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RENTON, Wash. — By the time Tom Brady and the New England Patriots completed their epic Super Bowl comeback in February, Russell Wilson’s offseason training program was well underway.

The Seattle Seahawks’ playoff run had ended three weeks earlier at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round. But like everyone else in the football world, Wilson watched from afar as Brady piled up 466 yards en route to his fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Wilson saw how Brady appeared to be moving better at age 39 than he did at 25. He took notice of how Brady maneuvered in the pocket. He took notice of how Brady’s arm looked as strong as ever. He listened this offseason when Brady said he’d like to play at least into his mid-40s before he even considers retirement.

“Uh, yeah, I pay attention,” Wilson told ESPN.com. “I’ll say that. I pay attention. Something that I’ve observed and seen. He’s a great example of longevity. He’s a great example of being able to be mobile — a different mobility, but you know what I mean. Being able to seem like he’s just getting better. That’s what I always want to be. That’s my focus.”

The highlight of the Seahawks’ 2016 season was a Week 10 victory over Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Seattle was the only team to beat New England in the 15 games (postseason included) that Brady started. Wilson threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns on that November night. But overall, his 2016 season was marred by three different injuries.

Wilson still has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career, but last season poked at his invincibility. He rushed for a career-low 259 yards, and the Seahawks had to shrink their playbook because Wilson was mostly a nonfactor with his legs. A year after finishing with the most efficient offense in the NFL, Seattle fell all the way down to No. 17.

Before last season even ended, Wilson decided that he needed to make some changes to reduce the possibility of a repeat performance.

“I want to play 25 years,” he repeated three times during the course of a 15-minute conversation, ignoring the fact that no QB has ever played that long.

Wilson sought out a full-time trainer who could help him around the clock, and he quickly decided on 25-year-old Decker Davis, whom he had known previously. When Wilson vacationed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and traveled to China on a Nike trip this summer, Davis was there by his side like another member of the family.

Wilson spends most of his offseason in Los Angeles, so Davis found a place to stay that was five minutes away. When Wilson moved to Seattle for the start of the offseason program, Davis did the same.

“He travels with me everywhere I go,” Wilson said. “We go everywhere together. He’s super detailed. We can go in any situation, any scenario, any location and find something to do. We’re constantly doing that.”

Davis offered his assessment.

“This is my sole focus — all with him and also with Ciara [Wilson’s wife]. She had her baby, so we’ll be doing some circuit type of training. So I’m full time for them, for the family.”

In February, when Davis officially began his new role, the mornings with Wilson began with a swim or a boxing workout at Freddie Roach’s gym, Wild Card, in Hollywood.

“It wasn’t the first time I boxed, but it was the first time I got to go work out with Freddie Roach,” Wilson said. “One thing I really wanted to work on was my feet. And Freddie and I worked on my feet a bunch. Just working on my balance and quickness and just continuing to build my game.

“The idea of being able to do anything and everything at any moment; and so you have to be prepared for that. Also, great boxers have great defense too, meaning being able to move and get away and all that. So that was something that was really important to me too. And it’s a great conditioning workout — one of the hardest workouts you could ever do.”
Wilson spent part of his offseason participating in boxing workouts at Freddie Roach’s gym, Wild Card, in Hollywood, California. Courtesy Daniel Mogg/West2East
On Mondays and Thursdays, Wilson would work on his upper body, but he stayed away from straight-arm exercises (such as the bench press) to reduce the risk of injury. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he would work his lower body. Wednesday was a light day.

Davis previously worked under Wilson’s former trainer, Ryan Flaherty. The concept of his offseason workouts is to combine heavier lifts with plyometrics (such as a box jump). To have a long career, Wilson realizes flexibility needs to be just as much of a focus as strength training.

In addition to hiring Davis, Wilson completely revamped his diet. And Wilson added another full-timer to his personal staff: physical therapist Janet Jin. During minicamps in June, Jin would be at the team’s practice facility working on Wilson throughout the day, in between his team obligations.

She would warm him up before the Seahawks’ first practice. When Wilson broke for lunch, he would have another session with Jin. And one more later in the day at home.

