As the Seahawks prepare to start training camp this week, they are a better team than they were a year ago.
That's scary news for any team that thought it might be able to prevent the Seahawks from winning back-to-back Super Bowls. It's also why we project them to go 13-3 and win the Super Bowl again.
Last year at this time, the Seahawks were Super Bowl favorites. They followed through on that expectation, and they are in the same spot again -- with a better team.
"Right now I definitely believe we’re way further ahead. It’s exciting," Wilson said last month after the Hawks finished their minicamp. "You have an itch because you know how to do it at a very high level, and the best part about it is we can continue to do it better. There are a lot more ways that we can be better. There are a lot more ways that I can be better. And that’s the great part about it."
Asked if the team was better now than it was last June, Carroll said, "Yeah," and then listed off six position groups and reasons they are better. The only spots he did not call out were quarterback (no need), the kickers (why?) and the offensive line (everyone knows it's still the weak link).
With returning stars, so-called redshirts and new additions, Seattle's roster is busting at the seams with talent, and competition for spots will be intense over the next six weeks.
The competition is toughest along the defensive line and at receiver, and Carroll and his staff will have to make some hard choices.
It sure seems as though they might end up keeping six wide receivers this year.
They typically have gone with five full-time pass catchers -- bumping to six only when injuries have left them short.
Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin are the projected starters, with Jermaine Kearse the favorite for the No. 3 role. Second-rounder Paul Richardson has to be a lock as well, and fourth-rounder Kevin Norwood seems like a strong favorite after showing well in minicamps.
So, already we are at five, and that does not even take into consideration Sidney Rice, young vets Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters or CFL import Chris Matthews.
Six receivers would seem a luxury for a team that throws the ball less than almost every team in the NFL. And if they do keep six receivers, can they even consider keeping Terrelle Pryor as their third quarterback? It would mean keeping just four running backs (a near impossibility for this team) or eight offensive linemen (at least one too few).
It seems unlikely they would take a spot from the even more talented defense, where every position group has great battles among the backups and the defensive line is loaded after the addition of veteran All-Pro Kevin Williams.
So there you have it: The competition for roster spots is going to be fierce.
Here's a position-by-position look: