The next Seahawks season is upon us. Training camp is underway and the team plays its first exhibition game Aug. 8, against the Denver Broncos at home. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about how the season is shaping up.
Thiel said the team did two big things in the offseason that will help them this year: extending the contracts of quarterback Russell Wilson and, just this week, linebacker Bobby Wagner.
"Those were very important signings because they do secure the Seahawks' future," he said.
He pinpointed two other big moves: signing former New York Jets kicker Jason Myers, and managing to get 11 draft picks after starting with only four.
"Included in the draft picks were three wide receivers who are going to help bridge the gap given the retirement of Doug Baldwin," Thiel said.
DEFENSE NEEDS HELP
The team has had some setbacks on defense, particularly with its defensive line. This year's top draft pick, defensive end L.J. Collier, suffered an ankle sprain in training camp this week.
"It's a blow because the defensive line was the team's biggest vulnerability before this happened," Thiel said. "They were counting on him to help replace Frank Clark, the defensive end who was their best pass rusher last year."
Also impacting the defensive line: the NFL recently suspended defensive tackle Jarran Reed for six games for a domestic violence incident in Bellevue in 2017. The prosecutor cited insufficient evidence in declining to pursue charges against Reed.
Theil said these two incidents combined will impact the Seahawks in a key position.
'A DIFFERENT YEAR'
Thiel says this is going to be a different year for the Seahawks.
"Fans know Pete Carroll very well," he said. "The head coach has always been defense first, second, and third.
"They've had great success with the formula. But this year it looks like Wilson and the offense are going to have to carry the day because they have a lot more weapons on offense than they do on defense."