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A look at the opponents: Seattle Seahawks, Week 6

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  July 3, 2012 07:00 AM

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Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talks with players during a practice June 12. (Elaine Thompson / AP Photo)

Five questions about the Seahawks heading into training camp with Danny O’Neil, the beat writer from the Seattle Times.

Link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawks/?from=stnv2
Twitter: @dannyoneil

Date: Oct. 14
Time: 4:25 p.m.
Location: Qwest Field
2011 record: 7-9, third in NFC West
Playoffs: None.

1. What is going to be the strength of this team?
Run defense. The Seahawks are stout up front because while they may line up in a 4-3 formation, their personnel resembles more of a 3-4 with three big-bodied defensive linemen in tackles Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch with defensive end Red Bryant -- who drew some interest from New England in free agency before the Seahawks made him their highest-paid defensive players.

2. Where are they looking to get better?
Pass rush. The Seahawks were very mediocre a year ago, and while Chris Clemons has totaled 22 sacks in the previous two seasons, the team is looking to get him some help, which is why Bruce Irvin was chosen in the first round, No. 15 overall.

3. Players on the spot?
Sidney Rice was signed to be Seattle's No. 1 wide receiver in 2011, but it was an undrafted rookie -- Doug Baldwin -- who led the team in receptions last year. Rice is coming back after undergoing offseason surgery on both of his shoulders. When healthy, he's an elite talent, but he missed more regular-season games (17) than he's played (15) over the past two seasons.

4. What needs to happen for this team to win big?
Seattle needs to decide on its starting quarterback between Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, and then it has to get improvement at that position from what Seattle received a year ago from Jackson.

5. Realistic expectations for this team at this point?
After consecutive 7-9 seasons under coach Pete Carroll, anything short of a winning record would be considered a disappointment. That's a pretty high bar, though, considering this team enters training camp with a question mark at quarterback, which is only the most important position on the field.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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