Seattle Seahawks: Why They’re Poised to Get Back to the Super Bowl

Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, whatever you want to call it… that one was tough. To come so close to repeating and get that close to scoring. This one will stay with Seattle, team and fans alike, for a long time.

Still, the Seahawks will be back strong for next season, and you can bet that coaches and players alike will be looking to make up for the Super Bowl loss with a ring next year. Here’s why they’re poised to get back to the Super Bowl-

1. Returning Talent

For the most part, the band will be back together next season. The Seahawks will see a small number of their core hit free agency, most notably Byron Maxwell and Jermaine Kearse (more on that later). Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, should he return, will be rejoined on offense by promising receiver Paul Richardson (once he returns from injury), the emerging Riccardo Lockette, Super Bowl breakout Chris Matthews and the vastly underrated Doug Baldwin. Kearse could return, while Luke Willson and Tony Moeaki provide a solid outlet for passes at the tight end position. Like Richardson, Zach Miller will also be coming back from injury.

Defensively, Seattle will welcome back a host of players from injured reserve. Brandon Mebane, one of the game’s best defensive tackles, will be healthy. Promising youngsters Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, Cassius Marsh and Kevin Pierre-Louis will return as well.

Other than the returning injured players, the majority of the starting defense is under contract with Maxwell, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams the only prominent free agents.

2. Few Free Agent Priorities

One of the main reasons the Hawks won their first Super Bowl was due to the additions of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, players they were able to poach from other teams in free agency. Last offseason, the team was limited in free agency and had to spend most of their offseason cash on retaining the likes of Bennett and Avril.

While Seattle will spend this offseason thanks to potential extensions for Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner, the team won’t have as many key players hit free agency as last season when the team lost Golden Tate, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan, Brandon Browner, Clinton McDonald and Walter Thurmond. The team also had to cut defensive lineman Red Bryant and Chris Clemons.

Things will be much different this time around. Notable Seahawks hitting free agency include Byron Maxwell, Jermaine Kearse, James Carpenter, Malcolm Smith and Kevin Williams.

Besides handing out potential extensions, the ‘Hawks should focus on bringing back Maxwell. Since last season he’s seamlessly stepped in the Legion of Boom’s starting contingent. The cornerback will be one of the most sought-after free agents should he hit the open market. The question becomes whether the Seahawks brass trusts Tharold Simon to take over for Maxwell, similar to the recent transition of Maxwell for Browner.

While Carpenter may be brought back, the team can withstand the potential losses of Smith and Williams. The respective emergences of Kevin Pierre-Louis as well as Jordan Hill (5.5 sacks in the last six regular season game) should more than make up for the respective Super Bowl MVP and former Viking if Smith and Williams aren’t retained.

3. Continued Youth Development

Seattle can afford to let Smith and Williams go thanks to the development and potential of the aforementioned duo of Pierre-Louis and Hill. These two are just two of the latest players undervalued in the draft that Seattle has developed into quality contributors or starters, joining the likes of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Wilson, Wagner, J.R. Sweezy, Kearse, Baldwin, Willson, K.J. Wright, Smith, Lockette, Jeremy Lane, Simon and Robert Turbin among others.

Quite frankly, Seattle is the best at finding and developing talent—few NFL teams come close.

The continued development of players like Chris Matthews, Sweezy, Simon, Hill, Pierre-Louis and Cassius Marsh will only improve the Seahawks’ depth and quality heading into next season.

In Conclusion

The Seahawks loss in the Super Bowl was incredibly tough, it may go down as one of the most gut-wrenching and painful losses in the history of the NFL, let alone American sports. Still, if there was ever a group to rebound from it, come back strong and make good, it would be the current group of Seahawks.

Remember, the last time Seattle was dealt a heartbreaking (albeit less painful) playoff loss it was Atlanta a few years ago. The Hawks responded with a ring the next year.

They’ll be back.

All stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Build Up: Awesome Handout

One of the better moments of media day occurred when linebacker Bobby Wagner gave a young fan his hat. A hat which also came with a signature.

Hat tip to Fox Sports (pun very much intended) for the picture.


Coolest moment of #SBMediaDay? When @Bwagz54 spotted this kid & gave him a signed hat. While rockin his TMNT bag

— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 28, 2014


The Collective Genius of Pete Carroll and John Schneider

Leon Washington averaged nearly 10 yards per return on punts over the course of his career. That means punts he returns go from the 10 to the 20, 20 to the 30 and so forth. Now, obviously that isn’t going to happen every play, but having someone who can give you an extra 10 yards instead of a fair catch or touchback on a punt/kick return can have its advantages. Especially when that same someone has the ability to return a kick for a touchdown. (Washington is tied for first in freaking NFL history in kick return touchdowns. The magic number is eight.)

The Seahawks’ price of admission: moving down two rounds from the fifth round to the seventh.

Brandon Browner is widely perceived as one of the better, if not physical, cornerbacks in the entire league. He’s a highly penalized player at times, but consistently draws one of the opposing team’s top threats and comes out either on top or close to it. Browner also made the Pro Bowl last year and probably would have this year if it weren’t for his four-game suspension.

Seahawks’ price of admission: paying his contract. They signed out of the CFL, where, to his credit, he was a three-time All-Star.

Carroll and Schneider have also found a countless number of contributors in all portions of the NFL Draft.

Bobby Wagner was originally touted as too small to play linebacker in the NFL. He led the top scoring defense in the league in tackles his rookie year.

KJ Wright was a fourth-round choice who has gradually turned into one of the better young linebackers in the league. He’s shown his versatility on defense, starting at both the middle and outside linebacker spots at certain points in his career.

Kam Chancellor might be one of, if not the best find of the bunch. Towering over opponents (unless of course, Randy Johnson was to suit up) in the defensive backfield, Chancellor is one of the harder hitters in the league and makes you think twice about leaping for a catch in his vicinity. He also went to the Pro Bowl last year. Draft slot 133rd overall. That’s in the fifth round for anyone who isn’t a super draft genius.

Richard Sherman might be the best cornerback in the the league. Period. The Hawks found him in the fifth round.

And of course there is Russell Wilson who not only tied Peyton Manning’s NFL Rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season with 26, but also was the first rookie QB since the merger to go undefeated at home.

The Seahawks’ brass has also found countless gems in the even-later stages of the draft, JR Sweezey, Greg Scruggs, Jeron Johnson and Jeremy Lane all have made impacts at times.

One of the things that makes the Seahawks’ front office tandem special is because of something they didn’t do. They could have easily tried to replicate Carroll’s USC success and go get every USC guy on the open market. While the team might have been good, it would have seemed too easy or just not right at all. Before you would have known it, USC North signs and the like would probably be popping up everywhere here to Omak.

But they did pick and choose their moments with USC players. After all, they probably would have the best scouting report in the league. Malcolm Smith looks like a long-term answer at linebacker as well as Anthony McCoy, who looks to be also in the team’s long-term plans. McCoy was low on draft boards due to off-the-field problems. Talent wise it was there, maybe not off the field. He’s doing great in Seattle with Carroll and looks to, as stated, be with the team for the long haul.

The one name we have forgotten to mention is Marshawn Lynch’s. You can’t forget beast mode. The Seahawks probably wouldn’t be as far along as they are now without Lynch. He was stolen from the Bills for a couple of mid-round draft picks.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done an outstanding job. It certainly makes you forget about the down year we had with Jim Mora.

If I missed any late-round gems, or other great acquisitions the Seahawks made, tell me about it in the acquisitions.