“The way I describe it is muscles firing on all cylinders,” Jin said. “I don’t want him going into practice where his muscles are only firing on only four cylinders when it should be eight. So I work on mobility, stability and activation, making sure that he’s ready to go for practice.”

Wilson said he has noticed a difference specifically with how his throwing arm and shoulder feel after working with Jin. And Pete Carroll noted during the spring that Wilson’s arm looks stronger than ever.

But how does the head coach feel about Wilson having his own personal team in addition to what the team provides?

“To be organized with help like that — a number of our guys have people they go back to work with because we can’t get near them for the six weeks, and there’s the time frame between the end of the season and middle of April,” Carroll said. “These guys have to go somewhere so they develop great relationships, hopefully. Russell’s got a really good group behind him, and we’ve met together with his folks just to make sure everyone’s on the same page, and it’s worked out fine.”

Jin said her work with Wilson at the practice facility was cleared by the Seahawks.

“They know that I’m doing this. I don’t want to interfere with what’s going on with the team and the other members of the Seahawks,” Jin said. “So I stay out of the way. We go to a separate room to make sure that there isn’t a distraction. The Seahawks know about it, and I communicate with them and they’re fine with it. But ultimately, what they understand is the reason that we’re doing this is because it’s not only benefiting Russell, it benefits the whole team. He wants to help this team win a Super Bowl.”

When Wilson got injured last year, he flew in a physical therapist and underwent treatments in the middle of the night at his home. This year, he’ll have Jin. She moved to Seattle from Los Angeles, and she will be on call 24/7 during the season to help the quarterback.

On the field, Wilson reconnected with his former offensive coordinator from NC State, Dana Bible. They would watch film at USC in between workouts, going through Wilson’s tape from his first five years in the league, in addition to watching other quarterbacks.

The key for Wilson will be getting back to the player he was the second half of the 2015 campaign. During an eight-game stretch then, he completed 67.5 percent of his passes, averaged 8.62 yards per attempt and threw 25 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Wilson was lethal from the pocket. But one of the reasons for his success was that his protection held up.

Last season, Wilson was pressured on 36.5 percent of his dropbacks, the highest mark in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The team signed Luke Joeckel in free agency and drafted Ethan Pocic in the second round. The coaches are optimistic that young players such as George Fant, Germain Ifedi and Mark Glowinski will improve. But the offensive line remains the biggest question mark on the team.

From a weapons standpoint, this might be the best group to play with Wilson. His targets will include Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett and C.J. Prosise. Jermaine Kearse will look to bounce back from a down 2016 campaign, and Paul Richardson will try to build on the momentum he created at the end of last season.

Wilson and his teammates worked together at USC during the spring. There is a sense around the team that this could be the Seahawks’ last chance at a Super Bowl while their current core group is still together. There’s a feeling that the past three years have been filled with too many missed opportunities.
Wilson hired trainer Decker Davis to work with him full time, starting in February. Courtesy Daniel Mogg/West2East
But it’s fair to wonder why this was the year Wilson made so many changes. He has been in the league since 2012 and always has had a plan for offseason training. Going into his sixth season, why did he feel he had to change things up and hire a full-time trainer and a full-time physical therapist? Why now did he decide to completely change the way he eats and bring in his college coach for help?

The answer goes back to last season’s injuries.

“He gained some weight because he wasn’t able to run,” Davis said. “He wasn’t able to have that cardio and run as much as he did the previous years. And still, he didn’t miss a game after suffering those injuries. Just seeing him gain that weight and slow down, that’s not Russ. I think once he felt that weight, once he felt himself slowing down, that was it for him. He was like, ‘I’m hiring a full-time trainer. I don’t want to get like this. I don’t want to feel like this ever again.’

“I can’t say that’s not going to happen, because you never know what’s going to happen in an NFL game. But my goal is to never have him feel that way ever again. So his injuries were a big part of it.”
On Sunday, the Seahawks will open training camp with legitimate Super Bowl expectations. They’ve made it to at least the divisional round in all five of Wilson’s NFL seasons, but they are hungry for a second Lombardi trophy.

