Seattle Seahawks Offensive Positional Grades Heading into 2013 Training Camp

Russell Wilson, Percy HarvinTraining camp kicks off throughout the entire league  in just over a week from now, and I know we can all agree, it has been a long offseason! Before we begin, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Tyler Sniffin, and I am proud to be the new Seattle Seahawks writer for Pro Football Central. In all honesty, I couldn’t think of a better time to get the great opportunity to cover this team than right now, with all of the additions the Seahawks have made this offseason, there hasn’t been a better time to not only be a fan, but also a writer for this team. So, without further adieu, I present to you, the Seattle Seahawks offensive positional grades heading into 2013 training camp.

 

Offensive Line

I’ll start with the foundation of the offense — the offensive line. There are only two starting spots on the offensive line that are safe going in to training camp — Russell Okung at left tackle and Max Unger at center.

The left guard spot will be a competition throughout the preseason between James Carpenter (if healthy), John Moffitt, Ryan Seymour, and Jared Smith. Ultimately, I think it’s Carpenter’s spot if he can stay healthy, otherwise watch out for the rookie Ryan Seymour to beat out John Moffitt and seize the opportunity to win the position before the regular season opener.

The right guard spot will be a competition between Paul McQuistan, J.R. Sweezy, and Rishaw Johnson. The Seahawks saw plenty of potential in Sweezy last season, which is why I think he will win the starting right guard position before the end of the preseason, leaving the question of releasing the veteran McQuistan or Johnson in the balance.

The right tackle spot might be the biggest competition on the offensive line between Breno Giacomini and rookie Michael Bowie. The seventh-round product out of Oklahoma State has been one of the most impressive players of the Seahawks offseason, and could very well put Giacomini out of a job once the season comes. I’ve been saying all offseason, Seattle must find a better right tackle due to Giacomini’s repeated penalties throughout last season, and Bowie could very well be that solution.

Overall, I’d give the Seahawks Offensive Line a B- grade right now, due to the uncertainties in three out of the five starting positions.

 

Quarterback

The quarterbacks are the next position on the list, as the Seahawks will be taking three of them into training camp this year. Obviously, this is no starting competition at the position. Russell Wilson went above and beyond expectation last season, and definitely made a name for himself with his great poise and leadership qualities.

Therefore, it will be a competition of who will be his backup. Brady Quinn, with a 4-16 record in his past starting roles with Cleveland and Kansas City, deemed a “First Round Bust” or Tarvaris Jackson, the former Seahawks and Vikings quarterback, who has a 17-17 record as a starter. Jackson looks like the clear favorite to backup Wilson this season, due to his past in Seattle, and overall better play at the position than Quinn.

The Seahawks Quarterbacks Grade is an A- due to the expectation of another highly successful year for Russell Wilson under Darrell Bevell’s system.

 

Running Back

The running backs are pretty solid heading into training camp for the Seahawks. In fact, they’ve created even more young depth behind the wheels of the offense Marshawn Lynch during this offseason. Robert Turbin continues to progress as a trustworthy addition to Lynch’s game, running a lot lower and finding the hole smoother than he did last season. If the guy has worked on his hands at all this offseason, he could be a solid addition to the passing game as well.

The Hawks also added second-round draft pick Christine Michael to the mix. Michael is gifted with break-away speed and natural athleticism that helps give him a bit of uniqueness as to what this team can do with him this season. I personally hope we get to see him in the return game on special teams, as well as some reps in the backfield on gameday.

Lynch is still the work horse behind this offense, with his strength to blow past defenders, as well as his breakaway speed to get downfield and gain the yards we need, expect another big season out of Beast Mode.

I give the Seahawks backfield an A- as well, and look forward to seeing how they incorporate Michael into this running game come Sundays this fall.

 

Fullback

I’ll keep it short since it’s pretty clear what the front office has in mind for this position for the foreseeable future. Michael Robinson is a leader in this locker room, on and off the field, and will have another solid season blocking for Marshawn and making an impact on special teams. But as for the future, the Seahawks drafted Spencer Ware, a skilled back in the sixth round out of LSU this year. Ware will likely only make his presence known on special teams this season, but I expect him to takeover as the starting fullback on this team in 2014, with Robinson likely being released into free agency.

I love the leadership role Robinson has on this team, but this is a move looking ahead to the future of this team in regards to Spencer Ware. The fullbacks get a B+ grade, with a bright future ahead.

 

Wide Receiver

The wide receivers are next on the list, and quite the topic of conversation among the 12th-Man fanbase in recent weeks. The Seahawks have 13 receivers on the current roster, therefore plenty of cuts can be expected within this position group as we transition towards the regular season. Five Seahawk receivers appear to be safe from cuts so far — Sidney Rice at the Z, Golden Tate at the X, Percy Harvin in the Slot, Doug Baldwin and Chris Harper.

I expect the first four to get plenty of targets, with Harper seeing little action outside of special teams unless an injury is to occur. I think Tate will have the biggest numbers out of the whole wide receiver corps this season due to his great bond with Wilson and versatility he brings to the field.

This wide receiver corps will be fun to watch with the addition of Harvin and how they use him besides the slot in this year’s offense — whether it is in the backfield at times, or his best display of skills on special teams.

Jermaine Kearse, Phil Bates, Stephen Williams, Brett Swain, Bryan Walters, Greg Herd, Justin Veltung, and Arceto Clark will all compete for a practice squad spot or two, or perhaps even a spot on special teams if available. However, expect plenty of these guys to hit free agency this preseason.

I personally believe either Kearse or Bates have potential to make it on the squad at least for special teams, but it remains to be decided based on their performances during training camp and the preseason.

I give the Seahawks wide receiver corps an A heading into training camp, based on the speed and big play ability this core possesses.

 

Tight Ends

Last but not least, we have the tight ends. I believe this position will be used more effectively in the passing game this season than we’ve seen in recent years with this team, due to what I saw against Atlanta during the divisional playoff game last season.

Zach Miller had eight receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown during the playoff loss in Atlanta. He was one of the biggest highlights of the entire game, and proved what he can do when used in the passing game. The majority of his time in Seattle, we’ve seen him used primarily to block. But his performance in Atlanta is just a preview of what we can expect this season, when he becomes one of Wilson’s primary targets in the passing game.

Miller isn’t alone though, rookie Luke Willson out of the University of Rice has shown tons of potential during rookie camp and OTAs. Willson brings great speed and tremendous hands to the passing game, and is my current offensive breakout player of the year for the Seahawks heading into 2013. Expect Sean McGrath to see the field as well this season, while Darren Fells gets sent to the practice squad while Cooper Helfet and Victor Marshall do not make the final cuts.

The Seahawks tight ends get a B grade for me, due to their upside potential in the passing game this year, as well as the emergence of  Willson.

That does it for my 2013 Seattle Seahawks offensive positional grades heading into training camp and the preseason. I hope you enjoyed the read, and expect the defensive positional grades article within the next couple of days. I look forward to bringing you all of the Seahawks news this season and will have a special Seahawks training camp article to present to you all in a few weeks.

Stay tuned and God Bless. Go Hawks!!

Comments

  1. SeattleSprtsHub says

    Great first article Tyler, keep up the great work!