With Seahawks training camp kicking off later this month, Seahawks.com is taking a look at some of the team’s most intriguing storylines, position battles and players heading into the 2019 season. Today looks at how the offense hopes to improve as it heads into its second season under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach Mike Solari. Tomorrow we’ll continue with a look at a defensive line that underwent a significant amount of change in the offseason, particularly at end.
Remember the first two weeks of the 2018 season when the Seahawks struggled on offense and lost back to back road games? No, you’d rather forget that those ever happened? Fair enough, but in the context of looking ahead to 2019, those two games in Denver and Chicago serve as a good example of what the Seahawks expect to avoid this season.
And Seattle’s offense doesn’t think it will start the season better just because the team is led by head coach Pete Carroll and quarterbacked by Russell Wilson, two of the most positive-minded people you’ll ever encounter; no, there’s a good reason to believe in the Seahawks’ 2019 offense beyond the usual optimism that comes with a new season.
For starters, there’s Wilson, one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, which is an awfully good place to start in a sport where quarterback play is of paramount importance. There’s also the running game that led the NFL in rushing last season with 160.0 yards per game, and an offensive line that returns four of five starters, having added former Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati to fill the one vacant spot.
But what could make the biggest difference for the offense this year is simply the passage of time and all that happened in that time. When the Seahawks opened camp last year, players had only spent a few months’ worth of offseason workouts getting used to operating under a new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, and a new line coach, Mike Solari.
While the end result was very encouraging—the Seahawks finished the season with the third highest-scoring team in franchise history, they averaged 30.0 points per game over the final eight weeks of the year, and they were tied for the most explosive plays in the NFL over that span—some early hiccups were probably somewhat inevitable.
“It has been so nice to sit in meetings with Russ and watch cutups from last year,” Schottenheimer said last month during OTAs. “Last year we were just trying to put plays on paper and things like that this time of year. Now we’re so much further ahead, and it’s cool to see how quickly guys are picking things up.”