Which position gives for McKissic?

Logo -- PreseasonAs they prepared for their final preseason game, the Seahawks seemed to have made some key roster decisions.

The report that they are looking to trade Jermaine Kearse basically confirms that J.D. McKissic will be on the 53-man roster after Saturday’s cuts. It also could mean they are clearing a spot for Tanner McEvoy to join receivers Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Kasen Williams and Amara Darboh.

With the do-it-all McKissic now counting as a running back, the Seahawks seem locked in on these positional numbers: QB 2, RB 6, TE 3, DL 9, LB 6, ST 3. And most of the decisions are made at those spots, with backup QB maybe the only position of contention (if David Bass and Marcus Smith are the final two D-linemen and D.J. Alexander is a keeper at linebacker).

So the fluid positions appear to be WR (5 or 6), OL (8 or 9) and DB (9 or 10) — with one of those groups destined to go light a player.

Continue reading Which position gives for McKissic?

Why the Hawks are shopping Kearse

It made too much sense for them not to try: The Seahawks reportedly are shopping Jermaine Kearse.

The Seahawks don’t want to keep more than six receivers. Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are the other veterans. Kasen Williams has played his way onto the team this preseason, and Amara Darboh, who has struggled with injuries, figures to stick because the Hawks won’t throw away a third-round pick this early. And Tanner McEvoy is a 6-foot-6 target who can throw passes and block kicks.

Continue reading Why the Hawks are shopping Kearse

CHAWK LINES -- Medical updates

Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise “can go” vs. Oakland, but will they?

Five more Seahawks are undergoing the blood treatment K.J. Wright said made him feel “1,000 percent” better.

Doctor reviews on Regenokine are mixed, but the Seahawks are always in “relentless pursuit of a competitive edge.”

Tyler Lockett is one of the guys in the Regenokine “circle,” meaning he won’t play at all this preseason.

Doug Baldwin did not undergo Regenokine, but he did go to London for preventive stem-cell treatment.

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Projecting the roster before the final game

Logo -- PreseasonAs the preseason winds down and Saturday’s cuts quickly approach, the Seahawks face some tough decisions.

Choices at running back and receiver are going to have a trickle-down effect, possibly affecting the lines or the secondary.

Perhaps the biggest decision will be J.D. McKissic, whose status basically depends on whether Tyler Lockett is going to return kicks. McKissic was the full-time return man this preseason, and he showed his versatility as a third-down back and slot receiver — he had 118 all-purpose yards vs. Kansas City.

If Pete Carroll doesn’t want Lockett returning kicks as he comes off a broken leg, it could be good news for McKissic. And bad news for someone else.

Also keep in mind: John Schneider usually makes a trade right around cutdown day, and the Hawks typically add a couple of guys — other teams’ cuts — who were not even in Seattle’s camp.

The Seahawks are as deep as they were in 2013, so other teams will be interested in their castoffs. Schneider would be smart to try to trade a couple of guys at the deepest positions — maybe Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson or a cornerback — this week.

As the Hawks prepare for their final preseason game, vs. Oakland on Thursday, Carroll said, “The decisions are really difficult, and I anticipate that. We told you this has been one of the deepest groups we’ve had. There’s a lot of good football players here, and so we’ll just try to figure it out and do the best we can.”

Here’s how we see it (and what Carroll says):

Continue reading Projecting the roster before the final game

CHAWK LINES -- Chiefs at Hawks

Rees Odhiambo was “very solid” in his first game taking over for George Fant, Pete Carroll said.

Chris Carson looked very capable of being the starting running back, as we think he will at some point.

Jermaine Kearse had his best game of the preseason, after seemingly being pushed aside by Kasen Williams.

Austin Davis outplayed Trevone Boykin, but Carroll made it sound like that didn’t matter.

J.D. McKissic showed his versatility, and Bob Condotta continues to think he will make the team.

The running game looked the best yet.

Russell Wilson made a bad decision/throw on a near-pick, but he otherwise has had a great preseason.

David Bass continues to make a strong push for a roster spot.

Britt’s deal shows eye toward 2018 contracts

Salary cap logoEven as John Schneider extends core players and fills roster gaps this preseason, it is clear he is already looking intently toward the 2018 offseason.

