It took a couple of seasons for head coach Pete Carroll to get his feet wet as he re-acclimated himself from college football to being back in the NFL. These days, his Seattle Seahawks have become a playoff staple. The franchise has reached the postseason five consecutive years and made back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

Seattle hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2013 and came up short one year later against the New England Patriots in a classic match-up. The team has failed to reach the NFC title game each of the last two years. But this was an offseason of change for the defending NFC West champions.

Now Carroll and company get ready to open Training Camp on July 29 with a slew of new faces.

Major additions this offseason

There were changes throughout the roster for the Seattle Seahawks. And arguably the biggest names among the additions was four-year running back Eddie Lacy. The workhorse and versatile performer played in only five games for the Green Bay Packers this past season and the franchise let him test free agency. The ‘Hawks hope to improve the NFL’s 25th-ranked ground game from a year ago and he figures to help. The offensive line got a little help from the addition of guard/tackle Luke Joeckel, a disappointment in his four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the second round of April’s draft, the club grabbed versatile Ethan Pocic.

A collegiate center at LSU, the Seahawks drafted him with the idea of playing tackle and perhaps more. All told, the franchise made 11 selections in the draft and used six of their first eight picks on the defensive side of the football. One other notable veteran addition this offseason was placekicker Blair Walsh.

It was his missed field goal late in the 2015 playoffs that enabled Seattle to escape Minnesota with a 10-9 win that day. Now the former Vikings’ specialist has a new employer.

What to look for

As usual, it starts with defense when you talk about the Seattle Seahawks. And it was a unit that ended 2016 on a sour note.

Even with the likes of Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner and Cliff Avril leading the charge, the team split its final regular-season contests, defeated the Detroit Lions in the wild card round. But Carroll’s club would fall to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. And it was a unit minus star free safety Earl Thomas that looked very vulnerable without him.

This is why the defending division champions concentrated their efforts this offseason to re-establishing its ground game while adding numerous defensive backs in the draft and free agency. If the team is successful, quarterback Russell Wilson will once again be at the helm of a Super Bowl contender.

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