January 30, 2015

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Projected starters and key players for the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl:

OFFENSE

Russell Wilson, QB (3), 5-11, 206, 3rd season, Wisconsin

Holds NFL record for wins at start of career with 42, including postseason ... Third-round draftee who immediately seized starting job and led Seattle to playoff appearances in all three seasons ... Dynamic runner who excels throwing on the run ... Poised in the pocket, very dangerous outside of it ... Played at North Carolina State, then one year at Wisconsin as grad student.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, (24) 5-11, 215, 8th season, California

''Beast Mode'' with a penchant for Skittles ... Powerful back with a burst, broke 24-yard TD run in NFC title game ... Rushed for 1,306 yards and had career-best 17 total TDs this season ... Also a threat as receiver out of backfield.

Will Tukuafu, FB, (46), 6-2, 280, 5th season, Oregon

Signed at midseason after foot injury landed starter Derrick Coleman on IR ... Capable lead blocker for Lynch in two-back sets ... Has also gotten snaps in rotation on defensive line.

Doug Baldwin, WR (89), 5-10, 189, 4th season, Stanford

Undrafted out of college, plays with an attitude about it ... Can get deep but is not known for speed. ... Excellent working as slot receiver ... Led team with 66 catches and 825 yards. ... Wilson looks for him in key situations.

Jermaine Kearse, WR (15), 6-1, 209, 3rd season, Washington

Caught winning TD pass in NFC title game for 35 yards in overtime ... Same distance as his winning TD reception in last year's NFC title game ... Took over second receiving spot after trade of Percy Harvin. ... Had 38 receptions and 14.1 average per catch.

Luke Willson, TE (82), 6-5, 252, 2nd season, Rice

Took over when Zach Miller was lost for the season due to ankle surgery ... Ability to make big plays in passing game ... Had 80-yard TD at Arizona in Week 16 and TD reception in divisional round win over Carolina ... Tendency to drop easy passes at times.

Russell Okung, LT (76), 6-5, 310, 5th season, Oklahoma State

First-round pick 2010 (sixth overall) who has developed into Pro Bowl-level blocker ... Injuries have set him back at times. ... Missed two games with calf and chest injuries.

James Carpenter, LG (77), 6-5, 321, 4th season, Alabama

A surprise first-round selection in 2011, who finally found consistency this season ... Started all 13 games played in regular season, missing three because of ankle injury ... Strength is in run blocking.

Max Unger, C (60), 6-5, 305, 6th season, Oregon

Among the best centers in the game when healthy ... Intelligent, strong, really gets off the ball after he snaps it. ... A 2012 All-Pro but missed 10 games in regular season with ankle and foot injuries. ... Seattle was a far more efficient offense with Unger on the field.

J.R. Sweezy, RG (64), 6-5, 298, 3rd season, North Carolina State

The one consistent on Seattle's offensive line this season ... Started every game and took on more responsibility with injuries creating changes ... Played through ankle injury in second half of NFC title game.

Justin Britt, RT (68), 6-6, 325, 1st season, Missouri

Started first 17 games as rookie, winning job in training camp ... Missed NFC title game with knee injury ... Expected to be available for Super Bowl ... Solid in run game but looked like rookie at times in pass protection.

DEFENSE

Tony McDaniel, DT (99), 6-7, 305, 9th season, Tennessee

One of many members of rotation in the trenches, also has played for Jacksonville and Miami ... In second season with Seattle, had 31 tackles playing mostly on run downs.

Kevin Williams, DT (94), 6-5, 311, 12th season, Oklahoma State

Signing of former All-Pro veteran has proved vital ... Started season in rotation, but moved to starting nose tackle after Brandon Mebane suffered torn hamstring and was lost for season ... Plays mostly on run downs.

Cliff Avril, DE (56), 6-3, 260, 7th season, Purdue

In his second season with Seattle, has been solid with increased snaps this season ... Only had five sacks but led team with 20 quarterback hits in regular season ... Has sack in both postseason games ... Signed four-year extension in late December.

