This offseason has definitely been one wild ride for all Seahawks fans. The anticipation of seeing what the new era of Seattle Seahawks football will look like is something I do not have a lot of patience for, and I am sure a lot of other Seahawks fans can say the same. To say the least, this offseason has been quite eventful for the Seahawks, with the departure of Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett and the introduction to the new incoming rookie class after the NFL draft. Question marks still loom over Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril, and there is some turmoil in the special teams department as it looks like Jon Ryan is on his way out the door. Sebastian Janikowski has been added as place kicker, so maybe this could allow Seattle to have the opportunity to kick field goals beyond 49 yards this upcoming season? The veteran kicker has had injury issues the past few years, so it will be interesting to see how much he impacts the Seahawks overall over the course of the year. Seattle also made a surprising first round pick, but I have high hopes for Rashaad Penny. Penny led the FBS in rushing yards last season, he is incredible after contact, and he also provides a flashy kick return ability that may provide a big spark to the Seahawks in the 2018 season. This may also take some weight off of Tyler Lockett’s shoulders, as he will now have the chance to focus more on his receiving abilities and avoid major injury risk as a returner. If Rashaad Penny does happen to continue his ability to get major yards after contact in the NFL, we may all finally see the void that Marshawn Lynch left be filled once and for all.
I could go on and on about the entertaining events surrounding Seahawks football that has occurred this offseason, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on how I feel about all this change overall. Above all, I feel like all Seahawks fans should be very optimistic about this upcoming season. Back when John Schneider and Pete Carroll starting working together in the Pacific Northwest, they were able to completely turn around a mediocre franchise into a dominant force in the NFL for years. Yes, many of those pieces that they found to create this great run are now gone, but what evidence is there to say John and Pete can’t rebuild the Seahawks franchise into a dominant force once again? Personally, I feel as if our team last year would have been a twelve-win team that could have actually made it to the Super Bowl if it wasn’t for a mass load of injuries and the worst kicker in professional sports. But, the Seahawks front office made the executive decision to try and rejuvenate this organization back to the level it was in 2013 and 2014, and I am completely okay with that. I am okay with that because I trust John and Pete, as they have brought success to the Seahawks that was never seen before. I mean, we were a yard away from back-to-back Super Bowls, and we demolished and quite frankly embarrassed the most efficient offense ever in Super Bowl 48 at a score of 43-8 against the Denver Broncos. My point is, our front office was able to dig our franchise out of a massive rut just a few years ago, so there is no reason to believe they cannot do it again.
Another reminder that I want to give doubting Seattle fans is that we would have made the playoffs last season if we had a quality kicker last year. It is honestly that simple. The Redskins game, when Blair Walsh went 0 for 3, should have been a win. The last game of the year could have also been a win if Blair Walsh had any sort of power behind his kick when he tried to win the game at the end. Walsh also missed a critical kick against the Jaguars and missed another that was horrific at the end of the Atlanta game. If just two of these games went differently for Walsh, Seattle could have had a spot in the playoffs. Therefore, we cannot just give up hope as Seattle fans because our team should have still made the playoffs last season, despite all of the injuries. And, with the trust we should have with John Schneider and Pete Carroll, we should trust that the offseason acquisitions and changes that they have made recently will only benefit the Seahawks in the long run to enable us to get back in the playoffs and make a run. Certainly, it will be extremely difficult to beat the Rams for the NFC West crown, as even beating them twice may not be enough to get the job done. Even though that may be the case, as long as Seattle can find itself back in the playoffs, all Seattle fans should damn well know that Russell Wilson will be doing everything in his power to get us back to the big dance in Atlanta in February. If Seattle avoids being plagued with injuries and actually has quality production from the team’s place kicker, the 2018 Seattle Seahawks have a promising year ahead of them.