Seahawks Insider

5 things to watch at OTAs

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on May 27, 2014 at 6:25 am with 19 Comments »
May 27, 2014 10:53 am

The Seahawks take another incremental step toward playing football again by starting organized training activities Tuesday.

They will run four workout sessions: Tuesday through Thursday, June 2-3, June 5 and June 9-12. Four of those days are open to the media.

The defending Super Bowl champions will be mixing in new faces and trying to reboot their stars for another Super Bowl run during these first OTA sessions.

Here are five things to watch for over the two weeks:

THE FIGHT AT WIDE RECEIVER

This figures to be a battle lasting right up to the end of training camp. The Seahawks drafted two wide receivers — second-round pick Paul Richardson and fourth-rounder Kevin Norwood — to bolster the unit.

During the offseason, Seattle signed Chris Matthews out of the Canadian Football League and Taylor Price, a former receiver

with New England and Jacksonville who spent the past two seasons on injured reserve.

Adding those four to the returning group of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Sidney Rice, Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters will make wide receiver the most competitive position on the roster.

Despite being a run-first offense, Seattle felt the need to up the wide receiver personnel in the offseason, particularly after leading receiver Golden Tate went to the Detroit Lions in free agency. That leaves rookies and outcasts to fight it out with the veterans.

DO OR DIE FOR CARPENTER

The Seahawks used their first pick in the 2011 draft to select left guard James Carpenter. That sent a message of how they felt about Carpenter’s ability.

This offseason, the Seahawks did not pick up Carpenter’s fifth-year contract option (each first-round pick receives a four-year contract with a fifth-year team option). That sent another message — namely what Carpenter has produced is not good enough. Carpenter rotated with Paul McQuistan at left guard last season. Coach Pete Carroll claims Carpenter is in much better shape this offseason than last, when he was slowed by two knee injuries. Carpenter didn’t appear to get his wind during the year, and his NFL future could be on the line with his performance this season.

BACKING UP BACKUP QB

Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has a guaranteed one-year contract for the upcoming season, two years in Seattle and five previous years of experience in Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system, making him close to a lock as the No. 2 quarterback behind Russell Wilson. Something dramatic would have to happen in camp for Jackson to be displaced.

Behind him, Terrelle Pryor, who was acquired from the Oakland Raiders in the offseason for a seventh-round draft pick, former University of Washington star Keith Price and B.J. Daniels will fight for the third quarterback spot. The Seahawks typically only have two quarterbacks active on game day and three on the 53-man roster.

Pryor’s athleticism always intrigues, though Price should have a good shot to make the team because of his prior relationship with Carroll and Russell Wilson. Price also had a strong rookie minicamp as an undrafted free agent.

HOW HEALTHY IS EVERYONE?

Linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith had a walking boot on his right foot during the Seahawks’ visit to the White House on Wednesday. Left tackle Russell Okung had offseason surgery on a toe injured throughout last season. Strong safety Kam Chancellor underwent minor hip surgery this offseason. Wilson dealt with a sore left shoulder last season. Cornerback Richard Sherman left the Super Bowl early because of an ankle injury. Center Max Unger had various injuries — including concussion issues — last season.

Then, there’s wide receiver Percy Harvin. Arguably the most tantalizing player on the team, Harvin underwent hip surgery in August and had just five catches and three carries over the Seahawks’ 19 games last season. He was at voluntary offseason workouts at team headquarters in Renton and at the informal workouts Wilson organized for the second consecutive year at Hermosa Beach in California. He finally appears ready to go.

2013 OUTLIERS MAKING A PUSH

Players such as defensive tackle Jesse Williams, defensive end Greg Scruggs and cornerback Tharold Simon missed last season because of injuries. Each will fight for a spot starting in OTAs, all with a legitimate shot to play backup roles at their positions.

Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. seahawk44 says:

    How can you noy even mention Sidney Rice in the fight at WR conversation?

  2. Dukeshire says:

    seahawk44 – My thoughts exactly.

    Harvin is tantalizing or talented? lol. Peculiar adjective. Regardless, hopefully Seattle can get double digit games out of him this season because he is unquestionably a dramatic offensive game changer.

  3. HawkfaninMT says:

    My opinion on each of these topics:

    Wide Receiver is going to be a fun one to watch! I think they keep 6. Harvin, Kearse, Baldwin, Richardson, Norwood, and Lockette. While placing Rice on the PUP. This gives young guys a chance to produce, and keeps Rice around in case of injury or ineffectiveness by a rookie.

    I think Carp has a man sized season then is let walk after he gets a bigger contract offer elsewhere. Bowie replaces him next year. This years line: Okung, Carp, unger, Sweezy, Britt. Next years line: Okung, Bowie, Unger, Sweezy, Britt.

    Keep 3 QBs on roster: Wilson, T-Jack, Pryor. Price to PS.

    Unless there are injuries in the preseason/OTAs, I am not concerned with any injuries. Just take it slow Rice as he is coming back from ACL.

    Outliers I can’t wait to see:
    Simon
    Auguste
    Scruggs
    AJ Jefferson

  4. chuck_easton says:

    HawkfaninMT,

    I only disagree with you on Rice/Lockette. IF and that is a big if Rice is healthy he stays and Lockette goes.

    The Other 5 you mention, barring an injury in camp, will be on the active roster in my humble opinion.

    The only real fight I see is between Rice and Lockette for that final WR spot.

  5. chuck_easton says:

    And I’ll take my Rice prediction even further. Just so I can either be totally wrong or so right I’ll be in yankster boasting range.

