There are two types of young: "Young" and "Still young."
I'm 31 now, so I'd say that I'm still young. Though there are times when I definitely feel old, and am reminded of the things I'll never get back (cherish summer, kids) I do realize that I'm still young. And if a 31-year-old does start to feel like they're not young anymore, just ask any person that's over 50 whether or not 31 is still young.
It's pretty young. What's young, still young, and old?
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson: Young.
29-year-old defensive tackle Tony McDaniel: Still young.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: Young at heart.
Rapper Young Jeezy: Still young (actually 36-years-old)
Psychiatrist Carl Jung: Dead.
Seattle Seahawks 2013 Super Bowl-winning offense: Youngest.
Football Outsiders came out with their snap-weighted ages for every NFL team last Tuesday, and the best team in the NFL was also younger than every other team other than two: The St Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns. At a snap-weighted age (the more you play, the more your age counts, so backups like Tarvaris Jackson don't really matter) of 25.8, the Seattle offense was younger than any other offense in the league. Compare that to the oldest offense in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints, who had an average snap-weighted age of 28.4.
Quarterback age seems to be one of the heaviest influences in snap-weighted age, but does it really matter? I don't think it does, if we're talking about just looking one season ahead or behind, but the long-term prospects are obviously monumental. The Seahawks know that they're likely on the edge of a good 10-12 years of high-level competition if Wilson continues to play this way; and pretty much all evidence points to the idea that he will.
Another one of the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL is the 34-year-old Carson Palmer of the Cardinals, who also happened to field the oldest team in the league last year. Arizona had an overall snap-weighted age of 27.8, with the third-oldest offense, second-oldest defense, and second-oldest special teams. For a team that has enjoyed almost no success in the entirety of their existence, it would be somewhat sad to consider that they could miss their opportunity for greatness simply because they were good at the wrong time, if only I didn't really care if the Cards never won the division again.
(You want to root for them now, but you'll regret that if they actually do start beating Seattle on a regular basis. "Lovable losers" are only lovable when they're losing.)
Another team that is old that you should also root against: The San Francisco 49ers had the second-oldest roster int he NFL last season. The 49ers had the fifth-oldest offense, eighth-oldest defense, and fourth-oldest special teams. Despite having a 26-year-old quarterback, San Francisco also knows they need to plan for a not-so-distant future without some of their star players. Players currently over 30 include: Anquan Boldin, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Ahmad Brooks, and Justin Smith. Left tackle Joe Staley turns 30 in August.
What do these ages mean for the 2014 season though? Probably not much. Talent always matters over everything else, and for now, the 49ers, Seahawks, Rams, and Cardinals have all stockpiled plenty of talent. They just happen to be in vastly different demographics. While San Francisco and Arizona are tuned into CBS family-friend programming on Friday nights, Seattle and St. Louis (the youngest team in the NFL last year) are checking in with what Dora is Explora'ing.
Age certainly didn't matter for a defense that ranked as the fifth-youngest last year (25.9) but made their case for the best in history on their way to a 43-8 Super Bowl win. The Seahawks know that at certain positions they can only get older over the next four years since they locked up Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor, but that does not mean they won't be rotating older players out and younger players in as the seasons go on, just as they recently did by letting go of Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Chris Maragos, and Brandon Browner.
The defense should only be getting younger, and possibly, better.
So are the Seahawks simply "great" or just "still great"?
Bonus: Nicknames for Seattle's 2014 rookie class
Justin "Power Couple" Britt
Ummm, his two names are Justin and Britt. Justin... and... Brit. J.T. and Britney.
Cassius "Li'l Benny" Marsh
Kevin "He would never drop a pass," Norwood "I"
Kevin "Three First Names" Pierre-Louis
Jimmy "James" Staten
Garrett (As Doc Brown would say) "Great" Scott
(You'll always be a Seahawk, big fella)
Eric Pinkins "and the Brain"
"Yo" Kiero "Taco" Small