When we talked with Warren Moon before last season, the NFL Hall of Famer was eager to see the development of second-year quarterback Russell Wilson.
Moon felt the addition of speedy receiver Percy Harvin would provide Wilson with a “security blanket,” where low-risk short throws to Harvin could turn into big gains in space.
But as the year unfolded, it did so without Harvin, who missed most of the season due to a hip injury. Needless to say, Wilson and the Seahawks managed just fine, ending the season in a blizzard of confetti and Super Bowl glory.
Now, as the Seahawks look to repeat as champs, Moon cites a healthy Percy Harvin as the big boost this offense needs.
“Last year they played it more conservative and close to the vest, and relied on their defense to get them good field position,” Moon said. “They were a solid offense but I think they’ll be much more explosive this year.
“Having Percy is going to open up both the running game and the passing game,” he said. “I think you saw evidence of that in the preseason game against San Diego, when [tight end] Zach Miller was wide open going down the seam because the safety had to commit to Percy who was going deep down the sideline and left a gaping hole in the middle of the field. The safety was more worried about Percy Harvin. So just from little things like that, Percy Harvin is going to really make the defense have to react based on where they line him up. And they’re going to line him up in a bunch of different places. So the defense will always have to figure out where he’s going to be.
“But he will also affect the running game too, because you’re going to see more two high safeties, because defenses will worry about Percy going deep. And two high safeties means the defense only has seven [defenders] in the box, and that’s the kind of front the Seahawks want to run the football against with [running back] Marshawn Lynch. So Percy is going to affect defenses quite a bit.”
Moon, who threw for 49,325 yards during his stellar NFL career, would like to see Wilson develop into more of a pure pocket passer.
“He still has that gift of being able to buy time and create plays downfield with his legs, so you don’t want to take that away from him,” Moon said. “But you’d like to see him throw more from the pocket and use those weapons that he has more of this year. Because last year, he had to develop chemistry with guys he hadn’t played with a lot. One being Doug Baldwin, and another being Jermaine Kearse who came on late in the year. Russell had to gain that confidence and trust in those guys as the year went along.”
Moon feels Seattle’s vaunted defense should be just as strong this year, with returning superstars like cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas leading the way. The departure that caused him the most concern was defensive back Walter Thurmond, who now plays for the New York Giants.
“But overall this is a team that is young but has a lot of experience,” Moon said. “They still feel like they want to do something special. They want to go back-to-back because no one has done it in such a long time. They really feel like they need to win three [Super Bowls] in a row to really separate themselves and make them a team that everyone will remember forever. Nobody has ever won three in a row before.”