The running game has been the weapon of choice for the Seattle Seahawks over the past couple of seasons, but that may be changing soon. They are entering the 2014 season with some nice additions to their receiving corps, but there is a glaring difference from last year—no Sidney Rice.
Even so, Seattle has to feel good about the guys it's going into the season with; by comparison, the 2014 unit is much more well-rounded than the 2013 group.
|Seattle's Receivers: 2013 vs. 2014 (projected)|
|Year||WR 1||WR 2||WR 3||WR 4|
|2013||Sidney Rice*||Golden Tate||Percy Harvin*||Doug Baldwin|
|2014||Percy Harvin||Doug Baldwin||Paul Richardson||Jermaine Kearse|
|*Missed time w/ injury|
The biggest headliner of the rookies so far has been Paul Richardson, as he’s displayed great speed and reliable hands through camp and in the preseason (via Bob Condotta, Seattle Times). He’s definitely helping to soften the blow of losing Rice to retirement and is going to fit into the offense quite nicely.
He won’t supplant Harvin or Baldwin for a starting spot, but he will work great as a slot receiver if they end up having Harvin on the outside.
Regardless of where Richardson ends up, he adds some nice depth to their receiving group and should prove to be a valuable piece of the offense, though he’s not the only rookie wideout that will be making plays for the ‘Hawks in 2014.
Kevin Norwood built a reputation for big plays while in college at Alabama and will bring some of that playmaking ability to the offense. It’s not like Norwood is the team’s next No. 1 receiver, but he will come in handy for multi-receiver sets, especially toward the end zone.
He has a knack for creating separation from the defender and reaching the ball at its highest point, as he does here in double coverage:
Norwood and Richardson should definitely be notable contributors, but what will drive this passing game’s success is the now healthy Harvin. He showed a glimpse of what he offers in the Super Bowl (recorded one catch for two yards, two rushes for 45 yards and an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown), and now that he’s 100-percent, that level of production should carry out throughout the season.
Harvin has one-of-a-kind speed and is a mismatch for many defenders. As long as he can stay on the field, his impact will be felt. Not just on plays where he makes a catch, but also when he draws extra coverage and opens things up for the rest of the receivers.
In just one offseason, the Seahawks have managed to construct a deep receiving corps with some serious talent throughout the depth chart. Between Harvin, Baldwin, Richardson, Kearse and Norwood, Seattle should be able to do some serious damage offensively.
Especially given the fact that Harvin is fully healthy and Russell Wilson is sure to be better after another training camp under his belt, it should be a piece of cake to work in the passing game more.
They’ve largely been a running team over the past few years but should have a much more balanced attack now that they’ve built themselves a pretty potent corps of receivers.
Seattle has made clear improvements from last season and will surely be an offense to fear in 2014.