While disappointed his team didn’t make the playoffs, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll overall was pleased with the progress his young team made this season, even though the Seahawks finished 7-9 for a second straight year.
Still, when asked where he thought his team needed to improve at a season-ending press conference this week, Carroll said he wanted to add speed at linebacker, increase the team’s ability to pass rush off the edge and from the interior of the defensive line, and add a playmaker on offense
“You’re always looking for touchdown makers on offense,” Carroll said. “You always want to get guys that can score. So if there’s a wide receiver in the draft that would be cool, if there’s a big- time running back that would be cool.”
That said, here’s a position-by-position look at how the Seahawks graded out at the end of the year.
Not many expected Tarvaris Jackson to finish7-7 as a starter. He
showed toughness playing with a torn pectoral muscle for most of the
season. Tabbed the team’s starter in 2012, Jackson’s failings to lead
the Seahawks from behind late in games could force the team to look
for better alternatives.
Running back: B+
Marshawn Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards and 13 total TDs.
Both Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson were first-alternates for the
Pro Bowl. Now, the Seahawks have to decide how much they want to pay
the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent to keep the team’s best player,
Offensive line: B+
They went through six different starting combinations and finished the
season with three-fifths of the team’s projected starting line on the
injured reserve. Still, Seattle effectively ran the ball at the end of
the season, a tribute to offensive line/assistant head coach Tom
Cable’s teaching skills.
High-dollar free agent pickups WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller
underperformed, along with top returner Mike Williams. But undrafted
rookie free agent Doug Baldwin shined, and Golden Tate showed
improvement in his second season.
Defensive line: B
The front four played stout against the run, but other than Chris
Clemons’ team-high 11 sacks, this group still struggles to
consistently get pressure on the passer.
For a third straight season, David Hawthorne led the Seahawks in
tackles (115). Hawthorne could leave in free agency, along with
veteran Leroy Hill. Rookie K.J. Wright proved the most versatile of
the three, and a solid replacement for jettisoned Aaron Curry.
Earl Thomas earned his first Pro Bowl invitation, while fellow safety
Kam Chancellor and CB Brandon Browner were selected as first
alternates. Rookie corner Richard Sherman finished with four
interceptions in 10 starts, and could join his teammates on that list
Special teams: C
Leon Washington was solid, but not as explosive as last season. Punter
Jon Ryan had another good year, and kicker Steven Hauschka made people
forget about Olindo Mare. The usually solid coverage units gave up
three returns for TDs and were one of the most penalized groups in the
NFL this season.
Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider have revamped the roster, with the
Seahawks going from the seventh-oldest team last season to the
second-youngest. Impressively, Seattle stayed competitive while doing
so, and appears primed to make a legitimate playoff run in 2012.