The 2009 edition of the Seattle Seahawks will definitely have a different feel to it besides the obvious regime change to new Head Coach Jim Mora. New offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will be charged with reviving the running game as RB Julius Jones looks to recapture the form he once had in Dallas. In the last two seasons Jones, in his sixth year out of Notre Dame, has just four rushing touchdowns. That just won't cut it if Seattle hopes to challenge Arizona in the weak NFC West. Any hope Seattle has in implementing their power running game depends on how quickly a young offensive line can mature as a group. As always, Walter Jones will be there on the left side with his counterpart Sean Locklear at right tackle. After that Seattle has some huge question marks starting with C Chris Spencer, who has not progressed like Seattle would have hoped. Plain and simple Spencer needs to make it happen.If he doesn't Steve Vallos will get his shot. LG Mike Wahle is returning from injury and his progress will also influence the power running game. If these questions are answered Seattle will be one step closer to it's goal. Behind Jones at running back, is T.J. Duckett who should continue to get some good work down by the end zone. Greg Knapp knows how to move the ball on the ground. During his three years in Atlanta with Mora the Falcons led the NFL in rushing. The position battle at fullback should be a good one as Justin Griffith will lock horns with Owen Schmitt.
All the work with the offensive line and running game hopefully should put a smile on QB Matt Hasselbeck's face because that means he will be healthy which is priority number one for Mora's success. If Hasselbeck stays upright then free agent T.J. Housmandzadeh can earn his money. Nate Burleson returns from a knee injury to hopefully provide another target for Hasselbeck. Burleson, who is from Seattle really wants to make something happen for the hometown fans.
Defensively, it all starts at LB with Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, and top draft choice Aaron Curry. We are going to find out real fast if Curry can rush the passer on the pro level. This defense is going attack people under new Defensive Coordinator Casey Bradley these guys aren't going to be sleeping. Defensive Line Coach Dan Quinn is charged with helping Patrick Kearney return to form as well as developing toughness inside from Brandon MeBane and Colin Cole. His other challenge is whether he can help Lawrence Jackson stop looking like a possible bust. If Jackson doesn't get it together I predict Darryl Tapp can beat him out. Cornerbacks Ken Lucas Marcus Trufant provide a better opportunity for the Seahawks to challenge the bigger stronger receivers we see in the game today. The Jim Mora era has started in Seattle and it's not a rebuilding project in there minds but a responsibility to take back a division they should win.These are the challenges they face and some of the philosophy they will use for victory in 2009.
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