PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s football season again, Seahawks fans, and that means it’s time for KOIN 6 News’ training camp preview.
Our show, like the success of any NFL team, starts with the quarterback. After a season hampered by multiple injuries, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is fully healthy and ready to go.
“The difference that I see is from the hobbled Russell that we saw for almost all of last year.” said Seattle quarterbacks coach Carl Smith. “So he’s back to what he was. I don’t know if he’s faster but he’s fit.”
Getting healthy was just a matter of time for Wilson, which, as Smith says, is a testament to Wilson’s innate ability to fix anything.
“He’s terrific at taking care of his job all the time, all year, working on his game,” Smith said of Wilson. “He’s the best guy I’ve ever had at fixing stuff. He’ll fix it, whatever it is: whether it’s his body, or his diet, a read, footwork, protection — he fixes stuff, and he looks terrific right now.”
One way to help Wilson is an improved rushing attack. The Seahawks had the 25th-best rushing attack a season ago, finishing with 1,591 total yards. Free agent addition Eddie Lacy, as well as healthy returners Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise, could do exactly that for the Seahawks this year.
Lacy signed with Seattle on a one-year deal after four seasons in Green Bay. He emerged in his first two seasons, rushing for over 1,000 yards in both years. Then injuries and weight issues hurt his performance. He played in five games last season, totaling 360 yards and zero rushing touchdowns.
Now, in Seattle, Lacy is in shape and looking for a bounce back year.
“He’s already shown he’s in shape,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “You can see him running around here. I have no problem. He’s going to be fine.”
Wilson is already impressed with the former second-round pick out of Alabama.
“Eddie lacy is a big-time football player who has played at a high level for several years now,” Wilson said, “and he’s shown that.”
Lacy is just one expected member of the Seahawks’ three-headed backfield. Prosise and Rawls have shown a lot of talent in their early NFL careers.
Prosise, in particular, has flashed in all facets of the offense.
“He can do it all,” said Wilson.
And as for Rawls, there’s one thing you can always expect from him when he’s got the ball in his hands.
“I just know on gameday, on Sunday, whenever my name is called, I’m going to be ready,” Rawls said. “34 is going to be ready.”
Also there to help Wilson this year is one of the top receiving corps in the league: Doug Baldwin, the team’s leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns, will be a key player for Seattle again; Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson and Jermaine Kearse bring a lot of different skills to the team; third-round pick Amara Darboh is “very tough,” according to Carroll; and then there’s All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.
“He can do it all,” Wilson said of Graham. “He’s an All-Pro tight end and he can make a lot of plays for us. We need him.”
If Seattle wants to make it deep in the postseason, once again, they’ll have to get better play out of their offensive line, a unit that surrendered 42 sacks a year ago. Carroll said the team was looking to add experience to their line this year. They got that in former No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel, who they signed to a one-year deal.
“Luke is a bright player and communicates beautifully,” Carroll said. “”He really has brought a sense of experience that we’ve been searching for.”
Joeckel is looking to prove himself with Seattle after a disappointing start to his career with Jacksonville. One thing he did get there, though, was experience.
“So much experience helps, having the experience, playing on Sundays gives you so much confidence,” he said. “I think you can really see it in this training camp.”
The Seahawks have high hopes on the other side of the ball.
“I think the sky is the limit for this defense if we can stay healthy,” said defensive end Cliff Avril.
Keeping the defense healthy is essential, says safety Kam Chancellor.
“If that one bolt is missing or that one part of the machine is missing then it just doesn’t function properly,” he said. “We’re like a machine, and when we are all on the field we’re a dominant force. so having us all together — the best we can do and the best we can play is when we’re all out there.”
Also in the training camp special are question-and-answer sessions with Hall-of-Fame quarterback, and now Seahawks radio personality, Warren Moon, and an interview with former Portland State star defensive back DeShawn Shead, who keeps his Vikings close to his heart.
If you’d like to watch specific segments from the video above, tune into these start times.
Russell Wilson is healthy and ready to take a big step (2:14)
Eddie Lacy addition makes for three-headed backfield (4:25)
Seattle’s primed for another big year (6:50)
DeShawn Shead Q&A (11:04)
Legion of boom hopes to stick together (13:20)
Offensive line searching for experience, continuity (17:22)
Warren Moon likes the Seahawks chances — if they can stay healthy (20:08)