Last season only two Seahawks made the Pro Bowl with future HOF T Walter Jones and perennial Pro Bowl LB Julian Peterson getting nods.
Seattle generally produces more Pro Bowl products than their anemic output, but that is what a 4-12 season will do to you. With a healthy roster upgraded by the signing of players like WR TJ Houshmandzadeh and CB Ken Lucas, the Seahawks are poised to cure their injury bug and take form of one of the NFC's elite teams once again.
Not always, but being chosen to the Pro Bowl generally recognizes a great season by a player. Sometimes a guy with consistent Pro Bowl pedigree, like Walter Jones, will get the nod over someone who may have performed better, but lacks the accolades.
Here are three Seahawks on offense who are poised for Pro Bowl campaigns in 2009.
TJ Houshmandzadeh—Wide Receiver
The Seahawks prize Free Agent acquisition is the team's shiny new offensive weapon who gives Pro Bowl QB Matt Hasselbeck the best target he has ever had.
In Cincinnati, while Chad Johnson was burning players downfield, Houshmandzadeh was doing the work inside the hash marks. Over the last three seasons, TJ has caught more passes then anyone, averaging 94 catches, 1,013 yards, and eight TDs in that span.
He deserved his big payday and the chance to be a true No. 1 WR for someone. He fits the West Coast offense perfectly and runs precise routes, which is vital with the short dink and dunk passes featured in the West Coast Offense.
While teams are busy doubling him, the Seahawks can go over the top with burner Deon Butler who gives them a dynamic speed option to spread the field.
With teams worrying about covering Houhmandzadeh over the middle, TE John Carlson will benefit from some more open space.
If TJ put up 92 catches and 904 yards catching balls from a backup QB, this number will climb, being the main weapon in an offense with a Pro Bowl QB throwing to him.
As a No. 1 WR expect his numbers to climb into the 1,200 yard range with roughly a 11-12 yard average per catch, while hauling in 10-12 TDs.
If Hasselbeck can stay healthy, I would not be surprised to see Houshmandzadeh make his second Pro Bowl in three seasons. His effectiveness will play a vital role in the Seahawk's journey to a sixth playoff birth in seven seasons.
His ranking on this list largely depends on whether we get the career best 2007 QB, or the bipolar career worst 2008 season he sputtered through.
If he can stay on his feet and not be bothered by any sort of disks, he should return to Pro Bowl form while passing to the best WR he has ever worked with.
In a run first scheme, it is unlikely he will repeat the 3,966 yard, 28 TDs, and 12 INT season from 2007, when the Seahawks dropped bombs on people the second half of the season.
He has a deep pool of WRs that include No. 2 and No. 3 WRs Deion Branch and Nate Burleson. Along with Carlson, Houshmandzadeh, and Butler they are going to give opposing defenses headaches.
A healthy Hasselbeck leads this team to the playoffs.
If he remains on the sidelines for any significant amount of time, a Seahawks turnaround becomes more unlikely.
Expect a 23-24 TD season from Hasselbeck for about 3,400 yards along with about 10-11 INTs.
A fourth Pro Bowl nod will be his if he can return to his former elite self.
Julius Jones—Running Back
The sleeper pick that everyone seems to doubt.
I know he has not been the most spectacular back ever, but he did average 4.4 YPC last season in a limited role after coming over from Dallas in Free Agent.
Now that he is the feature back and has a Zone Blocking Scheme that suits his one cut style, he is poised for a breakout campaign. Seattle's new Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp is a rushing guru who has never finished lower than 10th in the league in rushing, and Jones will only benefit from his run first mentality.
I say don't count something out that has not been fully test driven.
He showed he can produce for Seattle with his 4.4 YPC season last year, and now has a chance to increase his production being the main RB.
Complementing Jones with big bruiser TJ Duckett, who thrives in Knapps' schemes, could give Seattle an effective under the radar rushing attack.
If the Seahawks can establish a productive running game, they will be able to shred the opposition with their great passing attack
As the No. 1 back for the Seahawks expect a 1,300 yard season and nine TDs from the doubted Jones.
Expect 10-12 TDs for short yardage back TJ Duckett who will see his role expanded under Knapp.
Thanks for checking out my article.
In the next article I will examine three Seahawks of defense who are poised for a trip to Hawaii.
If you have not already, check out my Free Agency series that chronicles the best remaining talent on the open market and where they might head.
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