Alex's 32 Teams in 32 Days: Team 23—Seattle Seahawks

Alex JohnsonCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

RENTON, WA - JULY 31:  Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh #84 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during training camp at the Seahawks training facility on July 31, 2009 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

2008 Record: 4-12


2008 Season Review

The 2008 season, the final of head coach Mike Holmgren's 10 years with the team, was a major disappointment for the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle's 4-12 record could be partly blamed on the fact they were injury-plagued from the beginning.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck missed nine games due to back and knee injuries.

The entire starting offensive line was placed on injured reserve in 2008.

Wide receivers Deion Branch, Bobby Engram, and Nate Burleson all were bit by the injury bug in '08.

Due to injuries, only three offensive players started 12 or more games.

Defensive end Patrick Kerney missed multiple games with injuries and linebacker Lofa Tatupu played hurt all season.

When Kerney was out, young Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson failed to create a consistent and effective pass rush.

With Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett, and Maurice Morris carrying the load for Seattle in the running game, the 'Hawks ranked just 19th in rushing.

The passing attack ranked 29th in the NFL with the trio of Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, and Charlie Frye under center.

Rookie tight end John Carlson led the team in receptions (55), receiving yards (627), and receiving touchdowns (five) respectively.

Overall, the offense ranked 25th in points per game with an average of 18.4 ppg.

Defensively, Seattle ranked last in pass yards allowed, 18th in rush yards given up, and 25th in points allowed per game.

After the retirement of Holmgren, Jim Mora will take over as head coach in 2009.

Key Additions

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, LB Aaron Curry (draft), OL Max Unger (draft), DT Colin Cole, CB Ken Lucas, and DT Cory Redding


Key Losses 

LB Julian Peterson, DT Rocky Bernard, OL Mike Wahle WR Bobby Engram, and RB Maurice Morris

2009 Preview

The Jim Mora era has begun in Seattle, and the 2009 season is looking a bit brighter for Seahawks fans.

Hasselbeck is now healthy and has been given a new weapon.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh came over from Cincinnati via free agency. Over the last three seasons with the Bengals, Houshmandzadeh has caught 294 passes for 3,128 yards and 25 touchdowns.

But after Houshmandzadeh, the receiving corps is very questionable.

Nate Burleson, Seattle's 2007 leader in touchdown catches, is coming off of a season ending ACL injury in 2008.

Deion Branch, who has been riddled with injuries since joining the 'Hawks in 2006, is coming off another injury filled '08 season in which he only played in eight games.

Third round selection Deon Butler joins the crew as a rookie with great upside. He's lightning fast and has showed a lot of potential.

Ben Obomanu, Billy McMullen, Logan Payne, Courtney Taylor, Jordan Kent, Mike Haas, and Michael Bumpus will all be fighting to make the team and join the receiving unit.

Second year tight end John Carlson will serve as one of Hasselbeck's top targets in the passing attack, especially in the redzone.

New offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will implement a zone-blocking scheme, which will likely improve the rushing attack.  Knapp brings his rush-happy mentality to Seattle as the offensive playcaller.

To take advantage of Knapp's playcalling are Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett, and Justin Forsett who will likely combine for a "running-back-by-committee" backfield in '09.

The Seahawks will have to hope that their offensive line can remain healthy in '09.

Mike Wahle, who spent the last six games of the '08 season injured, was released after failing a physical prior to training camp.

Rookie Max Unger, despite playing mostly center in college, will likely take one of the guard positions to replace Wahle.

Walter Jones, as long as he's healthy, will return as the starting left tackle.

Former Tampa Bay assistant Gus Bradley will take over as defensive coordinator for the '09 season.

Bradley is intent on building an attack-style defense and bring pressure from every direction.

Interior defensive lineman Brandon Mebane will become more of a pass rusher in the new defense.

The additions of Colin Cole and Ken Lucas via free agency, Corey Redding in a trade from Detroit, and fourth overall selection linebacker Aaron Curry will all be able to make an impact to improve the defensive side of the ball.

Curry joins Tatupu and Leroy Hill to create a very talented linebacking unit.

Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson will each compete for the right defensive end position opposite Patrick Kerney.

To increase their sack totals, the Seahawks will need Tapp and/or Jackson to emerge as a dominant pass rusher.  Tapp has shown flashes of being that guy in the past. He's amassed 15-and-a-half sacks over three seasons in the league.

Jackson has the raw talent to be effective as well.

With the addition of Lucas, the secondary is looking very talented. Marcus Trufant (currently out with a sore back), Josh Wilson, Kelly Jennings, Marquis Floyd, and Kevin Hobbs will join Lucas at cornerback.

Deon Grant and Brian Russell will man the defensive backfield at the two safety positions. However, Jordan Baineaux could challenge Russell for the free safety position.

As for the kicking game, Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu will compete throughout camp for the place kicker job.


Bottom Line

A new era has begun in Seattle. Many changes have been made from players to coaches. If they can stay healthy, they have the potential to reach 10 wins; if not, they could be as bad as 5-11. But I expect somewhere around seven victories in '09.


Previous Rankings

32. Detroit Lions

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30. Cleveland Browns

29. Oakland Raiders

28. Kansas City Chiefs

27. St. Louis Rams

26. Denver Broncos

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

24. Washington Redskins


Be sure to check in tomorrow for the unveiling of team 22. 


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