Seahawks Insider

Roster Analysis

Post by Eric Williams on June 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm with 13 Comments »
June 25, 2010 4:14 pm

The offseason is now complete, with general manager John Schneider completing over 60 different roster transactions since taking over in January. Over half of the players currently on the team’s roster were not here a year ago. So some major transformations have taken place since head coach Pete Carroll and Schneider took over.

That said, here’s a closer look at how the 80-man roster is shaping up with about five weeks before training camp begins. Also, I updated my roster, which you can check out here.

Number kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Three
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst
In the hunt: J.P. Losman
Comment – Despite the team’s efforts to create some competition at the top spot, Hasselbeck has looked like the clear No. 1 at this point. Part of that has to do with his familiarity with the West Coast offense, giving him a leg up on Whitehurst and Losman. There appears to be more of a competition between Whitehurst and Losman for the No. 2 spot, as Losman has looked solid and played with a lot of confidence so far – something to keep an eye on during training camp. The Seahawks could pickup another arm to help them get through camp.

Running back
Number kept last season: Five
Currently on roster: Seven
Average number kept since 2002: 5.5
Locks: Justin Forsett, Julius Jones, Leon Washington
In the hunt: Owen Schmitt, Quinton Ganther, Louis Rankin
Longer odds: Ryan Powdrell
Comment – With LenDale White released the competition for the starting position is now a three-man race. Washington looked pretty good during drills in minicamp and says he will be ready. Seattle still appears to need a short-yardage back, so it will be interesting to see if they make a move. Ganther has been impressive so far, and has added versatility with the ability to play fullback. Powdrell could be a practice squad guy.

Wide receiver
Number kept last season: Five
Currently on roster: 12
Average number kept since 2002: 5.8
Locks: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Golden Tate, Deion Branch
In the hunt: Deon Butler, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Sean Morey
On the bubble: Ruvell Martin, Mike Hass, Isaiah Stanback
Longer odds: Marcus Maxwell, Kole Heckendorf
Comment – Williams has the potential to be that down-the-field threat on the outside the Seahawks have been lacking. I’m still not totally convinced Branch will be on the final roster come September, but he’s a lock if the team does not trade or release him. Similar to last year, there will be some intense competition for the final two spots on the roster. Unlike last year, Seattle may keep six receivers, with a specialist like Sean Morey filling Lance Laury’s spot on the roster from last season.

Tight end
Number kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Five
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: John Carlson, Chris Baker
On the bubble: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah
Longer odds: Jameson Konz
Comment – Baker’s presence should free up Carlson to be more involved in the passing game. McCoy has looked like a late-round steal, catching the ball and moving well in the middle of the field. But Morrah also has flashed at times, showing why the Seahawks took a late-round flyer on him last season. Konz hasn’t got many team reps at practice and is still learning his way in a new position.

Offensive line

Number kept last season: Nine
Currently on roster: 14
Average number kept since 2002: 9
Locks: Russell Okung, Ben Hamilton, Sean Locklear, Chris Spencer, Ray Willis, Max Unger.
In the hunt: Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto, Mike Gibson
Longer odds: Joe Toledo, Mitch Erickson, Adrian Martinez, Jeff Byers, Jacob Phillips.
Comment – Seattle appears to have more depth here than they did a year ago, when they were relying on a healthy Walter Jones to return to action. Hamilton gives the team a leader up front familiar with Alex Gibbs’ zone blocking scheme. And one thing we know for certain is this unit will play with a lot of effort – Gibbs will not put up with anything less.

Defensive line
Number kept last season: Nine
Currently on roster: 14
Average number kept since 2002: 9
Locks: Brandon Mebane, Lawrence Jackson, Colin Cole, Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Kevin Vickerson.
In the hunt: E.J. Wilson, Craig Terrill, Nick Reed, Ricky Foley, Dexter Davis.
Longer odds: Robert Henderson, Rob Rose, Jonathan Lewis.
Comment – The Seahawks appear to still need a consistent pass rusher off of the edge of the defense, but are hoping that Clemons, Reed, Curry, Foley or Davis emerge to fill that role. Wilson also has come on of late and could emerge as a rotational guy up front. Seattle appears solid inside with Mebane, Cole, Vickerson and Terrill.

Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: Eight
Average number kept since 2002: 6.6
Locks: Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne, Will Herring, Leroy Hill.
In the hunt: Anthony Heygood, Matt McCoy
Longer odds: Joe Pawelek
Comment – This group remains the strength of the defense, and Seattle needs to take advantage of that versatility. If the Seahawks choose to keep Hill around, could we see Curry move to Leo and Hill move to strong-side outside backer in order to keep Hawthorne on the field? The strength of this group is versatility — most of these backers can play all three positions. Pawelek could be a practice squad candidate.

Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: 11
Average number kept since 2002: 4.5
Locks: Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, Kelly Jennings, Walter Thurmond
In the hunt: Roy Lewis, Chris Richards, Kennard Cox, Marcus Brown
Longer odds: Marcus Udell, Josh Pinkard, Cord Parks
Comment – Jennings was one of the pleasant surprises of the camp and has been working with the first unit. Jennings always has been a strong cover corner, but his ball skills have continued to improve. Thurmond (knee) looks on pace to be ready for training camp, and guys like Lewis, Richards, Cox and Brown are good athletes who could help Seattle on special teams.

Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: Six
Average number kept since 2002: Four
Locks:Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Kam Chancellor
In the hunt: Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams
Longer odds: James Brindley
Comment – The fact that Seattle was rumored to be interested in O.J. Atogwe and claimed and released Kevin Ellison lets you know they are not exactly satisfied with what they have here. Thomas is a great piece to build around, and Milloy will serve as a good mentor to show him how to play the game the right way at this level. But Babineaux and Adams will have to work to make the roster. Chancellor is a long-term project who has played better than expected. Brindley could be a practice squad guy.

Specialists kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Three
Average number kept since 2002: Three
Locks: (P) Jon Ryan, (K) Olindo Mare, (LS) Matt Overton
Comment – These are probably the most settled positions heading into camp, with no extra guys on the roster at present to push the incumbents. There will be some pressure on new long snapper Matt Overton to look sharp during the preseason. Other than that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. .

Roster Analysis
Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. If we were to try to trade for a DE, two questions arise. One, who might be available and two, who would we offer in trade. It seems to me that the only players we have that another team might be interested in are Deon Branch and Leroy Hill. Branch has had injury problems and Hill comes with a huge contract plus has off field issues.
    I can’t see another team clamoring to get Cameron Morrah or even McCoy. Although we are deep in in-betweeners at the DE position other teams will just wait until the final cuts are made as none of them look that great. JJ might have some value but then one of the other backs would have to look much better in training camp.
    Any ideas?

  2. Center Chris Spencer and LB David Hawthorne have some value. And if Walter Thurmond develops the way Seattle expects him to, perhaps Josh Wilson or Kelly Jennings could be of some value in a trade.

  3. Eric,

    Has Williams been getting deep in practice? I’ve always stereotyped him as a big frame with good hands who is more of a possession receiver than a vertical guy.

    Do you think anything could still emerge with Chester Pitts? Hamilton, with his 3,000 concussions, is not the sure thing that some seem to think he is (I think he’s a 1-year sure thing if he doesn’t get knocked in the head again, but this is football and people get knocked around).

    If Hill sticks, as you mention, it is your opinion that Curry could see some situational time at the Elephant or is it some vibes you’ve heard from the organization?

    I like this comment:
    “Despite the team’s efforts to create some competition at the top spot, Hasselbeck has looked like the clear No. 1 at this point.”

  4. Another brilliant observation by EDub.

    “I’m still not totally convinced Branch will be on the final roster come September, but he’s a lock if the team does not trade or release him.”

