Just for kicks, I decided to take a look at the various units on the Seahawks team and attempt to project how good, or bad, they may be in the upcoming season. I ranked the units based on their top-end potential as well as their low-end potential, and also how much confidence there was in predicting their performance. Here are the units that I ranked (in no particular order):
#4 - The Wide Receivers
Potential Stars in 2010: TJ Houshmandzadeh, Golden Tate
Housh had a subpar season last year and still caught 79 balls for over 900 yards. All the off-field talking distracts from the reality that he is still a talented playmaker. Tate has the name, the college credentials, and the potential to be a dynamic part of the Hawks offense for years to come.
Potential Disasters: Mike Williams, Deion Branch
Williams seems poised for a breakout year, but when you have a player who has underachieved for as long as he has, it would be unwise to ignore the downside potential. Branch looked so good in the time I saw him practice, it made me really question my expectations for him. I had written him off in the Julius Jones category of wasting a roster spot for a vet who won't be here when we are ready to be contenders again. If he is the player I saw in practice, he may be our leading receiver. If he's the player we've seen on the field the last few seasons, he will be a disaster.
Easiest Players To Project: Housh
While Housh has not been a focal point of the offense so far, we all know what he will bring each week. His talent is fading in a way that should not effect his production.
Branch, Williams, Housh and Tate will have a lot to say about whether this is viable NFL receiving corps, but Deon Butler could steal the show. He looks confident and explosive from the slot, and his chemistry with Hasselbeck is promising. With Butler and Tate stretching the defense, and Branch, Williams and Housh working the underneath-to-intermediate routes, there is some symmetry that we have not enjoyed at this position in recent past. Williams and Housh could be a handful in the red zone, especially when teamed with our big TEs. Lots of media, including Hugh Millen, are writing the receivers off as among the worst in the NFL. There are a fair number of unknowns, but I like what I see so far.