The Seahawks are banking on an improved offensive line and a more efficient run game. With safety Earl Thomas returning, it should go a long way in fixing the issues on defense.

But the reality is that a healthy Wilson is the biggest key to Seattle going on a run.

“I want to play 25 years and be in every game,” Wilson said. “So, to me, how do you get there? That’s the simple question I ask myself.

“I feel great. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I feel like I’m 18 all over again. So that’s something that I’ve been really invested in is having a great team of people that can help me be successful on the field and ultimately help the Seahawks win.”

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he Seattle Seahawks could have as many as four new starters when the NFL season opens. Here’s a starting lineup projection:

Offense

Quarterback (Russell Wilson): The Seahawks struggled to protect him last year, and Wilson battled through three different injuries. He deserves credit for his toughness, but he wasn’t the same guy, rushing for a career-low 259 yards. The focus for Wilson will be on staying healthy and regaining his form from the second half of 2015, when he dissected defenses from the pocket and threw 25 touchdowns against two interceptions during an eight-game stretch.

Running back (Eddie Lacy): The Seahawks aggressively pursued him in free agency, and given that Lacy signed a one-year deal, he has a lot riding on this season. Assuming he keeps his weight down, Lacy is the favorite to start over Thomas Rawls, who will still have a role. At a minimum, C.J. Prosise will be the third-down back and a big factor in the passing game.

Wide receiver (Doug Baldwin): He set career highs with 94 catches and 1,128 yards a year ago. Only Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown have more touchdowns than Baldwin (21) over the past two seasons.

Wide receiver (Jermaine Kearse): Last year was a struggle. Kearse caught just 51.3 percent of his targets, had one touchdown and was called for a league-high six offensive pass interference penalties. He’ll need to bounce back to hold on to the starting job. Paul Richardson, who played well down the stretch last season, could make some noise here.

Wide receiver (Tyler Lockett): He suffered fractures to his tibia and fibula (right leg) in December but should be ready for the start of the season. If healthy, Lockett has the skill set to be the Seahawks’ top vertical threat.

Tight end (Jimmy Graham): He finished third among tight ends with 923 receiving yards last season and led all players at his position with a yards-per-catch average of 14.2. But the Seahawks need to do a better job of finding Graham in the red zone, where he had just six receptions last season.

Left tackle (George Fant): He was put in a tough spot last year, starting 10 games after having barely played any football since the eighth grade. Fant bulked up to 320 pounds (from 296) in the offseason and is the favorite to protect Wilson’s blind side.

Left guard (Luke Joeckel): He’ll compete at either left guard or left tackle. Joeckel played four games at guard with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season and is coming off of a knee injury. Like Lacy, he’s on a one-year deal.

Center (Justin Britt): He was easily the Seahawks’ best offensive lineman last year. Entering the final year of his contract, Britt will look to earn an extension.

Right guard (Mark Glowinski): He’ll make the switch from left guard and will look to improve on an inconsistent 2016 campaign.

Right tackle (Germain Ifedi): The 2016 first-round pick will switch from guard to tackle and has to make the second-year leap. Rookie Ethan Pocic could push both Ifedi and Glowinski for playing time.

Defense

Defensive end (Michael Bennett): He missed five games last season but has been consistently one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the NFL. Bennett plays DE in the Seahawks’ base defense and slides inside to tackle when Seattle is in nickel.

Defensive tackle (Ahtyba Rubin): He doesn’t get a lot of attention, but Rubin’s play on the interior has been key to the Seahawks’ strong run defense.

Defensive tackle (Jarran Reed): He started five games at nose tackle as a rookie and will look to develop into a consistent contributor in his second season.

Defensive end (Cliff Avril): He has 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons and has started every game since 2014. Avril, Bennett and Frank Clark give the Seahawks one of the NFL’s best pass-rushing units.

Weakside linebacker (K.J. Wright): He made his first Pro Bowl last season. Teammates and coaches consistently point to Wright as one of the Seahawks’ smartest and most underrated defensive players.

