Seahawks need more blue chip players
Which Seahawks could turn into blue chip and red chip players this year?
The best NFL teams are defined by their best players, rather than how “complete” they are or a lack of weaknesses. This may say more about perceptions and narratives than reality—if you think that the best teams are “complete teams”, I totally agree with you—but that’s not how we talk about them or will remember them.
The Chiefs are known for having Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Chris Jones, plus Tyreek Hill before he was traded.
The Bengals are known for having Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. The Eagles are known for Jalen Hurts, Darius Slay, Haason Reddick, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Fletcher Cox. The Bills for Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Tre’Davious White and the 49ers for Nick Bosa, Trent Williams, Fred Warner, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Christian McCaffrey.
I don’t think that All-Pro players are chosen because they were on the best teams that year. I think the best teams have All-Pro players and that’s why they are winning and contending for the Super Bowl each year.
When we look back at the 2005 Seahawks and we see that the NFL’s best offense had two Hall of Fame offensive linemen, an MVP running back, a Pro Bowl quarterback, and an All-Pro fullback, it’s not coincidence. It’s not that they are highly-acclaimed players because Mike Holmgren knew exactly what to do with them to make them successful. It’s that Holmgren was able to be so successful because he had players who could execute difficult assignments at a “blue chip” level.
The 2022 Seahawks did not have many players who could argue that they were playing at a blue chip level last season and that’s why Seattle was out-matched in all three losses to the 49ers.
But the 2023 Seahawks? Like the changes we saw on the roster from 2011 to 2012 and 2012 to 2013, the Seattle Seahawks may have more blue chip and red chip talents on the team this season. Enough to contend with San Francisco, Philadelphia, and most opponents on a difficult 2023 schedule.
Today’s bonus article will address who all of those players are and put them in four different categories: Blue Chip Now, Blue Chip Next, Red Chip Now, Red Chip Next. How many such players do the Seahawks have in each tier? Join the Regular Joes club to find out, less than $5 per month gets you at least 100 bonus articles from now until the start of the 2024 season if you sign up for a year.
Blue Chip Now
P Michael Dickson, K Jason Myers
The most underrated head coaching candidate in the NFL is Seahawks special teams coordinator Larry Izzo. Perhaps the number one thing that holds back Izzo is not that he’s a special teamer, but that his reputation precedes him, both the good and the bad. I’ll start with the bad.
Izzo could be the reigning king of weird football stories. Though DK Metcalf once successfully made it to the locker room to go to the bathroom during a game, Izzo didn’t and reportedly went on the sidelines according to teammate Wes Welker. Bill Belichick gave Izzo a game ball for it. He also managed to be the only football player to be called as a potential witness to the BALCO steroid case involving Barry Bonds, allegedly to testify that he also received performance-enhancing drugs from that trainer.
Now I can dump the good on you.
Izzo is a football player’s football player. He was a star two-way player as a running back/safety in Texas, he was a team captain at Rice and set records for tackles for a loss, he was famously called by head coach Jimmy Johnson to be one of only two locks to make the Dolphins 1996 roster despite being an undrafted free agent rookie. (The other lock was Dan Marino.) He made three Pro Bowls as a special teamer, won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, and he has now orchestrated the best special teams unit in Seattle Seahawks history.
Since parting with Brian Schneider in 2020, Jason Myers has turned into one of the NFL’s top-three kickers (89% field goals, including 11-of-13 beyond 50), Michael Dickson has posted his two best net punting averages (two yards better than his All-Pro rookie season in 2018), and Nick Bellore has made a Pro Bowl.
Maybe hiring Izzo would be asking for disaster akin to the 49ers’ experiment with Mike Singletary, but everybody deserves a second chance. I can’t say what would happen if a team hired Izzo to be their head coach, I can only say what has happened since Pete Carroll put his faith in Izzo to be Seattle’s special teams coordinator: They’ve been almost as good as the Baltimore Ravens, the only current team that has a former special teams coordinator as a head coach.
I know this is an article about players, not coaches, but it felt necessary to talk about Izzo due to the fact that of the Seahawks best players on the entire roster, two are on special teams.
Do the Seahawks have any other blue chip talents on the roster or is it only players who could become blue chip players?