Here’s some responses to a couple questions that have been presented so far during training camp.
Sndro22 asks: “How is the fullback position is shaking out, and have you talked with Owen Schmitt yet.”
Williams: I haven’t had a chance to talk to Owen, but right now he’s running with the first unit and Justin Griffith is running with the second unit, so it appears the DUI charge has not affected his status with the team. However, I wouldn’t count out Griffith and his experience running offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s offense, both in Atlanta and Oakland. This position battle should go down to the wire, with Griffith’s experience matched up with Schmitt’s talent and overall athleticism.
Dukeshires asks: “Is there any word on what created the soreness in (Marcus Trufant) Tru’s back? Lifting, is it chronic, etc…? (Ken) Lucas beat twice? Was it a pure speed issue or simply the coverage? Did they run any nickel on D, and who covered the slot, in that case?
Williams: Mora said on Friday that Trufant tweaked his back while throwing the ball around a few days ago, but that they were resting him as a precaution and expected Trufant to be Ok. It doesn’t sound chronic at this point, but again, this is the same thing we heard about Matt Hasselbeck last season, so we’re keeping close tabs on the situation. Hopefully, it is what it is and Tru is OK.
I wouldn’t worry about Ken Lucas getting beat a couple times. Guys get beat in one-on-one all the time. The offense has the advantage because there is no pass rush, so even guys like Deion Sanders will get beat in one-on-one pass drills. Now if Lucas was consistently getting beat deep in one-on-ones that would be a problem, but that’s not the case. Jordan Babineaux has been playing the nickel in passing situations.
Hawks4life asks: “Was Big Play Babs out there battling Russell for that safety spot?”
Williams: I think the Babineaux-Russell battle will be fun to watch. The two are golfing buddies, so they certainly know each other well. And both are competitors, so the competition should only make the team better. No one has nudged ahead at this point, but I think you would have to give Rusell the edge right now because of is experience.
Tompage asks: “I was wondering about one technical fact in this piece, and that is the position that Patrick Kearney is playing. When we signed him, the coaches and the front office said he was a left end only. He always lines up on the left side of the defensive formation opposite the offensive right tackle. I don’t remember him ever lining up at defensive right end. Is Redding really moving Kearney to the other side of the defensive line?”
Williams: Left ends typically are more stout because generally offenses are right handed and tend to put their tight ends on right side, which is why I believe the Seahawks are working Cory Redding at left end. Further, with Patrick Kerney coming off of shoulder surgery, the Seahawks probably would like to have him working less in running situations and away from a tight end.
Dukeshire asks: “Eric, another question: Can I have you job? Seriously though, I see where Ruskell said (Rob) Sims’ natural position is LG. I thought that was odd, considering he was LT at Ohio St and RG here. Is he more of an insurance against Unger’s development since Lock can revert back to RG if necessary?
Williams: Believe me Dukeshire, I understand how privileged I am to be able to do this, and do not take it for granted. And no, you cannot have my job. Kidding aside, Sims initially played left guard his rookie season, and I think they like the idea of putting Sims and Walter Jones together on the left side. There’s still some question if Chris Spencer will make it through the season injury free, so they want to have a back-up plan if Spencer goes down, so I think we’ll see Steve Vallos and Max Unger battling for the back-up spot at center.
And then, it appears Mansfield Wrotto and Unger are competing for the right guard position, although the wildcard could be moving Sean Locklear to right guard and putting Ray Willis at right tackle.
I don’t see any of this shaking out until after the second preseason game, and ultimately the best five linemen will play. The moving around makes it hard to keep up with the depth chart, but it should help the team in terms creating versatility with guys playing multiple positions.
Hawk4life asks: “Hey Eric, I haven’t heard anything about (Deion) Branch in a while. Is he still being held back for some reason?
Williams: No, Branch has been full go and has made some plays so far during camp. I just think the play of Nate Burleson may have overshadowed Branch at this point. But Branch has looked healthy and is playing well.