Middle linebacker (Bobby Wagner): He led the NFL with 167 tackles last season and plays a key role in getting the Seahawks lined up properly pre-snap.

Strongside linebacker (Michael Wilhoite): This is a part-time position in the Seahawks’ defense that is replaced by a cornerback when the team moves to nickel. Wilhoite and Terence Garvin will compete for the job.

Cornerback (Richard Sherman): After a tumultuous offseason that saw the Seahawks shop Sherman around the league, he’s still with the team. Sherman will undoubtedly be in the spotlight this season, but he is still one of the NFL’s top corners.

Cornerback (Jeremy Lane): Most likely, he’ll start on the outside and slide inside when Seattle is in nickel. But Lane will have to hold off rookie Shaquill Griffin and others for the starting right cornerback job.

Strong safety (Kam Chancellor): He’s entering the final year of his contract and it’ll be interesting to see if Chancellor receives an extension before the start of the season. Chancellor is the leader of the defense and played at a high level in 2016.
Free safety (Earl Thomas): He broke his leg on Dec. 4 and the defense fell apart without him, allowing 12 touchdown passes with one interception. He’s ahead of schedule in his recovery and will be ready to go for the start of the season, barring any setbacks.

Special teams

Kicker (Blair Walsh): The Seahawks let Steven Hauschka walk in free agency and are counting on Walsh to replace him. He’ll have to prove this summer that he’s up for the challenge.

Punter (Jon Ryan): He’s back for his 10th season with the Seahawks and is in the second year of the four-year deal he signed last offseason.

Long-snapper (Nolan Frese): He’ll have to hold off Tyler Ott for the job.

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Here are three numbers that matter pertaining to the Seattle Seahawks’ 2017 season.
Russell Wilson faced pressure on 35 percent of his dropbacks in 2016, according to Football Outsiders. Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports
1: Where Russell Wilson has ranked statistically (defense-adjusted value over average) from 2012 to 2016 on plays in which he’s not pressured, according to Football Outsiders. The website recently broke down quarterbacks’ performances on plays when they were pressured compared with plays when they weren’t. Wilson’s numbers suffered a drop-off when pressured, but he was still second leaguewide in that category.

The Seahawks’ goal for Wilson is to get him back to his 2015 form, when the quarterback threw 25 touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half of the season. He did his damage during that stretch primarily from the pocket. But to get back to that, protection has to hold up.

Per Football Outsiders, Wilson was pressured on 34.9 percent of his dropbacks last year. Only Tyrod Taylor and Jared Goff were pressured more frequently.

73.1: Wilson’s QBR last year when he played behind an offensive line of George Fant, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi and Garry Gilliam. That would have ranked fifth in the NFL. With that group, Wilson completed 66.1 percent of his passes, averaged 8.65 yards per attempt and threw 12 touchdowns with two interceptions on 251 dropbacks.

Why do those numbers matter? Because four of those five offensive linemen could be starting in Week 1. Glowinski is moving from left guard to right guard, and Ifedi is moving from right guard to right tackle. Gilliam signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

But Wilson played behind that five-man unit mostly later in the season, and while the offense still had issues, the numbers suggest they weren’t dire. With that five-man unit up front, the Seahawks averaged 6.04 yards per play, which would have been fourth in the NFL.

Luke Joeckel is expected to start at left guard or left tackle. Second-round pick Ethan Pocic could compete for playing time at right guard or right tackle. And while it’s not a huge sample size (388 plays), the numbers reflect why the coaches likely think a healthy Wilson can be enough to provide a significant upgrade to the offense in 2017.
27: The number of “defeats” credited to Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright last year. That was tops on the team and tied for eighth-most leaguewide. Football Outsiders defines a “defeat” as: “a tackle that results in a loss of yardage, including sacks; any play that results in a turnover, including tipped passes which are then intercepted; any tackle or tipped pass that leads to a stop on third or fourth down.”

Seahawks players consistently point to Wright when asked about the team’s most underrated defenders. He hasn’t missed a game in three years and rarely comes off the field. Only Bobby Wagner and Richard Sherman played more snaps than Wright among Seahawks defenders last year.

