Seahawks Insider

Roster Analysis

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 5, 2011 at 11:12 am with 38 Comments »
August 5, 2011 1:11 pm

With the Seattle Seahawks finally settling into the 90-man roster a week into training camp, I thought today would be an appropriate time to take a closer look at the training camp battles as we head into the team’s first preseason game on Thursday.

With so many new names and faces, it’s pretty difficult to predict what players might emerge when Seattle tries to get down to a final, 53-man roster in a month. But here we take an early look at who might be on the bubble.

Also, you can download the 90-man roster here in this Excel file.

Quarterback
Number kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Three
Average number kept since 2008: Three
Lock: Tarvaris Jackson
Looking good: Charlie Whitehurst,
Longer odds: Josh Portis
Comment – The fact that Pete Carroll named Jackson the starting quarterback before he even took a snap in practice does not bode well for Whitehurst. Not only does the team appear to prefer Jackson because of his knowledge of Darrell Bevell’s offense, they also like his skill set, athleticism and overall leadership more compared to the Clemson product. So Whitehurst has an uphill climb to get into the conversation as the future starter for this team. Add to that the fact that his $4 million base salary is non-guaranteed, meaning the team would not be on the hook for Whitehurst if they cut him before Week 1 of the regular season, and don’t be surprised if we see some more movement at this position come September. Portis is a talented-but-raw developmental prospect who has shown flashes that he could develop into a decent quarterback over time.

Running back
Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: Six
Average number kept since 2008: Five
Locks: Justin Forsett, Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington
Looking good: Michael Robinson
Longer odds: Dorson Boyce, Chase Reynolds
Comment – Lynch looks slimmed down and quicker in the open field this season. If gets some consistent blocking up front, he could break the 1,000-yard barrier. Forsett and Washington again provide a nice complement to the hard-running Lynch, but expect to see Washington used more, both in the backfield and lined up as a receiver in the passing game. At 6-1, 237 pounds, Boyce looks the part, but has yet to stand out during training camp. And Reynolds appears to be hard runner, and could stick around as a practice squad guy if he performs well during preseason play.

Wide receiver
Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: 12
Average number kept since 2008: 5.7
Locks: Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate.
In the hunt: Kris Durham, Doug Baldwin, Deon Butler, Richardo Lockette, Isaiah Stanback.
Longer Odds: Dominique Edison, Patrick Williams, Chris Carter,
Comment – Adding Rice significantly upgraded this position, with the talent level going from average to above average, now that the former Minnesota receiver takes over as the team’s No. 1 receiving threat. As usual, this position will have a heated battle for those last, couple spots. Baldwin has shown a keen ability for reading coverages and creating separation in the slot, making it easy to understand why Seattle did not re-sign Brandon Stokley. Durham provides insurance for Williams if he gets dinged up again. Durham has looked as good as advertised. And Stanback could be a core special teams guy if he can be counted on as solid backup at receiver. Lockette has proved that he’s more than an athlete, making a one-handed catch on a deep ball early in camp. Butler could be a candidate for the PUP list.

Tight end
Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: Six
Average number kept since 2008: 3.3
Locks: Zach Miller
Looking good: John Carlson
In the hunt: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah, Dominique Byrd
Longer odds: Ryan Travis
Comment – Like Rice, Miller significantly upgrades the position. And true to his word, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has used more two TE sets, keeping both Miller and Carlson on the field. However, there’s still no guarantee Seattle won’t move Carlson if some team comes calling (think Mike Holmgren in Cleveland). McCoy has enormous potential, but doesn’t show up consistently. Byrd is a good pass catcher that has to prove he can stay healthy and handle the physical aspect of the game. Morrah might be the most explosive player of the bunch, but has to get healthy.

Offensive line

Number kept last season: 11
Currently on roster: 15
Average number kept since 2008: 10
Locks: Russell Okung, Robert Gallery, Max Unger, John Moffitt, James Carpenter, Mike Gibson, Tyler Polumbus.
In the hunt: Paul McQuistan, Breno Giacomini, William Robinson, Paul Fanaika,
Longer odds: Caz Piurowski, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Zach Hurd, Brent Osborne.
Comment – The addition of Gallery, along with draft picks Carpenter and Moffitt, make this group more talented than last year. However, with all five starters never playing together in a meaningful game, expect some severe growing pains in the first half of the season. But with Okung, Gallery and Carpenter, this group should be pretty good at running the ball. Pass protection could be another matter, so expect Tarvaris Jackson to have to use his legs a bit more early in the season. Gibson provides good value because he can play center, guard and tackle. And Polumbus can play both guard and tackle positions. McQuistan has experience in offensive line coach Tom Cable’s system from his time in Oakland. And Fanaika is a solid run blocker who needs work in pass protection.

