The commonalities began last season, when Pete Carroll was brought in to lead the Seahawks. He brought a few USC guys, and we couldn’t help but notice that the Huskies had done the same thing one year prior with Sark and Holt. The 2010 seasons played out quite similarly, with both teams accomplishing much more than their record would have indicated; the Huskies went 7-6 and won the holiday bowl, while the Seahawks finished 8-10, won their division, and even came within 1 game of hosting the NFC championship. Nice accomplishments despite unimpressive records were not the only parallels.
Husky avg. margin of victory-9; won by less than a TD in 4 wins
Hawks avg. margin of victory-12; won by less than a TD in 3 wins
Husky avg. margin of loss-26.5; loss by more than 3 TD in 4 losses
Hawks avg. margin of loss-21; loss by more than 3 TD in 3 losses
Heading into 2011, the glaring similarities continue with our 2 local football teams. Here is a list I’ve compiled, without stretching it too far (i.e. yes, they both play in Seattle, and yes, both play on field turf)
1. Inexperienced QB following the exodus of a legend- Price following Locker, TJack following Hasselbeck
2. Emphasis on running the ball- A talented but young offensive line to create lanes for Polk and Lynch, both known for hard, all out style
3. QB waiting in the wings- 2012 draft or free agency as well as Montana/Lindquist/Miles
4. Strong receiving core- Kearse, Aguilar, Kasen, KSmith for UW, Rice, MWill, Tate, Obo for Hawks
5. Newcomers- WRs Kasen and Rice, TEs Sefarian-Jenkins and Zach Miller are the headliners
6. Focus on acquiring and developing bigger, faster, stronger athletes- The USC way!
7. Leadership void on defense, specifically MLB- Mason and Lofa are gone, both were vocal leaders, and heart of the defense
8. Counting on the class of 2010- Both 2-deep depth charts are littered with guys entering their 2nd year. This comes as no surprise, given that 2010 was Sark and Carroll’s first class of “their guys.” A few similar positions that come to mind are safeties Sean Parker, Taz Stevenson (UW) Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor (Sea). O-lineman Erik Kohler, Colin Porter, Ben Riva, Colin Tanigawa (UW), and Russell Okung (Sea). WRs Kevin Smith, DiAndre Campbell (UW) and Golden Tate (Sea).
9. Expectations- Had UW landed Jake Heaps, we might be talking about 8-9 wins, and if the Hawks re-signed Matt, the same would be true. As it stands today, 6-7 wins is the number I hear most for both.
10. 1-2 years away from championship contention- Ty Willingham and Tim Ruskell each left their program/team in shambles, meaning Sark and Pete inherited a major re-building situation. It looks as though each are building towards championship contention around 2012-13 (same with the Mariners!)
Other less notable similarities–Question marks at fullback and linebacker, possible strengths at tight end and D-line. Last but not least, the punting game looks promising!