The Seattle Seahawks are entering the 2016 NFL season as one of the favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 51. They were able to make it to the divisional round of the playoffs last season and are hoping to take another step forward this year. Pete Carroll has led his team to two Super Bowl appearances in the last three years and still has a lot of the same pieces that got him there in the past.
It will be interesting to see what training camp holds for the Seahawks. There are still a few questions surrounding the team that need to be answered before the regular season arrives.
Looking ahead at the competition in the NFC that the Seahawks will have to face, the road is going to be difficult. They will have to go through the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, and Carolina Panthers at the top of the conference. There are also other teams throughout the conference that have made improvements this offseason as well.
Seattle's defense is still expected to be among the best in the NFL, and the offense hasn't changed much either. Marshawn Lynch decided to retire this offseason, but he was torn up with injuries last season anyway.
All of that being said, what five question must the Seattle Seahawks answer during 2016 NFL training camp?
Can Thomas Rawls or Another Running Back Replace Marshawn Lynch?
Perhaps the most obvious question is whether the Seahawks can find a running back who will replace the impact that Marshawn Lynch made for them over the years. Thomas Rawls appears to be the most talented back on the roster and showed a lot of signs of starting-caliber talent. Seattle has to find a solid ground game if they want to win a Super Bowl.
Will Jimmy Graham Live Up to the Hype the Second Time Around?
Last season was a major disappointing for star tight end Jimmy Graham in his first year with Seattle. He caught just 48 passes for 605 yards and two touchdowns, according to ESPN statistics. Those numbers weren't close to the hype that surrounded him, but he will have a chance to prove that he was worth the trade to acquire him in his second season with the team.
Is Trevone Boykin a Legitimate Primary Backup Quarterback?
Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but if he went down with an injury, the Seahawks would have to turn to rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin. There are some concerns that he might not be ready to be the main backup for Wilson. He will be given every chance to prove himself during training camp and preseason action, and it will be interesting to see how he looks.
What Can Be Expected from the Seattle Secondary?
It is going to be intriguing to see what the Seahawks' secondary looks like in training camp and preseason action. Richard Sherman is still one of the top cornerbacks in the game, but they need to figure out if Brandon Browner will be an impact player and who will step up across from Sherman. Going up against prolific offenses like the Packers, Cardinals, and Panthers have, the Seahawks will need their secondary to play at an extremely high level.
Is Tyler Lockett and the Wide Receiver Corps Good Enough?
Seattle is taking a gamble hoping that Tyler Lockett can step up in his second season and be a legitimate No. 2 receiver for Wilson. Doug Baldwin is back and ready for another big season, but outside of those two players, there isn't much talent at the position. Jermaine Kearse is a solid player as well, but the wide receiver corps will have to prove that they can handle the workload early on.
Do you think the Seattle Seahawks should be considered a serious Super Bowl contender? What are your biggest question marks about them? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP Images]