    The Seahawks are also a lock to win all of the games that they don’t lose or tie.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Boy Eric, I really couldn’t disagree more. On the Spencer front; One of Gibbs’ biggest mantras is cohesion. It would be a shock if they shopped him for a DE, after spending all offseason with him at center. If they really felt Unger had enough to push Spencer as starter, he likely would have seen some snaps there. In addition, if he had real value, there would have been some interest before he signed his tender. There was none to speak of. (And there could have been a new contract worked out with the team of interest, he could have signed it the tender and the trade could have avoided the 1st rounder.) No, for good or ill, Spencer is a Seahawk for 2010.

    Wilson? Jennings may have been working with the 1s during the final minicamp, but when camp breaks in August, don’t be surprised if Wilson is again the team’s best corner. Wilson indeed has some value but not enough to warrant a DE with talent enough to offset the loss of one of the team’s most talented and versatile players. I think it would be far more likely that Trufant, at 29, bloated contract and with a capless season, be shopped. Without 40+ sacks a season, he proven himself to be somewhat of a liability.

    Hawthorne, I agree has value. Young, cheap, 117 tackles last year. But are they really settled on Hill? Has he even earned (or can he earn) his spot with the #1s? Hill is a good player, when healthy (he’s yet to make it a full season) but he does not strike me as someone who Schneider / Carroll are interested in anchoring the Will for the future in a rebuild situation.

    I don’t think Seattle is in a position to trade much of anything for a DE of the future. That wouldn’t be Schneider’s style anyway. If a surprise cut comes about, or another development lands a talented DE on the FA market, I believe they would snap him up. But short of that, it’s the 2011 draft that will fill that hole.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, all that said, I do end to agree with your roster breakdown. Bobby brings up a good question about Curry. Everything I’ve read about him rushing the passer is from the Sam but on the line. (Part of the “3-4″ look they will use.)

  7. BobbyK: I expect the Seahawks to use Curry as a DE in some passing situations. He’s worked at the position some in practice. Chester Pitts remains an option. Teams can always use another solid offensive lineman. Finding out where Pitts is at in terms of the recovering from the microfracture knee surgery will be a key issue.

    Dukeshire: I know Spencer has been here for most of the offseason and cohesion is a key issue, but if teams that have injuries along the offensive line (think Denver) make a play for Spencer, I think the Seahawks would listen.

  8. Eric – thanks.

    Duke – they finally announced the Syracuse game time. I sent you an email.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Just responded. Excited.

    Thanks E, but I just don’t know that Bobby would allow Spencer to be traded. ;)

  10. williambryan says:

    I think this is a great breakdown Eric. the only thing i would list differently is I would move stanbeck up to in the hunt. I just think with his versatility he might warrant a better chance than some of the other guys but I am hoping he makes it so maybe i’m biased? Anyway, these roster breakdowns are my favorite part of the blog. Great Job Eric!

  11. princeaden says:

    I would like to see the F/O concentrate on finding the STUD running back that can change the whole complexion of the offense. Making the Line better, Matt better and forcing the opposing Defense into having a healthy dose of respect the running game
    I also would like to see the Elephant position left alone to work itself out. Something tells that between Clemons, Reed, DD and I’m sure someone else I’m forgetting, someone will emerge as a surprise.

  12. Eric – Are your position breakdowns “lock” vs “in the hunt” and “longer odds” based on where you see their abilities – which is what I come here to read – or what teams they are practicing with (1st team, 2nd team, 3rd), or? Has anybody interviewed Gibbs and asked him what he thinks about those guys “in the hunt” vs “longer odds”? Was wondering where Vallos, Jeff Byers is in Gibb’s eyes, compared to the locks, and was wondering if Gibbs is a happy camper with the talent he’s got to date.

  13. nighthawk2 says:

    I still don’t understand the love-fest for Spencer Not For Hire (am I the only here old enough to remember that show and the reference?). Said it before and I’ll say it again, Chris Spencer sucks. He wasn’t worth a 1st round pick in 2005, Ruskell’s first ever draft pick here, and he has never played anywhere near a 1st round pick level. All the roster turnover as well as 9 wins in the last 32 games is all the proof anyone needs to see just how bad a GM and how bad a judge of talent Tim Ruskell is and what a disaster he was to this franchise.

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