The Seattle Seahawks were expected to be a strong team in 2012. Led by Russell Wilson, the Seahawks put up much better numbers than all but the most optimistic fans expected. The lack of playoff expectations came from one area alone: the lack of a franchise quarterback. Seattle paid Matt Flynn a nice chunk of change to take over the starting role, but the rookie third-round pick ended up winning the starting role, and it was the best thing that could have happened to the Seahawks.
Wilson threw for 3,118 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, where Seattle bested the Washington Redskins before falling to the Atlanta Falcons in the next round.
This offseason, the Seahawks concentrated on making things easier on Wilson to ensure he has a strong second season and to help them compete with the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West crown once again.
The Seahawks made a blockbuster trade for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, sending a first-round pick in addition to awarding Harvin a new contract. Harvin is a versatile weapon that should complement Sidney Rice well.
But that wasn't their only offseason addition, as the Seahawks brought in defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency. These moves make the team's defensive front one of the best in the entire league. When Chris Clemons gets healthy, the Seahawks should have a much-revamped pass rush.
The other key addition is cornerback Antoine Winfield. He hasn't allowed a touchdown in three seasons, and he won't even be one of the top two cornerbacks on this team, which gives Seattle the undisputed best secondary in the league at this point. Seattle does have something of a hole at the outside linebacker spot, however, as Leroy Hill was not re-signed.
Training camp location and schedule
The Seahawks begin their training camp on July 25, and it will conclude on Aug. 14. Training camp is held at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where it has been since 2008. Below, we've got the full schedule courtesy of Field Gulls. Practices open to the public require a ticket, which you can get at the team's official training camp website.
|1||July 25||Thursday||10 a.m.|
|2||July 26||Friday||10 a.m.|
|3||July 27||Saturday||10 a.m.|
|4||July 28||Sunday||10 a.m.|
|5||July 30||Tuesday||10 a.m.|
|6||July 31||Wednesday||10 a.m.|
|7||August 1||Thursday||10 a.m.|
|8||August 2||Friday||1:00 p.m.|
|9||August 4||Sunday||10:30 a.m.|
|10||August 5||Monday||10:00 a.m.|
|11||August 6||Tuesday||10:00 a.m.|
|12||August 11||Sunday||10:00 a.m.|
|13||August 13||Tuesday||10:00 a.m.|
|14||August 14||Wednesday||10:00 a.m.|
The Seahawks are only a season removed from some pretty serious struggles, but there aren't many positions on the roster up for grabs at this point. There are, however, a few worth paying attention to during training camp.
Backup quarterback: Wilson isn't going anywhere, and with Matt Flynn out the door, many felt that Brady Quinn, an offseason acquisition, would be guaranteed the backup job. But now there's reason to doubt that, as the Seahawks signed Tarvaris Jackson almost immediately after their minicamp concluded. Jackson has a familiarity with the team and the system, and that might give him a leg up on Quinn.
Outside linebacker: Hill was well past his prime, but the Seahawks have a hole at outside linebacker with his departure. K.J. Wright is as solid as they come, but Malcolm Smith is the guy on the other side, and that's a cause for concern. Bruce Irvin might compete with Smith for snaps at outside linebacker, which would allow him to see the field on something other than third downs, but Smith will do what he can to keep that job.
Right guard: John Moffitt was the starter last season, but has been injured off and on in recent seasons. J.R. Sweezy has filled in during Moffitt's injuries and played well. Sweezy started multiple games near the end of last season and might just be able to push Moffitt for the starting role.