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Are 2010 Seattle Seahawks Contenders or Pretenders?

In 2005 the Seattle Seahawks lost the Super Bowl. Just four years and a different head coach later they ranked amongst the worst teams in the NFL.

Hard to believe a franchise’s fortunes can change so much in just three short years, but such is the life in the NFL.

Seeking to change the direction of their franchise, the Seahawks revamped their coaching staff by hiring Pete Carroll. Though Carroll’s stint as a head coach in New England was less than impressive, his success at USC drew praise (even if it ended in controversy). Heading into the 2010 many projected the Seahawks to be as poor as they were in 2009; however, they are currently locked in a tie for the division lead with a respectable 3-2 record.

Can this team win the NFC West?

Much of the troubles surrounding the Seahawks over the past several years revolve around the health, or lack thereof, of their quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck hasn’t played a full season since 2007 and, despite playing 14 games last season, wasn’t terribly effective and the roster was aging.

Suddenly the Seahawks were not only old but lacking in talent. That is a horrible combination for any NFL franchise.

By hiring Carroll, owner Paul Allen hoped to rejuvenate excitement in the franchise. For all the criticisms you can levy upon Pete Carroll, lack of enthusiasm isn’t one of them. Carroll immediately went to work trying to retool the roster, remaining active in trades and free agency, even to this date.

He upgraded the offensive line through drafting Russell Okung, and addressed his secondary by drafting Earl Thomas. He traded for Leon Washington and Marshawn Lynch to bolster his backfield. These are just a few of the many moves Carroll made in effort to jumpstart a dead franchise.

But is it enough? The 2010 Seahawks will not be misconstrued for a Super Bowl contender. Defensively they are middle of the pack and offensively they are still seeking an identity. However, playing in the weakest division in football gives them every opportunity to make a playoff appearance in Carroll’s first season.

With 11 games remaining, anything can happen, but it’s not outrageous to project that the Seahawks finish atop their weak division, particularly with none of the other teams playing any sort of defense. Whether or not Carroll can take the franchise


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