With the departure of Matt Hasselbeck and Lofa Tatupu the Seahawks are in the midst of a transition. Not only were these two guys leaders on and off the field, they were also the face of the franchise.
There are billboards all over town with their images on them which will have to be torn down. Look in the stands the past few years and Hasselbeck’s No. 8 and Tatupu’s No. 51 were the most popular jerseys in Seattle.
As the Seahawks look for new stars and new leaders on the field who will emerge as the new face of the Seattle Seahawks?
Here are the five most likely candidates to become the new face of the Seahawks.
Newly acquired wide receiver Sidney Rice may be the most nationally recognized player on the Seahawks roster at the moment.
Rice is a deep threat who has made some spectacular catches over his career. Most of those plays came during his incredible 2009 season with the Vikings when he caught 83 balls for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
If Rice can come close to that in Seattle he will become a fan favorite and you’ll see his mug all over town.
The worry of course is that 2009 has been the only productive year in Rice’s career, and in that year he had Brett Favre throwing the ball to him. The Seahawks have question marks at quarterback and that could put a crimp in his numbers.
He also is coming off of a hip injury that, if not healed, could also keep him from being productive.
Rice may have just as much of a chance to be the face of the franchise as he does being the face of over-spent free agency money.
Lynch made a pretty big national statement with his now famous “Beast Quake” touchdown run against the Saints last season.
Can he become the face of the franchise?
Before that run in the playoffs, the Marshawn Lynch experiment in Seattle had mixed results.
In his 12 games with Seattle last year he only ran for an average of 3.5 yards per carry and six touchdowns. As thrilling as his 131-yard playoff performance was, he was quieted the next week in Chicago and only managed two yards on four carries.
Lynch has the personality to become the face of the franchise. He is brash, confident and already has the built-in nickname of “Beast Mode.” That stuff plays well on a national level and with the fans.
For him to take over as the most prominent player in Seattle, he will need to hope that the Seahawks revamped offensive line provide more running lanes than last year’s patch-work line did.
If he gets that, and we see some more “Beast Quake” runs, you could see Lynch as the new face of the Seattle Seahawks.
Thomas showed Seattle fans why the team made him a first-round pick in 2010. As a rookie he showed a great deal of poise and big play making ability last year.
He appears to be a guy who could fill the leadership void on defense left by Tatupu.
As a high draft pick who played his college football at Texas, Thomas already has a national name for himself. Great play and Pro Bowls could make him an NFL household name as well.
Look for more and more Thomas jerseys to start showing up in the stands this year.
What may hurt Thomas is the defense he plays on could struggle again this year.
If the Seahawks get walked all over this season it will be hard for Thomas, or any defensive player to become the face of the franchise. Instead he might be seen as a reason for failure.
Williams' story is an inspiring one which helped make him an instant fan favorite last year. His huge frame and soft hands didn’t hurt either.
With Seattle, Williams had his break-out season as a pro in 2010, snatching 65 balls for 751 yards last year, all career highs. Williams seems to have his head on straight and headed for bigger and better things.
Being able to physically dominate defensive backs is his forte and he is the type of player who has a chance to do something exciting every play.
On top of it all he also has an entertaining twitter feed (@BigMikeWill17).
For all these reasons, Williams is a very likely candidate to become the new face of the franchise.
When you have a team that is devoid of veteran Pro Bowl players and you were one of the most successful college coaches at a high profile university you are the face of the franchise.
Carroll is the most known Seahawks employee there is. He has friends in Hollywood which give him that extra star power and is a good interview.
The national media is focused on Pete Carroll as well to see if he can break the string of college coaches who fail in the NFL. Carroll is enthusiastic on the side lines, often seen jumping up and down and not bottling up his emotions.
Love him or hate him, Pete Carroll is most likely to become the face of the franchise—that is unless he fails bitterly as a coach, in which case Seattle fans will have a different feeling about him entirely.