If you thought Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, and the New York Jets had a lot of drama surrounding their teams coming into the 2012 NFL season, you should take a look at the storms brewing in Seattle.
Only a season removed from stumbling into the playoffs and knocking out the Saints in the first round, high expectations are being placed on a young Seattle team.
Head coach Pete Carroll already has a few challenges put before him very early in the 2012 season. However, their head-scratching first round draft pick, Bruce Irvin, is not even close to being one of the three major questions surrounding this team.
The Quarterback Controversy
No team in football may have a tighter or more agonizing quarterback situation than Seattle. It's not frustrating due to the fact that all three quarterbacks that include, Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson, and Tarvaris Jackson are bad players, but who is going to be the opening day starter?
For right now Flynn and rookie third-round pick from Wisconsin, Wilson, are the odds-on favorite based on how camp is going. All three quarterbacks have taken snaps with the first-team, but in the first preseason game against the Titans, Flynn started and played the first half, while Wilson played the entire second half, leaving Jackson on the bench.
Carroll has stated in press conferences that the reasoning behind this, is that they know what they have in Jackson and they want a better look at the two new gunslingers in camp, Flynn was a free-agent pick-up who backed up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.
Both quarterbacks played fairly well. Flynn finished 11/13 for 71 yards and one interception. While Wilson finished 12/16 for 124 yards and one touchdown and interception. He scored a 32-yard rushing touchdown on a bootleg that fooled the entire Titans' defense.
For their next match-up against Denver the same situation will occur with Flynn taking snaps the first half, Wilson the second, Jackson on the bench.
The situation seems to be causing Seahawk fans to be drawing lines in the sand. Everyone is taking a side, and each side tends to make a little sense.
In Jackson's case, he earned quite a bit of respect last season from the players, he played a majority of the season with a rib injury. However, he wasn't able to finish games last season, and contributed to Seattle's atrocious third-down conversion percentage. They finished 30th in the NFL converting 77/228 for 33.8 percent, only the Colts and the Jaguars were worse.
For Jackson, the addition of Flynn and Wilson is frustrating, he was brought in last season and given three-year contract, with the assumption that he was going to be the man. Something that never seemed possible while he was in Minnesota.
For some spectators, people want to see what Jackson can do in his second full year as a starter, and are a little hesitant to hand the reins over to either new guy.
Their hesitancy is reasonable due to the fact that Wilson is a rookie and Flynn has only two career starts in the NFL.
Flynn, who is entering his fifth NFL season, got on scouts' radars when he had to emergency-start for Aaron Rodgers in a regular season game in the 2010 season against the Patriots. He threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns but the Packers ultimately lost 31-27.
Last season in the final game against the Lions he launched six touchdown passes and eclipsed a Packer franchise record with 480 yards. But he still is only 1-1 as a regular season starter.
Wilson had a decorated college career. Four years at N.C. State and then a final year at Wisconsin that saw him become a team captain right away and eventually he led the Badgers to a Rose Bowl appearence.
Wilson has looked very good in camp and showed excellent pocket awareness, agility, and a cannon for an arm against the Titans, (his 30-yard touchdown toss to Braylon Edwards looked effortless, and yeah, he was in the pocket).
So, who is it going to be? They guy they signed last year to be the future, the guy they signed to a 3-year, $19.5 million dollar deal, or the kid they drafted in the third round.
It's a three-way battle that has many fans split, and a front office that is going to be have to figure out what to do with the lowest man on the totem pole. The biggest question is, whoever that man may be, will that have an effect on their psyche?
Marshawn Fought the Law and the Law Won
By now most everyone should be familiar with the fact that Marshawn Lynch has, for the third time in his career, had a run-in with the law. This time he was pulled over due to weaving in and out of traffic lanes. When he was pulled over, he was arrested and brought in and than charged with a D.U.I.
For Lynch this is going to be a third-strike offense for commissioner Roger Goodell. With the way that Goodell runs the league. A suspension will more than likely be in order. There is nothing official as of right now, but the rumor is, he is going to miss some games.
This is pretty close to last season anyways for the Seahawks, as Lynch didn't even rush for over 100 yards until Week 7, and arguably only had maybe two decent games prior to that against the Giants and Cardinals.
The big question for Seahawks is, what do they do without Lynch? Leon Washington and Kregg Lumpkin didn't look ultra impressive in the preseason match-up, each rushing for a little over 20-yards a piece. Neither were extremely effective last season either.
One option Seattle may consider is to sign free-agent running back Ryan Grant. Grant suffered a serious ankle injury that cost his his 2010 season with the Packers. When he came back last season, he was not as effective as he was when he rushed for back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons.
However, Grant may have been the product of a system that didn't run the football much last season, and also possibly cast aside in favor of James Starks, who had a productive 2011 playoff run.
Grant would at least provide Seattle with a decent pass-catcher and tough runner in between the tackles. He also was an excellent pass blocker in regards to picking up blitzes.
Seattle will have to decide something about their running game as they will need to be able to have balance to alleviate pressure off of whoever is at the helm.
The Over/Under on T.O Lasting the Whole Season
So far all is quiet on the Pacific Nortwestern front. As in other words, we haven't heard a peep out of Terrell Owens yet. However, I suppose his counterpart Chad Johnson is soaking up most of the spotlight now.
If anything the Johnson situation showed us is that no one is guaranteed a job. The 38-year old Owens will be fighting for a spot on the Seahawks roster. Owens may not be the same physical specimen that he was when he was with the 49ers or the Eagles, but he is still in decent enough shape to be able to play the game at 38.
The question is not whether Owens will make an impact for the Seahawks, in all likelyhood, if he remains healthy, he may become the No. 3 wideout on the depth chart. The biggest question is, will he last the whole season and not let anything else distract him from football.
This is not going to be easy. Last season he signed a deal with Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League to become part-owner and team member. He did so, to prove to scouts that he could still play football and that he was completely focused on playing the game. Also, he needed money.
He caught 35 passes for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns, however, refused to play in two road games, and the incident that attributed to his release from the team and ownership, was his inability to arrive at a children's hospital event.
For a man trying to get back in the good graces of football execs, missing charity events and not playing road games probably did not help his chances. However, Seattle was willing to look past this.
They signed Owens to a one-year, $925,000 contract, which hopefully will take care of delinquent electric and child support payments.
For Owens, this is a last chance to repair his “good” name. When people think of Terrell Owens, we think of the spectacle and showboating, the horrible reality television show, the crying in the press conference. We don't think of him being second in all-time receiving yards (15,934), or fourth in all-time touchdowns (156).
But can Owens put the drama behind him and just play football?