Monday, July 2, 2012
2012 pre-camp analysis: Seahawks 'O'
By Mike Sando
NFL teams are pretty much finished tweaking their rosters until training camps begin later this month.
Organized team activities have passed, as have minicamps.
It's a good time to reassess where teams stand and where they might be headed at various positions based on the admittedly limited information available at this time. So, beginning with this item and continuing through Tuesday, I'll offer up for consideration roster breakdowns for each NFC West team, beginning with the offenses.
Average number kept since 2003: 2.8
Safest bets: Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Leading contenders: Josh Portis
Longer odds: none
Comment: The plan calls for Jackson, Flynn and Wilson to take turns with the first-team offense when training camp opens. The roster spots for Flynn and Wilson appear most secure. Jackson's situation appears most volatile. He could start, he could serve as a veteran backup at a reduced salary or he could be released. Seattle has to hope Flynn or Wilson takes advantage of the opportunity, on the theory that Jackson has most likely peaked. The Seahawks still like Portis as well, but keeping four quarterbacks isn't a realistic option.
Running backs (7)
Average number kept since 2003: 5.1
Safest bets: Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, Robert Turbin, Michael Robinson
Leading contenders: Kregg Lumpkin, Tyrell Sutton
Longer odds: Vai Taua
Comment: Turbin becomes the big back Seattle wanted as insurance for Lynch. Washington emerges as the undisputed change-of-pace back after the Seahawks decided against re-signing Justin Forsett, who landed in Houston. Robinson's value on special teams and at fullback would seem to buy security for him at a position of decreasing value around the league.
Wide receivers (13)
Average number kept since 2003: 5.3
Safest bets: Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate
Leading contenders: Kris Durham, Ricardo Lockette, Ben Obomanu, Mike Williams, Deon Butler
Longer odds: Phil Bates, Charly Martin, Lavasier Tuinei, Cameron Kenney
Comment: Baldwin appears to be the receiver Seattle can count on the most. That is good and bad. The team needs Rice to hold up physically after undergoing surgeries on both shoulders this offseason. Concussions were another problem for Rice last season. Tate was ascending when last season ended. The broken hand he suffered this offseason prevented Tate from participating fully in minicamps. He needs to avoid additional setbacks to build on last season. Durham could make Williams expendable. Lockette's speed separates him from the other receivers on the roster. He's raw, but two long receptions late last season showed big-play potential.
Tight ends (5)
Average number kept since 2003: 3.2
Safest bets: Zach Miller, Kellen Winslow
Leading contenders: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah
Longer odds: Sean McGrath
Comment: Winslow's addition altered Seattle's outlook at the position. The team hopes to use him in tandem with Miller to force unfavorable matchups upon opponents. The plan will be to pound away with Lynch if defenses play sub packages against Miller and Winslow, or to pass if teams show base looks. That was part of the plan a year ago as well, but John Carlson's injury limited Seattle's options. Carlson's departure in free agency stung. Winslow was a viable fallback even though knee problems limit his speed and prevent him from practicing regularly.
Offensive linemen (15)
Average number kept since 2003: 9.1
Safest bets: Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, John Moffitt, Breno Giacomini, James Carpenter, Deuce Lutui
Leading contenders: Alex Barron, J.R. Sweezy, Frank Omiyale, Allen Barbre, Rishaw Johnson, Lemuel Jeanpierre
Longer odds: Edawn Coughman, Paul Fanaika
Comment: Seattle has kept 10 offensive linemen in Week 1 during each of its first two seasons under coach Pete Carroll. Short-term injury concerns generally play into any decision to keep more than nine. Seattle figures to save a spot early in the season by leaving Carpenter on the physically unable to perform list. That would leave room, in theory, for three players from the "leading contenders" list above. Jeanpierre has value as a guard with the ability to back up at center. Moffitt also got work at center this offseason. Johnson made a positive impression as an undrafted rookie this offseason. Barbre will serve a suspension to open the season. Barron could project as a swing tackle.