One more note on defeats: Kam Chancellor was tied for fourth among safeties with 16, and he missed four games. Chancellor is entering the final year of his deal, and the Seahawks will have to make a decision about whether to extend him, but the veteran played at a high level in 2016.

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It’s time for another Seattle Seahawks mailbag. Let’s get right to the questions.

@SheilKapadia What’s Kearse’s salary cap impact if released, and is he in danger of losing his spot based on drafted/signed WRs

— On tha flipside (@homechix) May 2, 2017
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was the subject of a bunch of questions this week. He’d likely admit that 2016 didn’t go the way he wanted. Kearse was coming off a career season and struggled, catching just 41 of 80 targets (51.3 percent) for 510 yards and a touchdown.

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He also led the NFL with six offensive pass interference penalties. Football Outsiders ranked Kearse 91st out of 93 wide receivers in terms of efficiency.

At wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are locks to make the roster. Amara Darboh, a third-round pick, likely will as well. That probably leaves one or two spots for Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, Cyril Grayson, Kenny Lawler and David Moore.

But given the way Kearse’s contract is structured, cutting him wouldn’t give the Seahawks much cap relief. They’d save only $366,666 by releasing him.

They could bump that number up to $2.2 million by using a post-June 1 designation on Kearse. But that would defer $1.8M of his remaining cap charge to next offseason.

Bottom line: neither option is ideal.

But there’s also the issue of pure cash charge. Kearse is due $2.2 million in base salary for 2017. If the Seahawks simply determine that the other wide receivers are better options than Kearse and replace his roster spot with a rookie, they could save roughly $1.735 million in cash.

So where does that leave us?

My sense has always been that the coaches and people inside the Seahawks’ building value Kearse more than people on the outside — especially when it comes to culture and being a good teammate. Having said that, Pete Carroll did replace him with Lockett in the starting lineup late last season before Lockett injured his leg.

If some of the lesser known receivers outplay Kearse in camp, there is a slim possibility that the team will look to save the cash and let him go. But that seems unlikely, especially considering that Lockett is coming off an injury and Richardson is entering the final year of his deal.

More likely, the team could look to part ways with Kearse next offseason. Doing so then would free up $5 million in cap space.

It’s possible that Kearse sees a diminished role if the players behind him emerge. But more than likely, he’ll stick on the roster for 2017.

@SheilKapadia Who will be starting on the online next year week one?

— Josh Dowdy (@JoshuaDowdy) May 2, 2017
The way I see it, this comes down to Luke Joeckel and the left tackle spot. If that’s where Joeckel sticks, from left to right I think it will be Joeckel, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi.

If the Seahawks decide Joeckel is a better fit at left guard, I think we’re looking at George Fant, Joeckel, Britt, Glowinski and Ifedi.

Looking at the roster overall, eight offensive line spots seem set: Joeckel, Glowinski, Britt, Ifedi, Pocic, Fant, Rees Odhiambo and Oday Aboushi. Odhiambo and Pocic are the wild cards. If they perform especially well at camp, the starting lineup could see a shakeup.

@SheilKapadia Can you give a sense of the DL depth and possible rotations now that we have a bunch of new ones? I think there were a couple UDFA ones too.

— Ryan Mongelluzzo (@rymong) May 2, 2017
I think the starters in base will be Cliff Avril, Jarran Reed, Ahtyba Rubin and Michael Bennett.

The sub packages will be interesting. The most common one will likely be Avril, Bennett, Malik McDowell and Frank Clark.

Nazair Jones should fit in as a rotational defensive tackle. The team still has high hopes for last year’s fifth-round pick, Quinton Jefferson. Dion Jordan will get a look at multiple spots on the defensive line. And Cassius Marsh could still be a factor on game days, given his contribution on special teams.

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RENTON, Wash. — Tyrone Swoopes has no interest in trying to mask the difficulty involved with his transition from college quarterback to NFL tight end.

Asked if he’s ever played tight end before at any level, Swoopes said, “Never in my life.”

What about special teams?

