I look up and down the Seahawk roster and I think, "my gawd, they are freakin stacked everywhere."
A lot of these players are highly-regarded and for good reason. They are very talented and their play on the field has backed up that assumption. Thanks to the media's new found respect for the Seahawks, several of their players have recently garnered much deserved awards and recognition. These players include Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Russell Okung, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Kam Chancellor etc.
As you can see, quite a few really.
But there are a few under-the-radar type players that I think are highly under-appreciated or taken for granted by both the media and even by Seahawk fans. These are guys who are often over-shadowed by their bigger named peers but they always seem to play terrifically on game day and make key plays that largely go unnoticed.
In no particular order, here are my nominees for Most Under-Appreciated Seahawk of the Year:
Jeremy Lane -- A fantastic special-teamer and a great back-up corner. His ability in covering punts is really impressive. He is often double-covered by opposing teams but he always seems to end up near the ball despite this. He's a guy that I hope the Seahawks keep for a long time due to his contributions on both sides.
Brandon Mebane -- This guy is one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL. I believe he is highly regarded by insiders in most NFL circles, however he had zero sacks this season and this usually contributes to his dismissal as a potential story. But I believe he has truly become the anchor on that D-line instead of Red Bryant. The guy just racks up tackles and seems to be at the bottom of a lot of piles near the line of scrimmage.
Clinton McDonald -- People wondered where the interior rush would come from after losing Jason Jones to the Detroit Lions. There were a few ideas of using the NASCAR package with Bruce Irvin, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and Chris Clemons all being on the D-line at once. However, thanks to a suddenly rejuvenated/motivated McDonald, the Seahawks had a guy who could bull-rush the QB and not give up 40 lbs while doing so. His 35 tackles and 5.5 sacks are pretty dang good for a guy who only started one game and traded time with Tony McDaniel and others.
Jon Ryan -- Great punter with incredible hang time on his punts. He is a big reason why the Seahawks allowed so little punt returns. Its weird to think how he was one of the "originals" that remained alive and standing after the roster genocide committed by Carroll and Schneider's regime. He really is the epitome of consistency.
Zach Miller -- An outstanding run and pass blocker because he has to be. Literally, he might have the most irritating job in the NFL. In an age of great receiving tide-ends, Miller has been asked to sit back and chip block at times because the Seahawk O-line can be so untrustworthy. Despite having an ideal QB and RB for the play-action passes, Miller is forced to block or not be in the game at all. However, through it all, Miller has shown to be humble and a fantastic team player. He might not be the athlete he once was and he probably might get cut sooner rather than later, but for a guy who rarely talks on a team that talks all the time, I can't think of a better player more deserving of a superbowl.