Welcome to another installment of Enemy on the Ship, a series of articles where I am graciously given the time and effort of a writer or blogger for the teams the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face in 2013, and they share their thoughts on the team they cover, and how they’ll do against the Bucs in 2013.
For our look at the Seattle Seahawks, I am joined by Keith Myers of 12th Man Rising. You can check out the website here, and you can find him on Twitter here. Here is what he had to say about the Seahawks.
Leo Howell – The Seahawks were a surprise team last year, as they dominated at home and made a run into the playoffs despite being in the same division as the heavily favored 49ers. But have they improved heading into 2013? What changes have been made to improve upon last years performance?
Keith Myers – It’s difficult to say that the team will be genuinely improved. The team was dominant at the end of the year, and dominant teams in the NFL don’t tend to get better. The Seahawks were also surprising lucky in terms of injuries in 2012, and it’s hard to believe that luck will continue as well.
The 2013 team is deeper though, perhaps greatly so. A couple of key injuries could have crippled the Seahawks in 2012 and the team was lucky that didn’t happen. This year’s team wont have that weakness. As long as Russell Wilson stays healthy, the Seahawks will be a very strong team this season.
LH – How do you see Russell Wilson performing in his second season? What are the chances of him taking a step forward, and is there a chance he’ll backslide and disappoint?
Keith Myers – A couple of weeks ago I looked into the “Sophomore Slump” phenomenon, and it turned out to be myth. Only 1 (Matt Ryan) of the 15 QBs in the last 15 years who played at least 10 games in their first 2 seasons took a step backward in their 2nd year. The rest improved, and most of them improved significantly.
So I expect Wilson to be outstanding. Then again, I’m a Seahawks fan, so why would I expect otherwise?
LH – What kind of impact will Percy Harvin have on the offense? Can he be a Pro Bowl player, or will he see a decrease in volume as compared to his time in Minnesota?
KM – That’s the big question right now. Pete Carroll say that this team will remain the run-first team it was last season, and they we shouldn’t expect the team to pass the ball more often.
I’m not sure I buy that. Why pay the price the Seahawks paid, both in draft picks and in salary, to not use Harvin? It doesn’t make sense. We’ll have to wait and see, but I expect Harvin to put up some decent stats this year.
LH – Brag about the defense for a bit. Just how good can they be in 2013? Is there a concern that the departure of Gus Bradley will cause problems moving forward?
KM – Other Seahawks fans do enough bragging about 2012 defense, I’m less inclined to do so. Sure they were #1 in points allowed, but they were also on the field for less possessions than any other team. They also had the best defensive starting field position of any team in the league. Don’t get me wrong, the defense was very good, but I believe that it might be overstated.
Gus Bradley will be missed, but perhaps more so had the team not managed to get Dan Quinn from Florida to replace him. Quinn was the defensive line coach here for a couple years, and ran the same scheme as DC for Gators.
This defense can be very good. The problem in 2012 was the pass rush, but the team signed Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to help with that. The key though will be getting Chris Clemons back from his knee injury and Bruce Irvin back from his suspension. The first couple games might be tough, but once back at full strength there’s as much talent on this defense as on any team in the league.
LH – Finally, how do you think the Buccaneers will do on their trip to Seattle. Will the Seahawks dominate, or do you think the Buccaneers can find a weakness in the Hawks?
KM – It isn’t a smart bet to pick against the Seahawks when they’re playing at home. Even in the years when the team was bad, it was tough to for other teams to win in that Stadium.
The Bucs will be a tough team this year I think. I’m of the opinion that they might be the league’s most underrated team right now. Had this game been in Florida I’d say they’d have a good chance of pulling off the upset It’s not though, it’s in Seattle, so I just don’t see any way that the Seahawks don’t win.