Hawk’s fans, as you sit down to break bread with family, friends and a few people you probably can’t stand, take the time to ponder the upcoming season. It is likely that, on this particular day, you will be preoccupied with six cases of Natural Ice, a huge arsenal of noisemakers, aerial glitter bombs and your Aunt Francis whose sole purpose in life is to get you out of your job at the 711 and into an astronaut suit for NASA. However, there are a few things I’d like you to take to the table after dishing up a double portion of your neighbor’s signature pistachio-flavored Jell-O mold.
INCREASED QB PRESSURE IN 2012 IS A MUST
Hoping to improve on an already solid unit from 2011, the Hawks have shown dedication to getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The team recently received praise from Scouts Inc. writer Gary Horton who named the Seahawks one of the four most improved defenses while stating, “This defense plays with a swagger, and is the most physical group that I have seen on film”. Without a doubt, the addition of Bruce Irvin and Jason Jones should allow for more complex upfront schemes by Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley. Specifically, I am excited to see Bruce Irvin’s role within the Seahawks defense. Will he play opposite Chris Clemons later on in the season or set himself as an outside pass rush specialist on obvious passing downs? Alternatively, Jason Jones adds depth to the Seahawks interior pass rush. Brian McIntyre of NFL.com noted that Jones could produce in Seattle if he brings that “guard killer mentality” with him from the Tennessee Titans. Needless to say, I’m excited to watch these two new additions and the whole defensive unit on the field in Week 1 making Tony Romo run for his life.
NEW RULE CHANGES WILL MAKE CENTURYLINK A NIGHTMARE FOR OPPOSING TEAMS
If you are not aware of the recent rule changes regarding stadium etiquette, let me be the first to tell you to bring an extra pair of earplugs to the stadium this season. Historically, stadiums and announcers have been restrained from riling up the crowd via the large video screen and PA. As if our fans and stadium didn’t already drill stress through the helmets of opposing quarterbacks, the NFL has given the green light for stadiums to hype up their fans via media devices, hoping to create a better experience for the fans present at the game. Call it a tip of a hat to the fans if you like… but I don’t think the NFL is really aware of the kinds of fans the Seahawks have. This should compliment our young, improving defense in many ways with the most obvious being an increased amount of pre snap penalties by visiting offenses. Let’s not forget that CenturyLink Field is already the loudest stadium in the NFL. Don’t you dare exit the stadium this year with your vocal chords in tact after watching bone jarring hits on the big screen before a crucial third down. If you do, I want you to turn around, walk back into the stadium, and scream at the top of your lungs for an hour before making your way back to your car. Remember, this is the 12th Man’s chance to make even more of an impact on our team’s success in 2012, don’t drop the ball!
I’d like to spend a bit more time here today, but I’ll have to admit that a case of Yuengling Lager and good friends are awaiting my arrival to celebrate America’s Birthday. Have a great 4th of July and please be sure to post your comments, feedback and discussion points here at hawkstalkers.com!