Defensive line
Number kept last season: Nine
Currently on roster: 16
Average number kept since 2008: Nine
Locks:Chris Clemons, Red Bryant, Alan Branch, Brandon Mebane, Raheem Brock.
In the hunt: Colin Cole, Junior Siavii, Jimmy Wilkerson, Ryan Sims, Dexter Davis, Pep Levingston, Kentwan Balmer.
Longer odds: Jameson Konz, A.J. Schable, Jay Alford, Pierre Allen, Jarrett Crittenton.
Comment – It’s hard to get a handle on this group because we got our first look at half of these guys on Thursday, the first day free agents were allowed to practice. Further, Clemons, Davis and Bryant have been limited because of injuries, so it will take some time to sort out where new defensive line coach Todd Wash wants each of these guys to work. But for now, expect Mebane to play nose, Branch 3-tech, Bryant 5-tech and Clemons at Leo. Cole is still nursing an ankle injury and could wind up on the PUP list. However, he’s also due to make $3.75 million in base salary, so he could be a candidate for the team to ask to restructure his contract. And Konz actually hasn’t looked half bad rushing the passer. With his strength and speed, the Kent State product could develop into a core special teams player, and just needs to find his niche as a depth guy on the roster.

Linebackers
Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: Nine
Average number kept since 2008: Six
Locks: Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne, K.J. Wright
In the hunt: Leroy Hill, Matt McCoy, Mike Morgan, Malcolm Smith
Longer odds: Michael Johnson, Neal Howey
Comment – Once the strength of this team, the talent and depth at this position has taken a serious hit over the last, two years. Team leader Lofa Tatupu is gone, and Hawthorne now has to emerge as a consistent player and team leader at middle linebacker. Curry has looked better at outside backer, and must continue to raise his game now that Tatupu is gone. And the Hawks hope that Hill still has something left in the tank. Behind those three is a group of inexperienced, but athletic rookies, including Wright, Smith and Morgan. McCoy is a savvy vet who will anchor the special teams units.

Cornerbacks
Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: 13
Average number kept since 2002: 4.7
Locks: None
Looking good:Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond.
On the bubble: Roy Lewis, Byron Maxwell, Marcus Brown, Josh Pinkard, Kennard Cox.
Longer odds: Jesse Hoffman, Ron Parker, Brett Johnson
Comment – This group provides the most intriguing competition in camp. The Seahawks do not intend to ask Trufant to restructure his contract. He will earn $5.9 million base salary in the fourth year of his six-year deal in 2011. The Tacoma native turns 31 on Christmas day, and has been slowed due to back and head injuries. And Trufant has $16 million coming in 2012-13 – so if his play does not improve, it’s possible the Hawks cut ties with him and go with younger options at the position. Jennings provides a veteran presence should Seattle move on from Trufant. Sherman has looked surprisingly comfortable on the perimeter and has made his share of plays. And Browner’s sheer size and physical nature creates an imposing presence on the outside. Lewis and Thurmond have been slowed by injuries.

Safeties
Number kept last season: Four
Currently on roster: Five
Average number kept since 2008: Four
Locks:Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Mark LeGree
In the hunt: Jeron Johnson,
Longer odds: Rickey Thenarse
Comment – With Lawyer Milloy and Jordan Babineaux gone, the greybeard of the group is 23-year-old Kam Chancellor. The Virginia Tech product has proved he did his homework under the steady tutelage of Milloy last year, and so far as been one of the standout players in camp. Thomas will get a chance to show off his play-making ability more this season by playing closer to the line of scrimmage. LeGree appears to be going through some rookie growing pains, but the talent level is evident. Johnson is a thumper who could help out on special teams. Pinkard also comes into play here because he plays some safety as well as corner.

