Each day between now and post-Super Bowl Monday, we’ll roll out a get-to-the-point offseason plan for one NFL team. Today, the Seahawks; tomorrow, the Steelers. After that, we’ll see. Here’s our three-point plan for Seattle:
1. Figure out the running back situation
Despite being listed as questionable to play all week, running back Marshawn Lynch declared himself in for Sunday’s NFC divisional round game. He ran six times for 20 yards in what could be his final game with Seattle. The Seahawks allowed Lynch to rehab when, where and with whom he wanted after he had midseason surgery. Lynch has missed large chunks of time over the last few years and considered retiring last offseason. He will turn 30 in April and has two years left on his deal. Whatever the team and Lynch decide to do, the Seahawks have comfort in knowing they found a big-time talent in undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls, who will have to come back from a fractured ankle suffered in December.
2. Don’t lose gains made on the offensive line
Improved offensive line performance played a big part in the Seahawks’ second-half resurgence. After shipping Pro Bowl center Max Unger and a first-round pick to New Orleans for tight end Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks had trouble running the ball and protecting quarterback Russell Wilson. Eventually, though, offensive line coach Tom Cable’s diligence and patience paid off. With former first-round pick Russell Okung set to test free agency, Seattle must come up with a plan to protect Wilson’s blind side.
When Graham recovers from this injury, Seattle must find a way to get him more involved.
3. Maximize Jimmy Graham’s potential
Graham’s first year in Seattle ended with a thud as he landed on injured reserve with a torn patellar tendon suffered in Week 11. It was a disappointing season for Graham, who finished with 605 receiving yards and a career-low two touchdowns in 11 games played. Seattle traded for the three-time Pro Bowler in the prime of his career in an effort to add another dimension to its offense, but that never panned out. Even if the Seahawks stick with a run-heavy scheme, Graham needs to be way more involved in the red zone.