The Seattle Seahawks made the playoffs last season, despite the fact that they ended the season with a losing record. Despite the losing record, they came into the playoffs on a mission and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the wild card round. Yet they won’t get into the playoffs next season if they put up another losing record, so they’ve got a lot of areas to improve upon.
Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent this offseason and he may not be back next season. Even if he does return, he doesn’t have many years left in the NFL and I’m not sure if Charlie Whitehurst is the long term solution. The Seahawks may want to give Whitehurst some playing time to see what he can bring to the table. Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, and Leon Washington provide a lot of depth at the running back position. The combination of those three guys give Seattle a solid running game to rely on in case the passing game isn’t up to par. Mike Williams broke out last season and he looks like he might have finally gotten his career on track. Golden Tate was drafted in the second round but didn’t have as big of an impact as many thought he would. He will probably get an opportunity to start next year if another receiver isn’t brought in. John Carlson had a down year in 2010, but I expect him to bounce back for next season. Seattle’s offensive line struggled with injuries a lot of the year, and now Chris Spencer and Sean Locklear are free agents. Whether they are back or not remains to be seen, but the Seahawks could use some help at this position regardless.
The defensive line actually performed pretty well next season but they may have questions heading into 2011. Brandon Mebane and Raheem Brock are free agents and it remains to be seen if they are brought back. If they aren’t back, the Seahawks may need to look into bringing some players in from the draft to improve the depth. The linebacker unit has a lot of talent, but the unit has underperformed in the past season or two. Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu, and David Hawthorne need to improve this season for the defense to be a more effective unit. Marcus Trufant is still a very strong cornerback, but Kelly Jennings is a free agent and he might not return. Walter Thurmond played well as a rookie, and he should be able to step into the starting role if Jennings leaves. Earl Thomas looked very good as a rookie, and I think he’ll see a few pro bowl nods before his career is over. Lawyer Milloy could retire, but another 2010 rookie, Kam Chancellor, should be able to step in right away after a pretty successful rookie season.