Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Seattle Seahawks season wrap-up
By Terry Blount
Arrow indicates direction team is trending.
Final power ranking: No. 1
Preseason power ranking: No. 1
Biggest Surprise: Cornerback Byron Maxwell. Considering the fact that he started the year as a third-string backup and ended the season as an impressive starter in the Super Bowl, that's about as surprising as it gets.
When right corner Brandon Browner was injured early in the season, Walter Thurmond stepped in as the starter. When Browner and Thurmond were out with suspensions, Maxwell took over and never looked back. He intercepted four passes, playing so well that Thurmond couldn't get the job back when he returned. And Browner probably wouldn't have either.
Biggest disappointment: I would have said receiver Percy Harvin, through no fault of his own, until his spectacular performance in the Super Bowl, proving he was worth the $67 million the Seahawks spent on him.
This is an extremely tough pick because most starting players lived up to expectations or exceeded them. If I have to pick one, I would say left guard James Carpenter. He played better down the stretch, but he's never lived up to the expectations of a first-round draft choice.
Biggest need: Offensive line, which should be obvious after what I said above. But Carpenter isn't the only issue.
In its defense, the line had major issues this season with injuries, and it's a minor miracle quarterback Russell Wilson made it through the season without a serious injury as much as he had to run from trouble. But there wasn't one man on the front five who played as well as expected. That includes left tackle Russell Okung, who missed eight games and was nursing a torn ligament in a big toe all season.
Right tackle Breno Giacomini, who missed seven games with a knee injury, is a free agent and may not return. The Seahawks like their rookie tackles, Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie, but they need a difference-maker up front, either through the draft or by trade.
Some people think the Seahawks should look for a big receiver as a top priority. How much more do their receivers have to do to prove they are vastly underrated, especially with Harvin healthy? However, Golden Tate is a free agent and Doug Baldwin is a restricted free agent.
Team MVP: You certainly could make a strong argument for free safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman or running back Marshawn Lynch, but this team would not be Super Bowl winners without Wilson.
It never ceases to amaze me how some experts still criticize Wilson and label him as nothing more than a game manager, a subtle dig that he isn't that good. Well, he just managed this offense all the way to a blowout victory in the Super Bowl, including two touchdown passes.
Throw all that analytic nonsense out the window. Wilson won't throw for the most yards, complete the most passes or have the highest QB rating. By the way, is there any stat sports people understand less than QB rating?
You know what Wilson is? He's a winner, he's a gamer, he's a leader of men -- a guy who inspires others to run through walls for him. Give me 40 men with Wilson's attitude, intelligence, athletic skills and determination and I'll win the Super Bowl every year.