Good morning. I’ll be heading over to CenturyLink about 5 p.m., and we’ll have our live chat going this evening, so check back in closer to game time.
Here are five things to look for as the Seattle Seahawks host Tennessee in the team’s first exhibition game.
Flynnsanity: Matt Flynn has been given a chance to seize control of the three-way quarterback competition between incumbent Tarvaris Jackson and rookie Russell Wilson. Flynn will play the entire first half, so he should feel comfortable enough to know that he’ll have time to show what he can do, even if the first couple drives stall. More than anything, I’m looking for overall command of the huddle, throwing accuracy and moving the sticks. A couple, 10-play scoring drives would go a long way for Flynn cementing his place on this team as the starter.
Bruuuucceeeee! The Seahawks finally get a chance to see the speed and athleticism of first round pick Bruce Irvin in a game. Along with getting in as an edge rusher on passing downs, the West Virginia product should see a lot of time on the field in base personnel as well. A couple flash plays by Irvin would be nice to kind of set the tone for the season.
Turbo time: Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said Marshawn Lynch likely will not play tonight. And with Lynch facing a possible suspension from the league because of his recent DUI charge, it’s important for rookie running back Robert Turbin to get a lot of reps and feel comfortable in the offense. I’ll be looking to see how well he anticipates where the hole is going to be, and how hard and fast he explodes through the line of scrimmage to the second level of the defense. How well Turbin holds up in pass protection also will be an issue.
WR battles: With Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Ricardo Lockette and Terrell Owens all sitting out tonight, players like Braylon Edwards, Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler and Kris Durham will get an opportunity to show what they can do in the competitive battle to earn a spot at receiver on the team’s final roster. Making a big play against Tennessee could go a long way to cementing a spot on the team.
Can Wagner hold down the middle? Seattle fullback Michael Robinson created quite a stir when he referred to rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner as a “baby Patrick Willis.” That’s high praise for someone who has never played a regular season snap in the league. And while Wagner has comparable speed to the San Francisco Pro Bowl linebacker, what Seattle needs to see from the Utah State product is an overall command of the huddle, along with being assignment correct while he’s on the field. If Wagner does not perform up to his potential, then veteran Barrett Ruud will be ready to step in and fill the void left by David Hawthorne moving on to New Orleans because of his experience in the scheme.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes about Clinton McDonald, who will play nose tackle during nickel situations for the Seahawks.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that Matt Flynn relishes his opportunity to start for the first time as Seattle Seahawk.
ESPN 710 Seattle’s Brock Huard says Seattle’s receivers have a chance to separate themselves tonight in this video link.
More Huard: He talks with Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in this audio link.
KJR’s Dave Mahler talks with Seattle linebacker Barrett Ruud in this audio link.
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports offers his five questions on the Seahawks after attending training camp this week. Kirwan offers some interesting observations on the quarterback situation, and also some players going under the radar like tight end Sean McGrath, running back Vai Taua and safety Winston Guy.