2012 NFL Preview: Seattle Seahawks

Five notes on the Seattle Seahawks from our recently published 2012 preview page:

1. Conventional wisdom is irrelevant: Coach Pete Carroll disdains it. Taking a three-way quarterback competition through minicamps and training camp provided a high-profile example. There are many others. The Seahawks' starting cornerbacks are 6-foot-4 and 6-3. They committed a $35 million contract to a 330-pound defensive end (Red Bryant). They committed a first-round draft choice to another defensive end weighing only 245 pounds (Bruce Irvin). They took a college defensive tackle, rookie J.R. Sweezy, and ran him at guard with their first-team offensive line during the preseason. And it worked. So, when Carroll tells you something that doesn't sound quite right -- such as starting a 5-foot-10 rookie at quarterback -- take him seriously.

2. Gus Bradley is a name to remember: The Seahawks' defensive coordinator warrants a look as a potential head coach down the line. He has shown an ability, with Carroll and staff, to adapt and maximize personnel. How good must Bradley be? He was already the Seahawks' defensive coordinator under former coach Jim Mora. Carroll thought enough of him to keep Bradley in the role. That's pretty unusual during a staff changeover. Mora actually had another candidate in mind to be his coordinator back in 2009, only to have Bradley blow him away during interviews. Monte Kiffin is the common link. Kiffin recommended Bradley to Mora. Kiffin and Carroll worked together years ago and were close.

3. The OL tends to change: Seattle's starting lineups under Carroll have featured four players at left tackle, seven at left guard, three at center, six at right guard and four at right tackle over two seasons. That's a lot of shuffling. There could be more to come. Left guard John Moffitt had elbow surgery recently. Former right tackle James Carpenter will become a candidate at left guard once he returns from knee surgery, perhaps during the season. Keeping left tackle Russell Okung healthy is key.

4. Under 30 please: Defensive end Chris Clemons is the Seahawks' only projected starter age 30 or older. He turns 31 in October, and is coming off consecutive 11-sack seasons. Starters Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Okung and possibly Doug Baldwin (if he starts) are not even 25 years old. And rookie starting quarterback Russell Wilson is only 23. Carroll, as a longtime college coach, isn't afraid to go young.

5. QB search works both ways: Not only did Seattle need to find its own starting quarterback this offseason, but the team needed to make sure it could find opposing quarterbacks as well. The Seahawks had only 33 sacks last season. Linebacker Leroy Hill ranked second on the team with only four. Seattle's already-strong secondary would improve with help from the pass rush.

Earlier: Seahawks Camp Confidential.

Parting shot from Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.: "Their defense is better than ever. Adding a piece like Jason Jones goes under the radar, but it's a huge addition. There are only five or 10 really good interior pass-rushers. They didn't use him right in Tennessee. Seattle has enough defensive linemen with Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane that they can use Jones perfectly, on third down as a pass-rusher, particularly with Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons screaming of the edges. I really like their third-down defense more now. And they are much better at quarterback -- much better than they were last year and much better than Arizona. The Cardinals would kill for Matt Flynn, but he can't even start in Seattle. The two keys to Seattle that people don't talk about enough are Russell Okung and Sidney Rice needing to stay healthy. If they do, they are good enough on offense considering the division they are in. I like both those guys a lot when they are right."