(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
By: Trevor Williams, Sports Radio KJR
Football fans – it’s almost here. In just three short days, the burm at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex will soon be filled with blue, green, kids, and those who are kids at heart. It’s time for Seahawks training camp and this year it is unlike any other. The Seahawks are currently ranked as the #1 team in the NFL Coaches Preseason Poll and their outstanding power ranking has the 12th Man and former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen excited.
Millen was ready to talk with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett about some things to keep an eye on during the Seahawks 2013 preseason.
There are three things in particular that Millen talked about on Monday for Seahawks fans to watch for:
1. Russell Wilson
The first suggestion by Millen comes as no surprise. Last year, Millen was outspoken about his belief that Russell Wilson wasn’t going to make it as an NFL quarterback. On Sports Radio KJR he said, “If that guy ever does anything in the NFL, I’ll come over there and eat your microphone.” Well, one year later, and after fully digesting a KJR studio microphone, Millen still wants to keep an eye on Russell Wilson.
Millen says, “Until you get a guy into his fourth, fifth, sixth year - and you’ve really started to count on what he is, I think you could say [the quarterback is] always a factor.”
Russell Wilson undoubtedly proved that he could play well last season, however, Millen believes some fans do still have a right to be hesitant. “There’s still a really wide range. Russell still probably still has a four or five win variance in how he plays. That might be somewhere between fourteen and eight or nine wins, so it’s a lot better window than it was a year ago but I still think a quarterback (a guy going into his second year) is still part of [the Seahawks 2013 storyline].”
Millen did say that, “He [Russell] did such a good job at the end of the year with that Fran Tarkenton mentality.”
As for this year, in terms of what he can improve on? Millen has noticed, “He can put his back foot in the ground and throw with anticipation. That’s usually the area that young guys have to improve.”
When training camp opens at the VMAC on Thursday, there is no doubt Russell Wilson will have plenty of attention.
2. Seahawks Offensive Guard Play
Last year, Seattle’s offensive line had some struggles and was noticeably below average at the guard position. This year, Millen is looking at a few things in terms of the Seahawks offensive line, concerning guard play.
“The fact is, the guards were sub-par by NFL standard and certainly sub-par by playoff standards,” said Millen.
Another fact is, the Seahawks were playing a converted defensive lineman at guard, named J.R. Sweezy. Millen has raved about his athleticism and quickness, however, he has some things to watch from a technical standpoint this season.
“What we saw [against Atlanta] was a guy who had really quick feet. He looked a little light by NFL standards for an offensive guard and certainly experience was a factor when matched against a tough scheme which he was presented,” said Millen.
“What you’re looking for in pass blocking: How much is he holding his ground? That athleticism ought to keep a guy up close to the line of scrimmage as opposed to being pushed back. And then in the run blocking, it’s not as much of an individual endeavor. We’re watching for his timing. That experience [last year] is a very big factor.”
Millen also noted, “He is very well coached under [Tom] Cable. He really could have a huge jump because again, after the defensive line conversion I would think his jump is as big as we’re going to see in his career – right now.”
3. Seahawks “Legendary” Secondary
Millen didn’t dwell on this topic, but he did mention that he will be watching this season to see if the Seahawks secondary can be, “Legendary.”
With Richard Sherman in the defensive backfield playing as well as any corner in the country and Earl Thomas preparing to levy more bone-rattling hits, the outlook is seemingly positive past the second level for the Hawks’ defense.
Sherman will also be publishing a weekly column for the Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB). And as we know, when Sherman talks there is always a potentially for a legendary moment.
In just a few hours we will be only two days away from Seahawks training camp. As the first whistle of the 2013 season gets closer to being blown at the VMAC, one thing is for certain. Seahawks fans have a lot to watch for and be excited about.
Hugh Millen will be making more visits with the Furness Show, each week. Here’s today’s interview with the topics they discussed and the times:
3:46: Hugh Millen’s Seahawk Storyline to Watch
5:28: Seahawks Secondary: Can they be legendary?
5:35: Offensive Line Improvements – Particularly Guards
6:32: Bruce Irvin Position Change
11:58: On Sweezy’s Potential
12:21: Make It or Break It Training Camp – John Moffitt
13:50: Russell Wilson – What Stands Out
15:18: On Percy Harvin – How Long Before We Say “Wow”
16:48: Seahawks Polling and Excitement