Numbers games: Seahawks roster in perspective

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
10:12
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


The Seahawks kept only seven defensive backs pending Lawyer Milloy's expected signing.

What does it mean? Well, the team kept only seven on its opening-day roster last season and the Seahawks haven't kept more than eight on their Week 1 rosters since 2003. The 49ers, in contrast, have kept at least 10 defensive backs on their Week 1 roster in each of the last four seasons.

That is the sort of perspective I'm hoping to provide by comparing initial 53-man positional roster counts against Week 1 counts since 2003. Seattle has never kept more than 10 defensive linemen on its Week 1 roster during the period in question. The Seahawks have 11 now, but for how long? If they choose to supplement another position, defensive line might be a logical place to clear a roster spot, based purely on numbers.
Seattle Seahawks
Week 1 Roster
Counts since 2003
QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB ST
Today 3 5 5 3 9 11 6 8 3
2008 3 6 6 3 9 9 6 7 4
2007 2 5 6 3 9 10 7 8 3
2006 3 5 4 4 9 10 7 8 3
2005 3 5 7 3 9 8 7 8 3
2004 3 5 5 3 8 10 7 8 3
2003 3 6 4 3 9 9 8 8 3
Week 1 Fewest
2 5 4 3 8 8 6 7 3
Week 1 Most
3 6 7 4 9 10 8 8 4
2003-2008 Avg.
2.8 5.3 5.3 3.2 8.8 9.3 7.0 7.8 3.2
Current Over Avg.
0.2 -0.3 -0.3 -0.2 0.2 1.7 -1.0 0.2 -0.2

I'll provide similar charts for the other teams in the division. Seattle's roster moves jumped out because the team released a projected starter in free safety Brian Russell. Note that the numbers from 2003-2008 reflect opening-day counts. Current rosters figure to change as the week progresses.

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