Category Archives: Preseason

Final preseason roster projection

Logo -- PreseasonPete Carroll is ready for the season. But his roster isn’t quite.

After the Seahawks finished off their first winless preseason ever with a mistake-filled 30-19 loss to Oakland, Carroll said, “I’m excited about getting to our 53. We’ve got roles for guys to take over. We’ve got a real clear thought about what we’re doing with a lot of stuff.”

Carroll and John Schneider still have some tweaking to do to get to the 53, though. They already have upgraded at backup quarterback, adding Brett Hundley, and you can bet they will be looking for help at a few other places — perhaps safety, corner, tight end and edge rusher.

Ahead of Saturday’s 1 p.m. cutdown deadline, here’s our final roster projection:

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Which trades will Schneider make this week?

Logo -- PreseasonAs the preseason winds down, teams are already starting to use trades to address weaknesses in their rosters.

It won’t be long before John Schneider joins the fray.

Schneider always makes a trade at some point before the season — he made seven deals from the start of camp to just before the season last year, and he has made 15 other preseason deals since 2010. That’s an average of 2.75 per preseason.

Schneider has been 50-50 in acquiring and moving out players in these deals. Last year, for example, he traded Kevin Pierre-Louis, Cassius Marsh, Tramaine Brock and Jermaine Kearse while adding D.J. Alexander, Matt Tobin, Sheldon Richardson, Justin Coleman and Isaiah Battle (Duane Brown didn’t come until October).

He probably won’t be nearly as active this year, but it’s a good bet he will make some kind of deal — because he always does. So, which trades might he make?

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Projecting the roster after three games

Logo -- PreseasonAfter three preseason games, the Seahawks’ roster looks pretty set through about 45 positions.

With only Thursday’s game against Oakland left, the Hawks seemingly are set everywhere but their last few cornerbacks, including the starter on the right side, plus their sixth receiver, their last offensive and defensive linemen and maybe their final linebacker. (UPDATE: Backup QB was up in the air until the Seahawks acquired Brett Hundley on 8/29.)

Injuries will play into a couple of decisions. The Hawks probably won’t put fifth-round tackle Jamarco Jones (high ankle sprain) or J.D. McKissic (broken foot) on IR because they don’t want to lose either for the season. So expect the team to keep them both and then possibly use short-term IR on one or both after Week 1.

That will affect the keepers on the offensive line and at running back, where the Hawks might forgo a fullback (as they did in 2016).

Here’s our roster projection through three games (updated with comments from Pete Carroll):

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Offense, run defense, Dickson could carry secondary

Logo -- PreseasonWhile the Seahawks work on figuring out their secondary early in the season, it looks like their offense and run defense should be able to carry them.

Playing without senior vet Bradley McDougald, the shuffling secondary had issues stopping Mr. Guaranteed, Kirk Cousins, and Minnesota’s backs and receivers Friday in a 21-20 win by the Vikings. But the run defense was stiff and Russell Wilson and the offense put the Seahawks in the lead by halftime. And Michael Dickson flipped the field on almost every punt — showing what a huge weapon he will be.

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What we’re watching in Minnesota

Logo -- PreseasonIt has been an eventful week leading up to the big dress rehearsal game.

Among other things, we learned J.D. McKissic is out 4-6 weeks, Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny could be back next week, George Fant is going to compete against Germain Ifedi, and Brian Schottenheimer isn’t satisfied with the running game.

As the Seahawks head to Pete Carroll’s formative NFL stomping grounds in Minnesota for the all-telling third preseason game, the coach has a few goals.

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Offense developing consistency, creativity

Logo -- PreseasonWe’re two preseason games into Seattle’s new offensive era, and the reviews on Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari have been pretty glowing so far.

Last week, Pete Carroll reiterated that one of his concerns about the old offense was that coaches were starting to “jam our players into the system” rather than play to their strengths.

The obvious example there is Jimmy Graham, who was forced to become a blocker and was not used downfield as well as he should have been. But Carroll also meant the offensive linemen. As he said in May, “We needed to shift gears a bit to match up with the guys we have here.”