Specialists
Specialists kept last season: Three
Currently on roster: Five
Average number kept since 2008: 3.3
Locks: (P) Jon Ryan, (LS) Clint Gresham.
Looking good: (K) Jeff Reed
In the hunt: (K) Brandon Coutu
Longer odds: (P) John Gold
Comment – Ryan is signed through 2015 and Gresham through 2012. Reed is a veteran who has kicked in big games and adverse conditions in San Francisco and Pittsburgh. But Coutu has proven he can make field goals consistently at CenturyLink Field. The problem in the past for Coutu has been his lack of leg strength on kickoffs, but with the league moving kickoffs up five yards, that could work in the Georgia product’s favor.

Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. Tatupu could actually end up swallowing his pride and coming back heh…

  2. What’s Tate and Washington looking like in the practices, if anyone on here’s been watching? Thanks.

  3. And Hill too.

  4. chuck_easton says:

    RADEoN,

    The same thought has crossed my mind. I hesitate to say it because he is taking a physical in Washington today. That normally doesn’t happen unless the team is interested.

    But if they offer Lofa equal or less money than Seattle offered (under the restructure) then he has a big decision to make.

  5. grizindabox24 says:

    I do not think there is anyway Lofa returns.

  6. ballgame says:

    So was Konz (sp?) the guy released to make room for Brock. Didn’t see his name on this roster breakdown. Thanks

  7. The offer to Tatupu may no longer stand.

  8. williambryan says:

    Eric, Obviously the yet-to-be-played preseason games will have a lot of say. but I wonder about the WR group. It sounds like Baldwin and Lockette have a bright future but I doubt theres room for both of them and Durham on the 53 man roster, and if they perform well in pre season they likely wouldn’t make it to the practice squad. what does your gut think will happen at this point? (still early i know)

  9. SandpointHawk says:

    Does anyone know if there are any rule changes to the practice squad under the new CBA?

  10. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Everyone knew, if not suspected, that Lawyer Milloy wasn’t going to make the team. But last I heard he was at training camp. I knew someone else was wearing his number, but I never read a report that said he got cut. So is it true? Did Lawyer Milloy officially get cut? Or did he just decide to retire?

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    wow! we sure have some young DBs.Chancellors improvement is great to hear!.

    Just thinking about how the talent level has improved overall the last few years and at the same time we are getting younger, faster, and stronger!
    Sure there are going to be some growing pains but how can we not get better moving forward? Even if we don’t make the playoffs this year and our long term QB situation does not pan out, we still have a very good QB class in 2012.
    Coach em up Carroll is doing a fantastic ob so far!

  12. grizindabox24 says:

    Milloy is an unsigned free agent.

  13. I sure hope your takes on Coutu and Reed get reversed by the end of camp. If Ryan is a lock why did they bring in John Gold, and how have his punts looked? Can Gold get more air under his punts then Ryan?

  14. HawksKD says:

    Tru Blu –
    The only practice I went to:
    Golden Tate – was outshined by Doug Baldwin. He still looks fast and explosive but Baldwin (who I gather is tates competition) looked much more involved.

    Washington – on the other hand looks to be coming up. He was definitely more involved that ever with the ones and twos. He is noticeably faster than forsett and sometimes it’s the only thing that helps you tell them a part web try are rolling up their jerseys and hiding their numbers.

    Hill I watched very briefly – actually looked a little sluggish. I wasn’t paying much attention to defense though. I’m hoping hill steps it up and shows us the hill we remember.

  15. SandpointHawk says:

    Danny Kelly on Thursdays practice…

    “Pete Carroll was playing scout team QB, and frankly, his arm isn’t up to par to throw the deep outs and thread the needle to the tight ends in the middle of the zone. Earl Thomas picked him off on one play, and had it been a game situation, he’d have taken it to the house.”

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2011/8/5/2346680/seattle-seahawks-training-camp-notes-part-v

  16. devisscher says:

    I’d cut Whitehurst and sign Troy Smith, he’s no Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but I don’t think he’s worse than Tarvaris Jackson.

