Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/20/13
Good, but not great… Yet The Seattle Seahawks surprised a whole lot of folks this past season. From starting a rookie 3rd round QB, to the two comebacks in the playoffs, to the 3 game blowout streak. Yes they were close last year, and probably should have made it all the way to the Super Bowl, but there were some spots that needed improvement. Here is my list of the 5 players who, if improve, will lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl next season. Bruce Irvin It’s not entirely his fault that he was overshadowed by not only the Hawks second round pick, but also their third, but what is his fault is his ability to be able to play at a decent level on first and second downs. I know, he was only a rookie, and he had a couple good games, one of which could be considered as great, but this is a marathon not a sprint. 1st round picks should be able to adapt when called upon, as was the case late in the season when Bruce Irvin was asked to not only start, but play all three downs. We all knew that he was coming in as a third down pass rush specialist, but we also all knew that he was drafted a lot higher than the so-called experts had projected him at. If you take his numbers out of context and see his 8 sacks, you could say that it was a good rookie season. But then you look at his total number of tackles, 10, and realize that he’s sort of a one show pony. He will need to step up his production on rush defense situations next season, or the number 1 tag that he has will have the same amount of respect as Rick Mirer and Brian Bosworth. Bruce Irvin may have been drafted first, but wasn’t #1 on the field. (Photo: Komo News) Golden Tate Yes, and I am also going to add Sidney Rice to this list as well. Golden Tate had himself one hell of a season this past year, but he did all of his work in only half of the games. Luckily, the Seahawks got some good game play out of Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller, and Anthony McCoy late in the season, or they would not have finished where they did. We had been waiting a long time for the emergence of Tate, and this year he seemed to deliver. But then came the second half of the season, and his numbers just weren’t there. The Hawks don’t really have a bonafide number 1 WR, and with that title going to both Tate and Rice, one of them is going to have to learn how to step up and be a leader for an entire 16 game season. Even in only ”half” a good year, Tate still produced more than he had in his first few seasons, but then his production just dropped off. If the Hawks are serious about contending, they need a real number 1 receiver, and no, Percy Harvin is not the answer. Sidney Rice When he’s good, he’s great. And the rest of the time? Mostly injured. He did manage to make it through the season, barely, and amassed 50 catches for 7 TD’s, but like Tate above, his numbers dwindled the second half of the season. It could be that the passing game wasn’t needed, as was the case against Arizona, and Buffalo. It could also be that Sidney Rice was getting the better coverage, but if so, where was Golden Tate for those instances? It boils down to the fact that neither Sidney Rice, nor Golden Tate are true number 1 WR’s in the NFL. Tate could get there some day, and he had a good start this season, but both of their numbers will need to creep up a lot more next year if the Seahawks are going to contend for the NFC title. Who wants to step up and be #1? (Photo: Google) Steven Hauschka Besides Steven Hauschka coming up lame when we needed him the most, his numbers really weren’t that great during his time of health either. Going a mere 24-27 this year, and missing two extra points as well, Hauschka needs to get his leg back on the right path next season. His numbers did come up a bit from the previous year, 3 misses from 5, and he had ten more touchbacks while the return yards lessened, but the thing that gets me the most is his missed FG against San Francisco would have given the Hawks the win. Games like that need to go our way if we are going to contend for a Super Bowl next season. Russell Wilson Just think how much better this team will be once Russell Wilson gets a couple of seasons under his belt. Last year he put up a rookie of the year performance, but lost to the news media’s darling RGIII. He tied the NFL’s golden boy Peyton Manning’s rookie TD record, led two amazing comebacks in the playoffs, and turned the Seahawks back into a winning team. Now, if he could improve on his wanting need to throw the ball away instead of using his legs, this team could be lethal. Not to mention the fact that he was a huge sack target for much of the year. His mobility is his greatest talent, and once he learns how to harness that, he will have what it takes to be one of the greatest QB’s of this generation. A rookie only gets better right? If that’s the case, the upside that Wilson, and the Seahawks will have is going to be a menace to not only the NFC West, but the entire NFL. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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