When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll or special teams coach Brian Schneider talks about this year's special teams units, one of the first things they mention is speed. And yes, rookie receiver Tyler Lockett, a candidate to win both return jobs, is the most obvious example of speed being injected into Seattle's special teams play, but he is hardly alone in helping upgrade what was at times an inconsistent phase of the Seahawks' game in 2014.
Carroll is excited about what rookies like Lockett, Obum Gwacham and Frank Clark can add to special teams, but just as big will be the return of some key players who suffered season-ending injuries early in 2014. Not only did Derrick Coleman's broken foot in Week 7 leave the Seahawks without a fullback, it left them without one of their best special teams players, and when linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis landed on IR with a shoulder injury, Seattle lost one of its fastest players on special teams.
More depth, speed and talent added to a trio of specialists who are all among the best in the league at their craft should help Seattle get back to being one of the better teams in the league on special teams.
|Returning starters:||K Steven Hauschka, P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham|
|Additions:||PR/KR Tyler Lockett|
Jeron Johnson, Bryan Walters, Malcolm Smith, O'Brien Schofield
Initial 53-man roster included three specialists: Hauschka, Ryan, and Gresham.
What's At Stake In Training Camp
While we don't know yet who will emerge on various special teams units in addition to the holdovers, it's clear Carroll is expecting big contributions from this rookie class.
As is always the case, special teams play could make the difference between a spot on the 53-man roster and the waiver wire, especially for young players, so the ability to contribute on teams will be big in camp, and even more so in preseason games when coaches can really evaluate things like kick coverage with full contact.
In terms of the specialists, the Seahawks know they're in good hands with Steven Hauschka kicking, Jon Ryan punting and Clint Gresham handling the long-snapping. Those three have been regulars in Seattle for a while—Ryan since 2008, Gresham since 2010 and Hauschka since 2011—providing consistency for the Seahawks on special teams.
A player-by-player look at Seattle's specialists ahead of 2015 training camp.
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Offensive Line
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Defensive Line
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Tight End
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Linebacker
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Running back/Fullback
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Quarterback
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Cornerback
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Wide Receiver
- 2015 Seahawks Preview: Safety