas will be counted on to adjust the corners and safeties, all while being a ball hawk himself.
However, if the preseason was any indication, there is room to keep improving. Thomas is quietly becoming one of the best safeties in the league and this season will be crucial to his development.
Thomas told the Seattle Times, "We set our standards high. We want to be the best, and we know we've got to get the ball and score."
It’s that kind of mindset that takes a good defense and makes it great, hopefully the rest of Seattle has the same outlook moving forward.
Thomas may be the most significant player on the Seahawks’ defense and this season he will show just how decisive his performance is.