Heaps: OL turnover, injuries leave me anxious about Seahawks’ offense
Last season, the Seahawks fielded one of the best offenses in the NFL, led by a powerful running attack and quarterback Russell Wilson putting together maybe the best season of his career as a passer. And going into the 2020 season, on paper, the Seahawks have the ability to put together a top-10 offense.
But that’s just it – it’s on paper. And we won’t know how Wilson and company will perform until the 2020 season begins.
The Seahawks added some players, notably running back Carlos Hyde, tight end Greg Olsen and receiver Phillip Dorsett, to add more firepower to the offense.
But while those are “new toys” for Wilson and the coaching staff, Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy says there’s reason to feel anxious about the Seahawks’ offense in 2020.
“There’s been so much movement across that offensive line,” Heaps said Tuesday. “It will be nearly an entirely new group. How quickly are they able to come together and get their chemistry at the start of the season in the run game and in the pass game with a limited offseason?”
Seattle could have as many as four new offensive linemen next year and will have at least three. 2019 starting center Justin Britt, right guard D.J. Fluker and right tackle Germain Ifedi are all off the roster and left guard Mike Iupati isn’t a sure bet to keep his spot due to injuries and some guys behind him despite re-signing this offseason. That leaves left tackle Duane Brown as the only penned in returning starter for 2020.
And as Heaps mentioned, this offseason has been different due to the coronavirus. Players aren’t expected to practice with their teammates until training camp in late July. For a new-look offensive line, that could make it harder for that group to gel, which is something Brown mentioned was a concern of his when he spoke to reporters recently.
But offensive line isn’t the only question mark Heaps sees with the offense in 2020.
“I feel that this offense has the capability with Russell Wilson and the talent around him to (take) another step forward this year and become more of an elite offense, but that’s also depending on the health of this team,” he said. “We’ve talked about Chris Carson and his health. Carlos Hyde, he’s coming off a shoulder surgery. Greg Olsen over the last three years, two of those seasons have been injury-riddled seasons for Greg Olsen. Will Dissly has yet to finish a quarter of a season with this team.”
Carson and Dissly both suffered season-ending injuries last year while Olsen missed three games and Hyde played through an injury. Running back Rashaad Penny also had a season-ending injury and he’s expected to miss the start of the regular season as he recovers.
“There are very good talented pieces on this roster but health and that offensive line cohesion to me are two concerns and things I’m going to be extremely anxious about the entire year,” Heaps said. “If this group can come together and stay healthy, this group, this offense, has a really good chance of being something special.”
Listen to all of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy’s podcasts at this link.