The Seattle Seahawks have made the playoffs in four straight seasons, appeared in two Super Bowls and won their first Lombardi Trophy in the four years since Russell Wilson became the team’s starting quarterback in 2012.
And yet, Wilson believes the 2016 version of the Seahawks may be the best team he’s been on.
“Well we’ve had great teams before,” Wilson said following practice on Wednesday. “I can honestly say this is the most competitive team and talented team I think across the board.”
There has been frequent discussion in training camp about the “feel” and “vibe” of this year’s training camp mirroring the group from 2013 that won the Super Bowl. After a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round in 2012, Seattle won homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and a trip to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII, where they pummeled the Denver Broncos 43-8.
This year, Seattle is coming off a divisional round loss to the Carolina Panthers and again are among the best rosters in the NFC.
“It is hard for me to compare it to the 2013 group other than to know that there were so many good players in that roster make up, it feels like that again,” head coach Pete Carroll said regarding Wilson’s comment.” It feels like a lot of guys that can play, we can be comfortable moving them in and out of the lineup which means that we have a very competitive roster so I don’t disagree with him.
“I feel like there are a lot of guys at the receivers spots, a lot of running backs, a lot of corners, we are going to have a rotation at the D-line that we like. Those are all really good signs and the tight end position I think is going to be better than it’s been so those are all positives and pluses.”
It would take a lot for Seattle to be as deep as the 2013 version. The nine cornerbacks the Seahawks had in camp that year were Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Brandon Browner, Jeremy Lane, Walter Thurmond, Antoine Winfield, Ron Parker, Will Blackmon and Tharold Simon.
Parker and Blackmon were the bottom end of the roster. Since then, Parker has become a two-year starter with Kansas City and Blackmon a regular and part-time starter for Jacksonville and Washington. Winfield, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, wasn’t going to make the roster and elected to retire.
Maxwell (Philadelphia), Thurmond (NY Giants), Browner (New England) and Lane (Seattle) all went on to sign sizable new contracts.
Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, who have combined for 31 sacks over the last two seasons did not start.
While Seattle may not have quite that much talent on this year’s roster, they are still among the favorites in the NFC. Only time will tell if they are able to match 2013’s accomplishments.