“Never played special teams either,” he said. “All of this that I’m doing is new. This is my first time doing it. But I’m willing to learn and do anything I can to get on the field.”

Swoopes (6-foot-4, 247 pounds) was a four-star quarterback recruit at Texas. He completed 56.3 percent of his passes and threw 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions during his four seasons with the Longhorns.

His career as a college quarterback never quite got on track, but Swoopes found a role in Texas’ “18-wheeler” package, carrying the ball successfully in short-yardage situations. Swoopes ran for 24 touchdowns at Texas, including 19 in the past two seasons. In 2015, he totaled 451 rushing yards and averaged 6.1 YPC.

Now he’s trying to make the Seahawks’ roster as a tight end. Swoopes ran 4.65 at Texas’ pro day, and Seattle added him as one of its eight undrafted free agents.

“He caught a couple of great balls today,” coach Pete Carroll said after the first day of the Seahawks’ rookie camp. “He looked real natural. He’s obviously a great athlete. He caught a terrific pass in the walk-through today, then had a couple of really nice catches out here that show he’s got athletic ability to have a chance.

“We’ll just see how it goes and see how far he can take it. He has been playing a lot of quarterback, so we’re not quite sure how he’s going to block anybody, but he’s willing. He’s a big body and a very talented athlete. That jumped out today.”

The Seahawks have six tight ends on their 90-man roster, and three are locks to make the team: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson and Nick Vannett. But Seattle has kept four tight ends in the past, and if the coaches like Swoopes’ upside, he could have a chance. Graham and Willson are free agents after 2017. The practice squad could also be an option for Swoopes.
“When I signed, my agent, we talked about it and came to the decision it’d be best to use my athleticism on special teams and be able to make plays and block,” Swoopes said. “So we just came to the decision that this was my best chance to get an opportunity at the next level.”

Swoopes said he started watching film of Willson and Graham and how they operate in the Seahawks’ offense. Blocking is entirely new to him.

He needs to show he can catch, but Swoopes said his background as a quarterback should help him as a route runner.

“Just reading coverages,” he said. “Most people don’t get that that’s a huge part of playing quarterback and running routes. Just recognizing zone or man and things like that. So I think that helps a lot.”

At one point last year, the Seahawks had 24 undrafted free agents on their roster. They have a history of giving guys with unique athletic traits opportunities. Swoopes is a long shot, but this summer he will try to become their latest success story.

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The Seattle Seahawks might be without their promising young running back, but they’re not panicking.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Thursday that running back C.J. Prosise is a game-time decision against the Falcons. Prosise, who hasn’t played since Week 11 after suffering a shoulder injury, was a full participant in practice on Thursday.

Thomas Rawls could again dominate the workload, but their depth behind him is extremely thin.

Fifth-round rookie Alex Collins would be Seattle’s backup in case Prosise can’t play.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking:

1. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) was a full participant in practice after being limited on Wednesday. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith (knee) and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (back) were limited.

2. Packers wideout Jordy Nelson (ribs) and running back James Starks (concussion) didn’t practice. Guard T.J. Lang (foot) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (concussion) were limited.

3. Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (knee) was a full participant in practice.

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There was a legitimate reason why the Seattle Seahawks felt good about themselves at this time last offseason.

They were coming off a divisional-round loss to the Carolina Panthers, but quarterback Russell Wilson had reached a level the team hadn’t previously seen. During an eight-game stretch from Week 10 to Week 17, Wilson completed 67.5 percent of his passes, averaged 8.62 yards per attempt and threw for 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions.

The coaching staff felt like he’d made a significant leap in his fourth season. And the Seahawks were counting on Wilson to carry that performance over into 2016. But three separate injuries — a high ankle sprain, a sprained MCL and a strained pectoral — never allowed him to even get started.

Wilson’s numbers were fine — 64.7 completion percentage, 7.7 YPA, 21 TDs, 11 INTs — but the Seahawks had to pare down their playbook because of his limited mobility. The run game never got going, and the offensive line struggled throughout.
Russell Wilson will be looking to improve a Seahawks offense that ranked 17th in the NFL in efficiency last season. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
With OTAs finally underway, the focus for Wilson will be on regaining that 2015 form. Coach Pete Carroll said as much when asked about expectations for Wilson during a 710 ESPN Seattle interview on the “Brock and Salk” show a few weeks ago.