  17. HawksKD says:

    Sandpoint –

    Lol he got picked off 3 times. Dont ask me why I was watching but in his mid 60′s Pete can still throw a more impressive ball than most my friends. I do have to say he has definitely lost some muster on his ball from last years camp though. :) … Ha ha love watching Pete bounce around out there

  18. Yeah. I agree about the good news about the Chancellor of Kam. I love it.

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BobbyK- Who would have thought that Chancellor would be starting and Mays would be working with the second team and being shopped around for a trade?
    I know that they are about the same size, however Mays is a freak!
    It just goes to show that some are workout players, and some are football players!

  20. If CW doesn’t play well in the preseason, there’s a good chance he’ll get cut, unless he’s willing to take a paycut. $4 million is too much for a backup. Might as well sign Troy Smith, as devisscher suggests, or even Jeff George, who’s still waiting by the phone.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Georgia –

    If I may say so, I was actually pretty high on Kam when they drafted him. He played corner his freshman year and both FS and SS the rest of the way. To be honest, I’m a little surprised he didn’t see more time outside of Bandit packages last season and the Giant game. (That was a pretty sad game to attend but it was cool to see Kam play FS after they moved Earl nickel corner in the second half.)

  22. Dukeshire says:

    I’m interested to hear if Thurmond was able to practice today. Has anyone heard a timeline on his sprained ankle?

  23. Duke – you’ve gotta be loving life, since I know how much you like good safety play! Chancellor and ET with Legree in the mix. That’s not too shabby.

  24. Georgia – you’re right about some people being football players and others, with all the skills you need on paper, not being good ones. There’s no way a guy like Tom Brady or Drew Brees should be better than guys like Daunte Culpepper or Akili Smith if you look at their physical skills. I like QBs who have it down between the ears, rather that limited there but with all the physical tools.

  25. So happy I don’t have to watch Locklear suck all year . . .

  26. raymaines says:

    QUOTE: In the hunt: … Deon Butler,…
    QUOTE: Comment – …. Butler could be a candidate for the PUP list.

    This doesn’t sound like a good way to enhance or extend a professional career.

    There are a couple of guys that better get it together in the next few weeks or find other jobs. CW and Arron Curry will get a free pass this year, but time is running out. Golden Tate, Leroy Hill, & Marcus Trufant are big names that might be in the same category. John Carson won’t lose his job, but might have to relocate. Chester Pitts and Craig Terrill are goners.

  27. raymaines says:

    It seems to me that PC & JS are all about value. Except for the QB position, they are pretty good at finding players who contribute more than you would expect for the salary they command.

    So, how about pursuing Taylor Mays? Wouldn’t it be cool to have Earl Thomas AND Taylor Mays on the team!

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – Oh, absolutely. Awesome.

    I think Butler may be in some trouble here. He doesn’t seem to fit the Carroll profile physically. He’s not anywhere near close enough to take the field and distinguish himself and by the time he is, there may not be a spot for him. Will be very interesting to see how they handle him.

  29. pdway – you get to. You just don’t know it yet.

  30. freedom_X says:

    Konz (if he’s still there) has been switched to DE then? Must be some athlete, who was a WR/H-back and now is at DE (with some promise.) I wonder he if can go on the practice squad as well, he missed last year purely to injury did he not?

    I didn’t think about the possibility that Whitehurst could be cut. Frankly, if he doesn’t look like he can challenge Jackson, he should be cut if they can save the money. Best to recognize they made a bad decision up front and get rid of him. If you can get rid of Tatupu to save $2-4 million, there should be no hesitation to dump Whitehurst if he can’t play.

    Funny thing is that many independent analyses of Locklear’s play think he played solidly to well. It’s mainly the Seattle fans that are dumping on him…

  31. Soggybuc says:

    Have any of you that have gone to practice watch Konz? with all the talented athletes in camp guy has to be a supreme freak if they can not figure out if they want him at TE, FB or DE.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    freedom_X – He played DE in college prior to switching to TE so it’s not totally out of left field.

  33. I love this game!!!! thanks for the Roster I think it will be pretty clear soon enough on some of these positions

    - On the idea of cutting Whitehurst – is Matt Moore still out there? I thought he played well in back up duty for Carolina 2 seasons ago, not great, but not terrible last year (when the talent was clearly weaker) could be a capable back up on the cheap

  34. Soggybuc says:

    I dont remember where but Moore did sign with some one.

  35. devisscher says:

    Dolphins I think

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