The road to success in the NFL begins each year with the hard work and wide-open possibilities of training camp. As teams around the league gear up for the 2015 campaign, NFL Media reporters will be checking in from all 32 camps around the league. For our next stop, Steve Wyche visits the Seattle Seahawks.
Where is NFL Media?
The Seahawks train at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex on Lake Washington in Renton. The scenery is great, but it was blazing in the Great Northwest. I'm not one to complain about the heat -- I love it -- but the Seattle area has never seen a hot spell like this before in recorded history -- and it was felt by those on the gridiron.
1) The Seahawks have more depth at receiver than they've had in years. In fact, a long-perceived area of weakness is suddenly one of legitimacy. Super Bowl star Chris Matthews is getting more run with the top-end rotation of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and the 6-foot-5, 218-pounder looks like he's building on his breakout performance on the game's biggest stage. Ricardo Lockette could be fighting for a roster spot with rookie Tyler Lockett, a smallish game breaker who could be used in the return game. Paul Richardson is coming off a knee injury and likely will start the regular season on PUP, but he is talented. There's also second-year wideout Kevin Norwood.
2) With some bigger wide receivers, especially Matthews and Kearse, Seattle could use some jumbo receiver packages that include Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson. The Seahawks have shown such groupings in red-zone drills, and physically, it is difficult to match up against -- that's a lot of size that can run, jump and catch. Graham flashed this by snagging balls on sideline routes, deep routes and across the middle, even when covered.
Graham, acquired in a blockbuster trade with New Orleans, is the biggest name and talent among the new additions, but let's look at two other newcomers worth paying attention to ...
Cary Williams, CB: The veteran corner, who signed as a free agent, replaces Byron Maxwell, who left for big bucks in Philadelphia. Williams is a perfect fit for Seattle's scheme. He is long-limbed at 6-1, 190 pounds, and savvy at age 30. While Maxwell was a strong player for Seattle, Williams might provide a very high level of play at a much lower price tag.
Thomas Rawls, RB: Seattle's coaches have been raving about this undrafted rookie since offseason workouts. Rawls in no way is going to unseat Marshawn Lynch, but he very well could put pressure on Christine Michael and Robert Turbin for backup reps. Rawls finished his college career at Central Michigan and has the running style and body type -- 5-9, 215 (think DeAngelo Williams, physique-wise) -- Seahawks coaches love. It's all about whether he shows up in pads and during preseason games.
"I am going to keep asking for more."
-- Defensive end Michael Bennett, who said he wants more money, more love from his wife and kids, more of everything you can think of.
» The return of defensive tackle Brandon Mebane hasn't been discussed much, but him being back from season-ending hamstring surgery is huge. He'll take a measured approach while coming back during team drills, but Mebane told me he is good to go. Some opposing defensive coaches and personnel people have told me for years that Mebane is the player that stirs the hornets' nest that is Seattle's defense.