Seahawks camp: Three goals and top battle

Rookie running back Rashaad Penny participates in a drill during minicamp in the offseason.Photo: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the Seahawks' priorities

By Curtis Crabtree, The Sports Xchange

Three goals:

  • Fix the running game. Seattle's running game struggles last season were blatantly apparent. Only one touchdown was scored by a running back all season and the group was wholly incapable of gaining positive ground inside an opponent's 20-yard line. Seattle beefed up its offensive line, changed line coaches and offensive coordinator and added a first-round running back to the mix (Rashaad Penny), but it still must all come together and make positive strides.

  • Figure out who can replace departed defensive stars. Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor all will not play for Seattle this season. Earl Thomas' status remains uncertain. Replacing at least four, if not five, Pro Bowl capable players on defense will be a challenge. Losing Avril and Bennett deprives Seattle of much of its pass rushing punch. Changing over several members of the secondary will be a challenge as well.

  • Settle on specialists. Kicker Blair Walsh struggled throughout last season and Seattle hopes Sebastian Janikowski or Jason Myers can yield more confidence this season. Michael Dickson was a fifth-round pick and remains the favorite to unseat longtime punter Jon Ryan. However, Ryan isn't going away quietly. Also, rookie Tanner Carew is pushing Tyler Ott for the long-snapping duties.

Top battle:

--As Seattle looks to fix its rushing attack, the running back spot will be the most intriguing battle of camp. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny will compete for the starting job. C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis and J.D. McKissic have all shown positive things at times too and look to find roles on the 2018 roster. Prosise remains an intriguing talent, but has struggled to stay on the field due to numerous injuries. Fullback will also be an interesting watch as the Seahawks look to use the position more often this year.