The NFL season is inching closer. Through July, Shutdown Corner will examine three big questions for each NFL team as it heads to training camp.
Report date: July 29 for rookies and veterans
Where: Renton, Washington
1. What does the backfield look like?
Newly signed free agent Eddie Lacy looks to be in good shape, which we know has been a significant issue throughout his young career. His ability to pick up tough yards and become a factor in the screen game will be a boon for the offense. But don’t sleep on Thomas Rawls. As an undrafted rookie in 2015, he led the league with a healthy 5.6 yards per carry. He is a highly shifty and elusive runner who possesses the toughness that Pete Carroll covets. But Rawls has yet to stay on the field. The 23-year-old has missed 10 games in just two seasons. Finally, don’t forget about C.J. Prosise. The electric second-year back can change a game with his home-run ability and is athletic enough to be incorporated into the passing game. A running back by committee between Lacy and Rawls seems to be what Seattle is leaning toward, but that will be figured out in camp. Prosise — whom Carroll loves – likely won’t see a large number of carries, but he will be a factor too.
2. What can we expect from the offensive line?
No offensive line has surrendered more quarterback pressures over the past two years than Seattle and no line has been paid less either. But things are finally looking up, thanks to the free agent signing of Luke Joeckel — the second pick in the 2013 draft — as well as another offseason of work for Germain Ifedi, the team’s first-round pick in 2016. With the hyper-mobile Russell Wilson under center and working out of the gun, Seattle doesn’t need its line to be great. It just needs it to be average. Offensive line coach Tom Cable is one of the best in the business and told Yahoo Sports he’s thrilled about the Joeckel addition. Joeckel’s versatility to play both tackle and guard should make a huge impact right away.
[Pressing Questions: Fantasy outlook on the Seahawks]
3. What is the state of the locker room?
It’s hardly a secret the Seahawks have had a lion’s share of problems within their locker room. And these problems reached a boiling point after a damning ESPN The Magazine article highlighted the tension between Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson. Sherman quelled such concerns in a one-on-one interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “We’re pros,” he said. “We get along. Everybody gets along.” Truthfully, it’s hard to gauge the health of this locker room. Talent-wise though, Seattle is as good as anyone. If the team can galvanize, another Super Bowl is certainly in reach.
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