Well, after two preseason games, they seem to be making progress.

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Roster projection at midpoint

Logo -- PreseasonPhilip Rivers and Melvin Ingram gave the Seahawks a great test in Game 2 of the preseason, a 24-14 win by the Chargers, and we can only hope young guys such as Tedric Thompson, Tre Flowers and Germain Ifedi will learn from it.

Meanwhile, Chris Carson again showed why he is the No. 1 tailback (unless he keeps fumbling), Jaron Brown entrenched himself as the No. 3 receiver, David Moore secured a roster spot with a couple of stellar plays, and Maurice Alexander, Dontae Johnson and Poona Ford all gave the coaches something to think about as we head into the final two weeks.

Here’s our roster projection after two games:

Continue reading Roster projection at midpoint

What we’re watching in Los Angeles

Logo -- PreseasonThe Seahawks have had a couple of surprise changes since their first preseason game.

As they head down to Los Angeles to face the Chargers in preseason Game 2, they will be without Rashaad Penny and Marcus Smith – the latter a surprise release Friday due to personal issues.

The Seahawks were going to have to make a roster transaction to accommodate new pass rusher Erik Walden, but cutting another pass rusher was a surprise.

It’s not like the Hawks are flush with pass rush, but Smith apparently has some personal issues he is working out and Pete Carroll said Smith agreed “it was the right thing to do.”

The Hawks also swapped out a cornerback for a running back, since Penny and Gerald Holmes (concussion) won’t play. In good RB news, C.J. Prosise is expected to play. Of course, he was expected to play last week, too, and then failed to.

Here’s what Carroll is looking for in L.A.: “We need to clean up all of the stuff that happened in the second half (against the Colts). We had 10 penalties in the second half. We need to get rid of that. That was terrible. First half was fine and clean and all that; we moved the ball well and did a lot of good things, but that got in the way in the second half – and it was all the young guys (who) were on the field and they need to be poised and make good decisions and play good, clean football.”

Here’s what we’ll be watching, by position:

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Rookies, pass rushers show well vs. Colts

Logo -- PreseasonIt was Rookie Night at C-Link, with most of Seattle’s draft class and a few other newbies showing pretty well in the Seahawks’ first preseason game, a 19-17 loss to Indianapolis.

Third-round pick Rasheem Green was in on two sacks, including one with sixth-rounder Jake Martin; fifth-rounder Shaquem Griffin led Seattle with nine tackles; and fifth-rounder Michael Dickson boomed three punts for a 47.3 average, landing one inside the 20.

First-rounder Rashaad Penny showed good feet, even if he didn’t gain much ground (16 yards on eight carries), and Trey Flowers played pretty well for his first game as a corner.

“The young guys did really well. The draft picks were all involved with doing good stuff tonight,” Pete Carroll said. “They have been looking that way in practice as well, so it’s not really a surprise. It’s just really pleasing to see it showed up at game time. That’s very promising for us.”

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What we’re watching in preseason opener

Logo -- PreseasonSo much has changed with the Seahawks this year — stars gone, coaches switched, touted rookies arrived — and we finally get to see how it is all coming together when the Hawks open the preseason against the Colts on Thursday.

One of the biggest overall stories to watch is the development of the offense under Brian Schottenheimer, who has always come across as a very average coordinator but who also has never had a quarterback like Russell Wilson.

Schottenheimer has said the offense is 70 percent carryover from Darrell Bevell and 30 percent tweaks from Schottenheimer and Mike Solari. We won’t see every trick in Schottenheimer’s book, but it will be significant to see how the blocking scheme has improved (hopefully) and also see how Schottenheimer makes better use of running backs and tight ends.

“We’re a little different than we’ve been,” Pete Carroll said. “We have a little more spread in things that we’re trying to do with the running game in particular. It isn’t rocket science, but it has given us a chance to work our guys in some different principles and some man-blocking schemes and all of that, and our guys have really taken to it. Mike is a master of it and he’s doing a great job of transitioning these guys, so I am excited. … It’s probably the part of our team that I’m most looking forward to.”

Here’s what else we’ll be watching, by position:

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