The Seahawks have been talked about more than usual this offseason due to their free agency pickups, mainly Matt Flynn, and because of their draft, which has been a center of debate among a wide variety of football fans.
But not everyone on the team is getting their share of the spotlight. Many players who will make big impacts on the field this year are going unnoticed by the media and the general public.
Here are a few of the players that are poised to make a statement this year, but aren’t getting talked about now:
Russell Okung, OT
This choice basically could’ve been any of last year’s offensive linemen that ended up on the injury reserve. But Russell Okung really stood out to me because he has one of the most important jobs for this team: protecting our new quarterback’s blindside.
Russell Okung started the first 12 games in the regular season for the Seattle Seahawks at left tackle, and was a staple in a line that had sustained significant losses due to injury.
Okung suffered a season-ending injury late in Seattle’s 31-14 victory over Philadelphia, though, suffering a torn right pectoral muscle. He was put on Injury Reserve after the game.
But Okung comes back to the line and will have to make an immediate impact to make sure that whatever quarterback Pete Carroll chooses to start isn’t out before he can make an impact.
Okung has not been in any headlines, even the local Seattle ones. His injury may have played a role, but he is dramatically under the radar for a first-round player at one of the highest paying positions in the sport.
Look for Okung to make a big splash this year, and make his name known as a key figure in the backbone of the young, new-look Seahawks.
Richard Sherman, CB
For a secondary that produced three Pro Bowlers last season, they are dramatically neglected when it comes to news stories. But of the secondary, Sherman is the least talked about due to the fact that he was the only defensive back not to make the trip to Hawaii.
From his first year at Stanford, Sherman showed his versatility on the football field. He played two years as a a receiver before changing to cornerback due to lack of depth at the position. But after the switch, he translated his catching abilities, accumulating five interceptions after the switch.
Though he only started and played decent minutes in around 10 games this year, Sherman proved he could produce at a solid level. He caused turnovers in half of his games and rarely gave up any big plays.
Sherman has been widely pushed aside when Seahawks conversations ensue, but he is ready to break out. His four interceptions were just a prelude of things to come, and by the end of the season, Sherman will be a household name.
Golden Tate, WR
The final player that will earn more recognition this year is Fighting Irish alum Golden Tate. He hasn’t really had many chances to make a statement, but with his speed, this could be the year he makes his presence known.
A former consensus All-American in college, Tate was largely ineffective last season due to shaky quarterback play and the emergence of Doug Baldwin as a go-to receiver.
He had his moments with three touchdowns and nearly 400 yards receiving, but he never became the star that some expected when he passed on his senior year at Notre Dame to be picked at No. 60 overall.
If Tate can earn solid playing time in the preseason and OTAs, this could be the season that he establishes himself as a key receiver in the “rebuilt” Seattle Seahawks that Pete Carroll has been building up to.