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What to watch in Seahawks' exhibition game

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Among the things I'll be watching to see when the Seahawks close their 2009 exhibition schedule Thursday night against the Raiders at Qwest Field:

  • Edgerrin James. The veteran running back might not play. If he does, it won't be for long, but something is better than nothing -- particularly in Week 4 of the preseason.

  • All-out battle at receiver. The Seahawks might keep only five. Strong showings by Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Jordan Kent could convince them to keep six. Which ones? Check back after the game. Also watch to see how they fare on special teams (Taylor could return kicks).

  • Cameron Morrah. The rookie seventh-round tight end would have to beat out Joe Newton to earn a roster spot at tight end behind John Carlson and John Owens.

  • Michael Bennett. The Seahawks already have defensive ends with the ability to play tackle on passing downs. That could complicate Bennett's efforts to earn a spot among the initial 53, but he has impressed enough to stick on the practice squad if there isn't a spot for him on the roster. Defensive end Nick Reed appears in strong position to earn a spot. Update: Draft analyst Rob Rang explains why he thinks Bennett has more NFL upside and potentially more value. Audio via KJR950 Seattle here.

  • Brandon Coutu. The second-year kicker has been very accurate on field goals. Veteran Olindo Mare's depth advantage on kickoffs helps his cause, but touchbacks could carry less value if the new NFL ban on three-man wedges shortens kickoff returns.

NFL Network is showing this game live at 10 p.m. ET.