There isn't a picture of Pete Carroll that I don't like on some level.
There's nothing like writing about the Seahawks to remind you of how long the NFL offseason really is. This has been pretty boring ever since the draft, huh? Well don't fret too much because the NFL preseason must be like four weeks away and I don't think I've ever been so excited about pre-season.
We've been trying to cover as much as possible over the past couple of months and you've held out this long... thank you! But we need something around here to spark up some conversation, no matter what it is. I don't have much to say about the Seahawks today but I would like to talk about the NFL in general.
Here is one random thought per NFL team. Please feel free to discuss, comment, throw your own thoughts around and join the party. But if you're going to bring cake, make sure you bring enough for everybody and if you were responsible for bringing the soda, please don't forget diet soda. Some of us don't drink the ones with all the natural sugar. I know, it's blasphemous, but I just prefer the taste of Diet Coke.
Let's toss some thoughts around:
Ravens - Right now I have Ray Rice listed as the number one player for fantasy football. I'm not going to start a fantasy football topic, but it is interesting to think about Rice. Will he be the most productive player in the NFL this season? Last year he had 2,068 total yards (and one passing yard) and scored 15 touchdowns. It's easy to forget that players from Rutgers didn't used to make the NFL, let alone lead them in yards from scrimmage.
Steelers - Scenario: You are in a bar and you see Ben Roethlisberger. Your first thought is "douche" and you're like "screw that guy!" and then he bumps into you and spills some of your beer. You're like "Wow, this guy IS a douche" but then he's like, "Oh man, I'm so sorry. I'm like, so so so so sorry. Let me buy you and your buddies a round of beers. No really, let me cover your tab for the rest of the night. My apologies man. Shots?" Would your opinion of him change or would you tell him how you really feel?
Bengals - Cincy was 9-7 last year and made the playoffs with a rookie QB and then had a really good looking draft. But are they going to get better or fall back to earth like a lot of people may expect? Did you realize that the Bengals went 3-5 after a 6-2 start? Then they lost 31-10 to T.J Yates in the playoffs.
Browns - They might have had one of the three worst offenses in the NFL last season, but added Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden in the first round and Josh Gordon in the supplemental second. Are the Browns actually going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season or in the near future?
Giants - Pretty sure that New York has the lowest probability of winning the Super Bowl this season. But just a reminder: Jason Pierre-Paul was 22 last season and he had 16.5 sacks. Those high, athletic, combine, "project picks" never seem to work out quite this well and in his second season in the NFL, he might have been the league's best defensive end.
Eagles - I've predicted that Andy Reid will be the first coach fired. Philly has a really tough schedule to open the year, they've got a lot of divas, too many egos, injury concerns. But that same makeup that is their fault is the same thing that makes them the best team in the NFC when they're firing on all cylinders.
Redskins - Few players I'm more looking forward to watching than Robert Griffin III. I can't honestly think of a single minute of my life where I thought that the Redskins were a fun team to watch, but one player changes all of that. I know that few people here would have traded 3 first round picks to move up to get him, but imagine that we did... Would you not be 10x more excited for the upcoming season?
Broncos - Most NFL legends have ended their careers somewhere other than where they became legends. But I'm not sure that any of those quarterbacks has ever won a Super Bowl on their last team. What if Peyton Manning just isn't that good anymore?
Chargers - Hiring Norv Turner as your head coach just feels like you've given up on finding a head coach, but San Diego seems to be enthralled with this man. The Redskins kept him as head coach for seven years. I could never trust a guy named "Norv." Sounds like you just gave up on naming your kid halfway through the name.
Raiders - Oakland lost 4 of their last 5 games last year and if they had just won one of them, they would have made the playoffs. This was also after they had acquired Carson Palmer to take over for Jason Campbell.
Chiefs - Meanwhile, Kansas City lost their first two games by a score of 89-10, were 4-7 at one point, and also could have won the division if they had just beaten the Raiders in week 16, a game they lost in overtime. Haha, AFC West is now the worst division!
Saints - New Orleans was still a beast last season and one of the best teams to watch play. They had won their last eight games of the season, finished 2nd in the NFL in scoring, dominated the Lions in the playoffs 45-28 and just barely lost to the 49ers in the Divisional round. Six months later... wow, what a difference six months can make! I see the Saints as being a disaster this year, but maybe that's just keeping them under the radar and they win the Super Bowl. They certainly have the talent if/when Drew Brees signs.
Falcons - The Falcons are like that ex-girlfriend that you never think about but when you do think about her, you're like, "Yeah, she was actually pretty good. Wonder what she's up to."
Panthers - Carolina is the ex-girlfriend with bipolar disease. The Panthers seem to be up or down every year but I think this will be an up for them. There won't be a sophomore slump for Cam Newton. This is the most perfectly-athletic quarterback in the NFL. (Note: Not the most athletic. The most perfectly-suited athlete to play quarterback in the NFL.)
Buccaneers - Tampa started 4-2 and scored 20+ in four of their first six games. They didn't win another game for the whole season and scored 20+ just two more times. But I expect a very good season from Josh Freeman as Vincent Jackson was one of the best pickups of the off-season for any team.