With a bunch of players on one-year deals and half a dozen key extensions to consider next year, Schneider and contract expert Matt Thomas need to create as much financial flexibility as possible.

That explains why they used a rare (for Seattle) structure in Justin Britt’s three-year, $27 million deal: an option bonus.

Continue reading Britt’s deal shows eye toward 2018 contracts

Projecting the roster

Logo -- PreseasonWith the preseason halfway over and the one big cut down to 53 a week from Saturday, we’re starting to see the 2017 Seahawks come together. Here’s how we see it:

 

QUARTERBACK
Keep: 2
Lock: Russell Wilson
In the hunt: Trevone Boykin, Austin Davis
How we see it: Despite his seeming lack of progress, Boykin appears set to reclaim the No. 2 spot. He is still slow to diagnose, leading to pressures, and often inaccurate. But Davis is no better, and Boykin — a poor man’s Wilson — has the athleticism to make up for what he lacks in mental acuity.

RUNNING BACK
Keep: 5
Locks: Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise, Marcel Reece
Long shots: Mike Davis, Alex Collins, Tre Madden
How we see it: It wouldn’t be a surprise if Carson ended up as the starter at some point, especially if Rawls cannot stay healthy. Prosise keeps coming up with one ailment after another (a groin this time). The team definitely will not — and should not — give up on a third-round pick after one year. But Prosise needs to figure out how to avoid nagging injuries that keep him off the field. Davis seemingly has passed Collins, who fumbled vs. the Vikings, but that would matter only if the Hawks kept five tailbacks. Reece is a great veteran to have at fullback.

Continue reading Projecting the roster

Carroll hopes Odhiambo can hold left tackle

Logo -- PreseasonPete Carroll isn’t ready to move Luke Joeckel to left tackle yet — he is holding out hope that Rees Odhiambo will play with confidence and consistency, letting his physical talent take over.

In the wake of George Fant’s season-ending ACL injury, Carroll indicated Monday that Odhiambo will get first crack at replacing Fant, Joeckel will remain at left guard and Mark Glowinski will remain at right guard.

The Seahawks also traded for versatile lineman Matt Tobin, who started 20 games at guard for the Eagles since coming into the league undrafted in 2013. Tobin started for the Eagles at right tackle last weekend, and the Seahawks surely see him as a versatile backup.

Continue reading Carroll hopes Odhiambo can hold left tackle

Fant not a huge loss with Joeckel here

Seahawks bandagesWhen Luke Joeckel signed with the Seahawks in March, it seemed like the logical move would be to make him the left tackle — he had much more pedigree than the undrafted George Fant.

But coaches thought Joeckel was better at left guard and Fant had promise at tackle, and that’s how they had lined up — and were set to line up in the opener at Green Bay — until Fant was injured Friday vs. Minnesota.

Now Fant will have to wait to prove his improvement and Joeckel probably is headed to tackle, where he was drafted to play by Jacksonville with the No. 2 overall pick in 2013.

As rough as Fant’s injury is for him, we don’t really know how much it hurts Seattle’s fledgling line. The reshuffled unit hadn’t proven a thing yet, even if Pete Carroll and Tom Cable had been excited about Fant’s performance. And you can’t really miss something you never had. Continue reading Fant not a huge loss with Joeckel here

Hawks vs. Vikings: What we’re watching

Minnesota logoIt’s been a week of interesting developments for the Seahawks, with Tramaine Brock signing, K.J. Wright out with a knee issue and Justin Britt becoming a rare O-line keeper.

With Brock in, Wright out and a few other personnel comings and goings, we will have plenty to keep an eye on tonight as the Seahawks host Minnesota in their second preseason game.

“It’s a really good test for us,” Pete Carroll said. “It’ll be a really great test for our guys up front on offense; it’s a very, very good defensive front. We look forward in all that we have to try to accomplish in this game. We know we are going against a really good group, so it’ll be a great test for us.

“We are hoping to continue to grow and see areas of emphasis and concern, and kind of get it taken care of so that we are making progress,” he said. “We are looking for progress, really, and there’s a million different areas of that. We don’t want to go take a big step and take a step back and all that. We like to make steady progress, moving forward. We are looking for really good plays on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We are looking for great effort.”

Here’s what we’re looking for …

Continue reading Hawks vs. Vikings: What we’re watching