“I think what you saw the second half of the year before, I think he has the ability to be the best quarterback out there, doing his thing,” Carroll said. “And he showed it. Unfortunately, in Game 1 [of 2016], he gets knocked. He has put together an extraordinary offseason. He took the physical challenge that we throw out there to have the best offseason of your life. He is having that. He is working in all areas of his game. It’s really important to him. He’s maxed that out. He’s right on it.”

Wilson has a lot going for him entering the 2017 season. He’s only 28, and his array of weapons might be the best he’s had in his career, led by Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett and C.J. Prosise. Of course, if the Seahawks can’t protect him, that won’t matter.

But at the very least, just having the quarterback healthy should help a Seattle offense that ranked 17th in efficiency last season.

“He looks great throwing the football,” Carroll said. “He looks great moving around. It just feels so much different than it did for so long of that season. Never during that season last year did we see him in practice where he could move. Never. So he mustered it up for game time. The last five or six games, [he] could move. But it isn’t like it is now. So we’ve got to take care of him, look after him, and have tremendous expectations for Russell’s performance next year.”

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RENTON, Wash. — Around Seattle, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Tom Cable to express optimism and calm panic about the Seahawks’ offensive line this time of year.

That continued Friday as Cable addressed the team’s offseason moves up front.

“I’d like to get to camp, but I’m the most excited coach on the staff right now,” Cable said. “That’s what I’ve told coach [Pete Carroll] and John [Schneider, Seahawks general manager]. I appreciate them putting this together in a year’s time and doing a fantastic job. Our personnel guys nailed this, so it’s just a matter of getting them in the right spots and going and playing ball.”

The Seahawks made three main moves on the offensive line this offseason. They signed Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi in free agency and drafted Ethan Pocic in the second round.

Exactly how all the parts will fit is unclear. Justin Britt will start at center, but beyond that, spots are up for grabs.

The coaches’ optimism about left tackle George Fant is sincere. Fant struggled as an inexperienced rookie (he hadn’t played football regularly since the eighth grade) but added bulk this offseason and has been working with Hall of Famer Walter Jones. It’s early, but Fant appears to be in the driver’s seat to start at left tackle once again.

Cable said earlier this offseason that Joeckel played as well as any left guard in the NFL last season, even though he started only four games at that spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars before suffering a knee injury. Joeckel is on a “pitch count” as he continues to get his knee healthy. He’s getting a look at guard and tackle but is probably more likely to start on the interior at this point.

Mark Glowinski started at left guard last season but is back to playing on the right side where he is more comfortable. Last year’s first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, has moved from right guard to right tackle. And then there are the wild cards: Pocic, Aboushi and 2016 third-round pick Rees Odhiambo.

“Everybody is learning two spots, really,” Cable said.

There will be plenty of different combinations between now and Week 1 of the regular season, but Cable said he expects the Seahawks to be ahead of where they were last year once training camp begins.

“Those were young kids with no experience, and in George’s case, zero experience,” Cable said. “And now they’ve been through it a year. So you can expect us to be much further along in our preparation as we get ready for camp, for sure.”

 

 

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Fantasy enthusiasts from east to west are waiting to find out which running back — Thomas Rawls or Christine Michael — plays the workhorse role for Seattle on Sunday against the Dolphins. Before that Week 1 encounter unfolds, however, the Seahawks have issues to address up front.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that first-round guard Germain Ifedi suffered a high-ankle sprain in Wednesday’s practice, per a source informed of the situation. The injury is expected to knock the rookie out a “few weeks,” Rapoport was told.
The loss forces Seattle to tinker with an already untested line. One potential answer is backup J’Marcus Webb, who primarily plays tackle but has experience at guard. Webb sent out an Instagram post on Thursday that suggested he could see action against Miami.

Third-rounder Rees Odhiambo is another option — and it’s possible both could see snaps against the ‘Fins as coach Pete Carroll determines the best combination going forward.