Michael Bennett, DE (72), 6-4, 274, 6th season, Texas A&M

Seattle's most important defensive linemen ... Rarely leaves the field after playing in a rotation most of last season ... Led team with seven sacks ... Had 39 tackles in regular season.

O'Brien Schofield, DE (93), 6-3, 260, 5th season, Wisconsin

Part of defensive line rotation past two seasons ... Usually enters on third downs ... Signed deal in free agency with Giants, but deal was voided and re-signed with Seattle.

Bruce Irvin, OLB (51), 6-3, 248, 3rd season, West Virginia

First-round pick who has developed into a full-time starter who rarely leaves the field ... Has become better in pass coverage and remains solid run defender playing on line of scrimmage ... Gets to rush the QB in passing situations ... Had seven sacks in regular season.

Bobby Wagner, MLB (54), 6-0, 241, 3rd season, Utah State

One of the league's most unnoticed stars ... A do-everything LB who stays on the field ... Missed five games with toe injury, but still voted first-team All-Pro ... Seattle's defense took off when Wagner returned ... Had 104 tackles - second on team - despite missing time.

K.J. Wright, OLB (50), 6-4, 246, 4th season, Mississippi State

The other Seattle linebacker that rarely leaves the field ... Played both weakside and middle linebacker, filling in for Wagner when he was injured ... Led Seattle with 107 tackles ... Signed four-year extension in December.

Richard Sherman, CB (25), 6-3, 195, 4th season, Stanford

One of the best cornerbacks in football ... Will play press coverage or lay back and is equally adept ... Hits hard, too and has improved support in run game ... Had only four interceptions in regular season, but has pick in both postseason games ... Needs to be watched if elbow injury suffered in NFC title game will limit him in Super Bowl.

Byron Maxwell, CB (41), 6-1, 207, 4th season, Clemson

Became full-time starter this season and got plenty of action with teams choosing not to challenge Sherman very often ... Finds the football and has good hands ... Coaches say he's the best technician of Seattle's CBs ... A sixth-round pick who has flourished.

Earl Thomas, S (29), 5-10, 202, 5th season, Texas

Despite lack of size, Thomas is one of the league's most rugged safeties ... Versatile, active and smart, gets to the right place nearly all the time ... Suffered separated shoulder in NFC title game but played second half with brace ... Three-time All-Pro who was first-round pick in 2010.

Kam Chancellor, S (31), 6-3, 232, 5th season, Virginia Tech

Monster hits mark his game and has learned to do it legally ... Amazing athleticism for player his size ... Had 90-yard INT return for TD in divisional round win over Carolina ... Potential matchup with Rob Gronkowski could be pivotal in Super Bowl.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Steven Hauschka, PK (4), 6-4, 210, 7th season, North Carolina State

Also has kicked for Baltimore and Denver ... Caught on with Seattle in 2011 and has been very strong ... Has made 125 of 141 field goal tries for Seahawks and is particularly solid from distance ... Worst game this season came at University of Phoenix Stadium, missing three FGs in win over Cardinals.

Jon Ryan, P (9), 6-0, 217, 9th season, Regina (Canada)

A rare player from Canadian college ball, Ryan has been a defensive weapon for the Seahawks ... Began career with Green Bay, has been with Seahawks since 2008 ... Put 28 punts inside the 20 and for second straight season ... Good athlete who threw 19-yard TD pass to Garry Gilliam in NFC title game.

Bryan Walters, PR (19), 6-0, 190, 5th season, Cornell

Not very dynamic on punt returns, but sure-handed ... Averaged 7.7 yards per return.

Doug Baldwin, KR (89), 5-10, 189, 4th season, Stanford

Has been a spot kick return option after trade of Percy Harvin ... Took over last week after Paul Richardson was injured in divisional round win over Carolina ... Fumbled kickoff against Green Bay in NFC title game.

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