Patriots - Since 1994, New England has made the playoffs 13 times and missed the playoffs five times. That includes three seasons of Pete Carroll, where he made the playoffs twice. (I heard Pete talk about being fired when I went to hear him speak about Win Forever and he's obviously humorous about it now. Being fired from the Patriots was the best thing that has ever happened to him.) Carroll took the Pats to the playoffs twice in three years, which is better than the guy he followed, Bill Parcells. Now Belicheck has gone to the playoffs in all but three of his seasons and the Patriots are a regular in the Super Bowl, it feels like. This is going to end though, don't forget the Colts. Tom Brady is 35 and when he's gone, this team will probably turn into what Indy turned into.
Jets - If you were a girl (or are a girl), would you rather go out with Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez? I feel like I don't want Tebow to be preachy, but at least I know he'll treat me right. How many days are left in the off-season, again?
Bills - One of my things to really look out for this year is the Bills defense. I've been saying it over and over again, and it's not like I'm the only one, but don't be surprised if Buffalo goes to the playoffs with a top 10 defense. They're likely the second best team in the division.
Packers - Aaron Rodgers led the NFL among qualified players in QB rating with a 122.5, in yards per attempt with 9.2, and had 45 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. However, he was only second on his own team in QB rating... (Matt Flynn, 124.8!)
Lions - The offense was pretty sick last year and yet what did they do with their first two picks in the draft? Offensive tackle Riley Reiff and wide receiver Ryan Broyles. The Lions know exactly what they want to do and they're modeling themselves after the high-scoring teams like New England, Green Bay, and New Orleans. And those are the teams that threaten for the Super Bowl every year. Watch out for the Detroit Dynasty what?
Bears - Since 1987, Chicago has never finished higher than 8th in the NFL in total offense and they've only finished in the top 20 once in this century. How do teams remain the same for so long? Probably has something to do with their inability for so long to find a real quarterback, but Jay Cutler is better than you think.
Vikings - Okay, if you were on a Sex Boat and there's a bomb on the boat and if the Sex Boat goes below 35 knots it blows up, who would you do?
Texans - Houston is my "AFC team" that I root for every year. Having a hard time seeing why they won't go 12-4 in that division if Matt Schaub stays healthy. The loss of Mario Williams hurts, but they didn't have him for much of last season and they were fine until Schaub went down. This is a team built to do some damage.
Titans - How scared of Jake Locker are the Titans? This was the guy drafted to be the quarterback of the future and in his second year, he can't beat out zombie Matt Hasselbeck? I'm not sure that he's the next Steve Young, but Locker is a "keep you in the game" type of quarterback and I'll be interested to see how he does when he's got the job long-term but will he ever? Tennessee seemed to go hard after Peyton Manning.
Jaguars - When I see my SBN Jacksonville buddy Alfie Crow tweet and retweet, sometimes I think that the Jags are like the Seahawks of the kitty corner with fans in other cities forgetting they exist. Maurice Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing last year and he was the ONLY player on offense. Literally, the ONLY one! He hiked it to himself and handed it off to himself and still gained 1,606 yards. But nobody notices North Cuba.
Colts - Indianapolis will likely "Suck for Luck" for the second year in a row.
49ers - Everybody is saying that the 49ers will fall back to earth and be a 9 or 10 win team without all of those lucky bounces and turnover differential. And I agree that it's likely the turnover ratio won't be anything like what it was last year, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. It's far from impossible. I bet you didn't think that the Mariners could actually get worse at hitting, either.
Cardinals - I've seen a lot of quarterbacks go from being backups on one team to being handed a starting job on another and failing hard in their first year. But there have also been a lot of improvements in year two. Kevin Kolb is not yet a bust for Arizona, he was basically starting over last year. He is not yet a bust but he has to win the job first and then play well, which isn't a foregone conclusion, but we can't celebrate about the Cardinals acquisition of him just yet.
Rams - This is now the third year for Sam Bradford and the Rams still haven't given him a whole lot of help. They didn't replace Jason Smith at tackle, they didn't go out and get Vincent Jackson or re-sign Brandon Lloyd, they didn't go get a tight end that I've ever heard of. Alex Smith failed in San Francisco for so long because he just wasn't very good and he's still limited, but remember how hard people were on for Bradford as a rookie? This isn't a bust, this is a guy that's been put on an island and wasn't even given a volleyball to talk to. Thank God, since we are Seahawks fans.
Seahawks - How comfortable are you with Seattle's wide receiver group, really? Here's a best case scenario for 16 games: Sidney Rice is healthy. Golden Tate develops as we thought he would. Doug Baldwin continues to improve. That's a solid, solid 1-2-3 and the backups could be Mike Williams, Kris Durham, Ben Obomanu, Ricardo Lockette, or whatever. That's solid depth.
However, here's another scenario that's at least as likely:
Rice plays in five games, Tate does not develop. I don't have any concerns about Baldwin, but he's only one guy and he's not the 1 or 2. If BMW is your number one and Obo is your number two, holy crap. That's bad. Yeah, I'm very concerned about that! There was no way that Seattle could have grabbed Josh Gordon though without giving up a first round pick. Now that would be a disaster.