    IF Rice is indeed healthy he starts on the outside with Baldwin on the other side. Harvin in Slot, Kearse, Richardson and Norwood on ST and getting playing time.

    Go big or go home!

  6. CDHawkFan says:

    I want to see what they will do with the D line, now without Clem or Red and where does Irvin fit in?

    What does the future look like at RB, is CM going to have to comPete with Turbin or he going to get the special treatment and leapfrog him based on talent and needing a Plan B to M Lynch after this year?

    How do they see the rest of the O line, are Bailey and Bowie that close to starting or are they hoping/expecting someone from this years draft to move ahead of them on the depth/starting chart?

    Will they move T Pryor before the season starts for a pick, or keep him knowing that T Jackson will leave with/when Bevell gets his HC gig after this year?

  7. Macabrevity says:

    I heard Britt had trouble sticking blocks in the rookie camp, despite the position switch, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he bides his time until injuries and a very thin unit pushes him into service to become the next in a line of turnstiles giving the fastest possible access to our QB.

    How’s that for negativity :P

  8. jawpeace says:

    I too think that the Hawks should PUP Rice to start the year. The extra healing time could only benefit him.

    I used to be a Lockette man / supporter, but the guy has not really been productive in a lot of years. His special teams play looks like it is getting better as well as his WR play. IF he continues to improve more on the improvements he made last season then he has a strong shot. If he continues his improvement at a snail pace meaning looks pretty much the same as last year, then he is a bubble guy and not a lock.

    The one I see maybe replacing Lockette is Chris Matthews. He is someone who can not be overlooked. Carol loves big guys and CM is a big dude with sub 4.6 speed. College coaches praised his blocking on running plays. And of course he got rookie of the year in Canada in 2012. He should be completely healthy after being hurt most of last year. So I like his chances. At the least a practice squad player.

  9. Southendzone says:

    Ok Chuck, I’ll see your Rice prediction and raise you with he ends up leading the team in TDs!

    And in true Yanker style, if I’m wrong, I will hedge this statement with some kind of crazy excuse, but if I’m right, I will gloat on it for the next 6 seasons.

  10. Ewalters7354 says:

    This is gonna be fun!Todd can you please keep us posted on Sherman vs Richardson?From what I’ve seen,PRich is a big trash talker.

  11. Southendzone says:

    Hey Todd, if you get a chance to interview Jesse Williams, ask him about that purple pimp jacket he wore at the white house.

  12. FleaFlicker says:

    10 minutes of post-season highlights, if anybody is interested. If you’re at work, definitely hit the mute button, as the sound track is a bit raw.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd2liynheL0#t=35

  13. I will go out on a limb, and say Rice does NOT lead the team in any category–except perhaps drops or games missed due to injury. He will not lead in TD’s, catches, or yards. I dont even see him making the team, unless there are early season injuries (God Forbid!).

    Interested to see Matthews play; but he’s tall and skinny, not “big”. And 4.6 isnt exactly scintillating speed; its barely adequate in the NFL. Baldwin runs pretty much a 4.50 and he isnt fast, just fast enough. Then again, he’s not 6′-5″ tall either!

  14. Britt has a looooong time to learn his spot before Game One. Dont write him off as a benchwarmer just yet. Besides, we’ve already seen what Bowie can do at RT, and it pales in comparo to what Bowie can do at G, and everyone knows it…

  15. jawpeace says:

    Chris Matthews 6′-5″ 218 lb, I would not call skinny. Paul Richardson is skinny. His official 40 time was 5.7 with his fastest time being 5.2. Here is what his scouting report for the 2011 draft said:
    Positives: Tall receiver with strong hands to catch throws over the top of smaller defenders, even when challenged. Height and vertical give him a great advantage on jump balls downfield. Creates separation with the ball in the air with long arms, tracks the ball well in the air (even over his head). Defeats jam with strength and hands. Owns body control to adjust for passes while in the air. Uses head fake to sell double moves. Fair strength as a run blocker, willing to punch and extend to take smaller defenders out of the play is coming his way. Gives effort to block downfield if ballcarrier is in his area.

    Negatives: Strider who takes time to get to full speed. Does not explode off the line, especially slow if challenged. Rounds speed-out and corner routes too much. Takes extra steps on stop and comeback routes, allows corners to read him. Inconsistent hands, capable of extending well outside his frame for errant throws but also loses concentration and allows throws into his body. Lack of short-area quickness allows corners playing off coverage to elude him on run blocks. Little upper-body muscle development.

  16. Is Richardson at OTA’s? He didn’t make it through rookie camp and with his injury history and slight build he’s not someone I’m counting on.

  17. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks FleaFlicke, that was fun…Let’s do it again.

  18. Ray_Maines says:

    My two cents on Sidney Rice: If he’s healthy he won’t be competing for the last spot, he’ll be the starting wide receiver. That’s a funny statement though, because he might not be healthy until a month into the regular season, so maybe he does start on the PUP list.

    Carp does well and moves on after the season. RT continues to be a problem.

    I also predict the Christine Michael and Terrelle Pryor moves will continue to confuse me all year long. Maybe next year too.

  19. HawkfaninMT, your predictions look pretty solid man.
    The only thing I might tweak is let’s PUP Rice and keep Walters instead of Lockette. We’ll let the Niners have Ricardo back so he can continue to room with Kaepernick and get him in more trouble.
    When we PS Keith Price, we’ll have to release Daniels, and there go the Niners again, slurping up our sloppy seconds BJ.

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