Quarterback Russell Wilson is no stranger to playing behind undermanned, injury-riddled lines. Somehow the Seahawks have always made it work.

Until we see it on film, we refuse to panic about lineup changes in Seattle. Losing Ifedi is a headache, but Michael and Rawls are primed to do damage as one of the most promising combination of runners in the NFC. The duo will be tested right away, though, against a loaded Miami line.

Cheap Jermaine Kearse Womens Jersey For Sale

It’s time for another Seattle Seahawks mailbag. Let’s get right to the questions.

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On tha flipside @homechix
@SheilKapadia What’s Kearse’s salary cap impact if released, and is he in danger of losing his spot based on drafted/signed WRs
2:58 AM – 3 May 2017
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Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was the subject of a bunch of questions this week. He’d likely admit that 2016 didn’t go the way he wanted. Kearse was coming off a career season and struggled, catching just 41 of 80 targets (51.3 percent) for 510 yards and a touchdown.

He also led the NFL with six offensive pass interference penalties. Football Outsiders ranked Kearse 91st out of 93 wide receivers in terms of efficiency.

At wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are locks to make the roster. Amara Darboh, a third-round pick, likely will as well. That probably leaves one or two spots for Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, Cyril Grayson, Kenny Lawler and David Moore.

But given the way Kearse’s contract is structured, cutting him wouldn’t give the Seahawks much cap relief. They’d save only $366,666 by releasing him.

They could bump that number up to $2.2 million by using a post-June 1 designation on Kearse. But that would defer $1.8M of his remaining cap charge to next offseason.

Bottom line: neither option is ideal.

But there’s also the issue of pure cash charge. Kearse is due $2.2 million in base salary for 2017. If the Seahawks simply determine that the other wide receivers are better options than Kearse and replace his roster spot with a rookie, they could save roughly $1.735 million in cash.

So where does that leave us?

My sense has always been that the coaches and people inside the Seahawks’ building value Kearse more than people on the outside — especially when it comes to culture and being a good teammate. Having said that, Pete Carroll did replace him with Lockett in the starting lineup late last season before Lockett injured his leg.

If some of the lesser known receivers outplay Kearse in camp, there is a slim possibility that the team will look to save the cash and let him go. But that seems unlikely, especially considering that Lockett is coming off an injury and Richardson is entering the final year of his deal.

More likely, the team could look to part ways with Kearse next offseason. Doing so then would free up $5 million in cap space.

It’s possible that Kearse sees a diminished role if the players behind him emerge. But more than likely, he’ll stick on the roster for 2017.

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Josh Dowdy @JoshuaDowdy
@SheilKapadia Who will be starting on the online next year week one?
12:46 AM – 3 May 2017
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The way I see it, this comes down to Luke Joeckel and the left tackle spot. If that’s where Joeckel sticks, from left to right I think it will be Joeckel, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi.

If the Seahawks decide Joeckel is a better fit at left guard, I think we’re looking at George Fant, Joeckel, Britt, Glowinski and Ifedi.

Looking at the roster overall, eight offensive line spots seem set: Joeckel, Glowinski, Britt, Ifedi, Pocic, Fant, Rees Odhiambo and Oday Aboushi. Odhiambo and Pocic are the wild cards. If they perform especially well at camp, the starting lineup could see a shakeup.

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Ryan Mongelluzzo @rymong
@SheilKapadia Can you give a sense of the DL depth and possible rotations now that we have a bunch of new ones? I think there were a couple UDFA ones too.
12:44 AM – 3 May 2017
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I think the starters in base will be Cliff Avril, Jarran Reed, Ahtyba Rubin and Michael Bennett.

The sub packages will be interesting. The most common one will likely be Avril, Bennett, Malik McDowell and Frank Clark.

Nazair Jones should fit in as a rotational defensive tackle. The team still has high hopes for last year’s fifth-round pick, Quinton Jefferson. Dion Jordan will get a look at multiple spots on the defensive line. And Cassius Marsh could still be a factor on game days, given his contribution on special teams.