Pete Carroll knows after eight seasons in charge of the Seattle Seahawks that his message always needs to evolve.
Much like Carroll’s messaging Geronimo Allison Jersey , the Seahawks’ roster could see some major changes going into next season after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
”We all have to keep changing and growing together. That’s why I always come back to compete, you know,” Carroll said. ”Keep competing to find a way to make sense and help a guy and pushing him to have success. Then we will do what we can do. Sometimes we do it better than others. Sometimes we shock the heck out of this, with all kinds of things that happen.”
There’s no denying Seattle’s core group is getting older, which coupled with salary cap concerns could lead to major overhauls at some positions.
Here are some positions to watch in the offseason:
JIMMY EFFECT: Despite catching 10 touchdown passes and finally becoming the red-zone threat Seattle hoped for, don’t expect Jimmy Graham to be back. It’s likely Graham’s last chance at a big contract and Seattle appears to have more pressing needs. The tight end position remains an important piece of Seattle’s offense, but both Graham and Luke Willson are free agents. Willson spoke hopefully of returning to the only team he’s played for. Seattle would be smart to get a tight end who is a premier blocker with pass-catching skills, similar to Zach Miller. But that’s easier said than found.
ON THE LINE: Michael Bennett was bluntly honest at the conclusion of the season that the NFL is a ”young man’s game,” and at age 32 he may be cycled out.
Even if Bennett does return, Seattle’s likely to see an overhaul along the defensive line. Cliff Avril appears to be leaning toward retirement. Sheldon Richardson played well in his one year with the Seahawks but is now a free agent.
The Seahawks have a decent foundation to build around with Frank Clark, Quinton Jefferson, Nazair Jones and Jarran Reed. They should bring back Dion Jordan after the former first-round pick’s performance once he became healthy. Bennett could return, but if so should take on less of a load. Despite playing with a foot injury the second half of the year, Bennett still played 84.7 percent of the snaps this season.
OFFENSIVE SKILL: Seattle has high hopes next season for the running back duo of Chris Carson and Mike Davis. Still La'el Collins Jersey , expect the Seahawks to add another ball carrier to the mix and move on from Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls. At wide receiver, there is a big decision to be made with Paul Richardson, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Richardson finished with 44 receptions and flourished early in the season, but faded late with just nine receptions in the final five games.
WITNESS PROTECTION: Seattle’s offensive line woes have been an issue for three straight seasons. Youth, injuries, inconsistency have combined to make the Seahawks line a constant problem and brought plenty of criticism for offensive line coach Tom Cable.
But don’t expect massive changes. Part of the beauty of the deal for Duane Brown was having him under contract through 2018. Seattle immediately started playing better once Brown arrived. Justin Britt has proven a capable center and Seattle has high hopes for Ethan Pocic. The big question will be what Seattle does with George Fant. He was the presumptive starting left tackle before suffering an ACL injury during the preseason. Seattle could opt to put Fant at right tackle and move Germain Ifedi to guard after he struggled at tackle.
UNSPECIAL TEAMS: No, Blair Walsh will not be back.
At least that’s an obvious early indication with Seattle already signing former Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers to a futures contract. Walsh became a convenient person to blame after missing kicks in three games, leading to Seattle losses.
While Seattle is likely to make a change at kicker, it’s likely to be a low-cost move. This is why punter Jon Ryan may be in trouble. The veteran had an up-and-down season, will turn 37 next season and the Seahawks can save $2 million against the salary cap by releasing Ryan.
Ryan is the only player remaining on Seattle’s roster from before Carroll’s arrival.
Pro football – actual games – won’t disappear from TV screens, mobile devices and the American consciousness once the Super Bowl ends next February.
The Alliance of American Football will kick off the following Sunday. On network television (CBS) as well as through a multitude of free digital platforms.
Yes, spring football. We know, from the USFL to the World League to the XFL, the idea has not worked. Here’s why the Alliance has a strong chance of succeeding: the folks involved.
The Alliance is the creation of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian Sam Gagner Jersey , one of the most respected and accomplished executives in NFL history, and Charlie Ebersol, a longtime TV and film producer. Ebersol’s father, Dick, defined NBC Sports’ programming for more than two decades and created ”Sunday Night Football.” Dick Ebersol, who also pioneered NBC’s Olympic broadcasts, will serve on the board of directors.
Former players such as Justin Tuck, Hines Ward and Jared Allen will have significant roles in a league the younger Ebersol calls a ”true partnership.”
”That’s the best way a league can perform and will be ultimately the key to success, having an interwoven product,” he says.
”Whenever you have an endeavor that involves the kind of teamwork football involves,” Polian adds, ”it implies a partnership, the need to get their buy-in and do things, particularly in a startup Mikko Rantanen Jersey , that represent their best interest … to make sure players know we have their best interests at heart. That is the guiding philosophy.”
Co-founder Polian, who built the Bills, Colts and Panthers into Super Bowl teams, will oversee the football side, helped by former player and front office executive J.K. McKay, who has been involved in other startups.
The league will have eight teams – cities and stadia to be announced, though look for complementary sites, not NFL venues, and warmer climates given the February-late April schedule. Rosters will be culled from NFL cuts to the 53-man maximum after preseason, which Polian calls ”the core of our constituency”; collegians who have gone undrafted, including underclassmen who have lost any remaining eligibility; players looking to return to the sport; and free agents from the CFL or elsewhere.
As a single entity, the Alliance will own all contracts and players will be dispersed in a variety of manners. If someone played in the NFL or in college for a Florida team or school, he’d likely wind up on a Florida-based franchise, for example. There also will be a mechanism after those allocations for a team interested in a certain player to get his rights. And then coaches of specific teams will have access to a group of players outside the allocations.
A draft of players in late fall after the college season concludes – ”Players who probably are coming off injury or some other situation where they want to perhaps play in our league in order to enhance their draft status Authentic Jaccob Slavin Jersey ,” Polian explains – also is planned.
With an eye on player safety, the Alliance also will eliminate kickoffs. There is a unique plan for onside kicks, with the team wanting to try one instead taking possession at its 35 yard-line on a fourth-and-10 to try one play to keep the ball.
”This eliminates two plays that if you were reinventing the game are plays you would probably leave out,” Polian says.
The three-point stance for linemen, judged by many a dangerous technique, also could be banned.
The preponderance of video reviews by officials won’t be an issue in the Alliance, Polian says. Each coach will be allowed two challenges and that’s it for replay.
And here’s one everybody but a placekicker will love: all extra points are 2-point conversion plays from the 2-yard line.
Ebersol has spent three years putting together the Alliance. He and Polian, backed by the numbers showing America’s passion for the sport, see a huge void the league can fill.
”Football is so dominant for six months of the year,” Ebersol says. ”It even hides a number we focused on: millions of fans who stop watching the top five sports in America when football is off the air. Millions of football fans who don’t want to watch other sports.
”And there are 59 million who play fantasy sports, 29 million of them stopped when football ended.
”So what to do to really empower our fans? Fans are investors. They invest time and emotion and money … and what they get in return is the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. We wanted to empower the fans so they will be rewarded for being fans of their team, so fans have a real stake in the league.”
How will they do so?
Ebersol mysteriously says to ”stay tuned.”
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