SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (12-6)
CAMP SITE: Renton, Washington
LAST YEAR: Despite seeing its run game decimated by injuries to the point Marshawn Lynch was brought out of retirement and a defence that was uncharacteristically leaky against the pass, Seahawks were inches away from NFC West title. Russell Wilson was again among best QBs in NFL, but Seattle had to settle for wild-card playoff berth. Seattle won in Philadelphia before losing at Green Bay in divisional round.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: S Jamal Adams, RB Carlos Hyde, T Brandon Shell, C/G B.J. Finney, T Cedric Ogbuehi, G Chance Warmack, LB/DE Bruce Irvin, DE Benson Mayowa, CB Quinton Dunbar, TE Greg Olson, WR Philip Dorsett, LB Jordyn Brooks, DE Darrell Taylor, G Damien Lewis.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: C Justin Britt, OL George Fant, G D.J. Fluker, T Germain Ifedi, DL Quinton Jefferson, S Bradley McDougald.
PANDEMIC CHALLENGES: Seattle area was start of COVID-19 pandemic in United States. While cases dipped in late spring, there has been steady rise over past month. Likelihood of Seahawks playing before any of their famous “12th Man” home fans has grown increasingly unlikely with resurgence of virus.
CAMP NEEDS: Seattle completely remodeled offensive line in off-season with LT Duane Brown only certain returning starter. But none of group has practiced together thanks to entirely virtual off-season . How quickly Seattle can settle on its starters will be important with so many changes. There is also question about new CB Quinton Dunbar after his off-field legal troubles that don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Seahawks shored up secondary by acquiring All-Pro safety Jamal Adams in stunning deal in which they sent S Bradley McDougald to New York Jets along with three draft picks, including two first-rounders.
EXPECTATIONS: Anything short of playoffs will always be disappointing for Seahawks. If healthy, Seattle’s offence could be potent with Wilson orchestrating. Chris Carson is healthy after late season hip injury and Seattle added Carlos Hyde to backfield group. DK Metcalf has potential to become dynamic No. 1 receiver after strong rookie season. Question will be on defensive side if additions of Mayowa and Irvin can bolster lacklustre pass rush. If defence — including addition of Adams — takes step forward, Seattle could be favourite in NFC West.
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The Associated Press