Seattle fans should check their expectations for Carroll

Seattle fans should temper their expectations for an immediate turnaround under Pete Carroll. While the Seahawks’ new coach comes with an impeccable reputation as a college coach, he faces a challenge that might be insurmountable for even the most astute rebuilder.

The Seahawks’ roster is littered with holes that could prevent Carroll from duplicating his collegiate success. Any franchise that has playoff aspirations must have building blocks in place at several key positions — and the Seahawks are lacking in each of those areas.

Offensively, the team must address its left tackle situation because of Walter Jones‘ looming retirement. Further complicating matters is the fact that the Seahawks’ offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and inconsistent play in recent seasons. That performance along the line has dropped the Seahawks from the ranks of the offensive elite.

Additionally, the Seahawks are devoid of playmakers at the skill positions. While QB Matt Hasselbeck has earned three Pro Bowl berths during his career, he’s 35 years old and clearly on the backside of a solid career. Injuries have robbed him of some of the skills that made him an elite quarterback during the middle part of the decade, and the team needs to find an eventual successor.

The Seahawks also need to address an aging receiving corps that has failed to perform to expectations. The trio of Deion Branch, Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh doesn’t strike fear among defensive coordinators across the league, and an infusion of dynamic playmakers would alleviate some of the pressure on Hasselbeck.

The team also could use a franchise-caliber back to anchor its suspect running game. Veteran Julius Jones struggled mightily as Shaun Alexander’s replacement, and his inability to produce big games resulted in a woeful attack that became one-dimensional.

Defensively, Carroll inherits a unit that doesn’t have a legitimate pass rusher. Although Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill are outstanding rushers from their linebacker spots, the Seahawks could use the presence of a big-time edge rusher along the front line. Patrick Kerney, Lawrence Jackson and Darryl Tapp aren’t intimidating pass rushers, so the team needs to identify a stud in the immediate future.

Carroll’s arrival has been widely hailed in Seattle, but until his soon-to-be-appointed general manager overhauls the team’s roster, he is another college coach destined to fail.

– Bucky Brooks

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