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News » Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-28


Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-28


Seattle Seahawks Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-28
With sixth-round draft pick Tyler Schmitt placed on injured reserve, the Seahawks waived Tim Lindsey (who cut short his honeymoon to play for two weeks with the team) and signed 38-year-old Jeff Robinson, who ended last season as the team's snapper.


PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Justin Forsett - The third-best running back in Cal history has virtually forced the Seahawks to keep him after totaling 261 total yards in the second preseason game. With Nate Burleson starting at split end, Forsett is likely to be the team's top punt and kickoff returner.

DRAFT PICKS TO STICK

RD. 1/28, DE Lawrence Jackson, Southern California -- Is fighting with Darryl Tapp for the starting spot on the right side. Also will rush over the guard on the third down and be part of a three-man rotation with Tapp and Patrick Kerney.

Rd. 2/38, TE John Carlson, Notre Dame -- Because he can both block and receive, the Seahawks envision him as their long-term starter. They hope he can augment the running game and catch 50 passes.

Rd. 4/121, DT Red Bryant, Texas A&M -- He is raw, but has good size and strength, the reason they expect him to back up Brandon Mebane. He is a better pass-rusher than his reputation.

Rd. 5/163, FB Owen Schmitt, West Virginia -- Will be used as the primary blocker in short-yardage situations and will play a big role on special teams.

Rd. 7/233, RB Justin Forsett, California -- Had two huge games in the first two exhibitions and now has the chance to be the team's primary punt and kickoff returner.

Rd. 7/235, K Brandon Coutu, Georgia -- In a close competition with veteran Olindo Mare for the chance to replace Josh Brown.

UNIT-BY-UNIT ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACKS: Starter - Matt Hasselbeck. Backups - Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye.

Hasselbeck is coming off a career year in which he threw for highs in yards (3,966) and touchdowns (28). He has been hampered by a sore back this preseason. Wallace remains an option for receiver or returner, especially since Frye has proven a capable backup.

RUNNING BACKS: Starters - RB Julius Jones, FB Leonard Weaver. Backups - RB Maurice Morris, FB Owen Schmitt, RB T.J. Duckett, RB Justin Forsett.

Jones and Morris will actually split the majority of the carries. Schmitt and Weaver have been working as a short yardage tandem. Duckett is a player without a position.

TIGHT ENDS: Starter - John Carlson. Backups - Will Heller, Jeb Putzier.

Carlson is a rookie but is the most well-rounded of the three. Heller and Putzier are on equal footing and will be used according to which play is run, with Putzier the better pass-receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - SE Nate Burleson. FL Courtney Taylor. Backups - Ben Obomanu, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne, Deion Branch, Bobby Engram.

Engram and Branch would be starting but both are out with injuries. Engram should be back around the fourth game, while Branch's return from knee surgery is uncertain. He is a candidate for PUP. Burleson led the team with nine TD receptions last year. Taylor has five career catches. Kent is a former track athlete who can stretch the field.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters - LT Walter Jones, LG Mike Wahle, C Chris Spencer, RG Rob Sims, RT Sean Locklear. Backups - T Floyd Womack, C/G Steve Vallos, G Mansfield Wrotto, T/G Ray Willis.

Jones remains one of the best in the game and has been joined by another talented veteran in Wahle, who was signed when he was released by Carolina. Sims has moved from the left to the right side. Spencer has battled a back injury all preseason, while Locklear missed the final two preseason games with a knee sprain, replaced by Willis. While lacking talent, Womack is versatile and can play every position but center.

DEFENSIVE LINE: Starters - LDE Patrick Kerney, LDT Rocky Bernard, RDT Brandon Mebane, RDE Darryl Tapp. Backups - LDE Jason Babin, LDT Craig Terrill, RDT Red Bryant, RDE Lawrence Jackson, RDT Howard Green.

The addition of Jackson gives the ends a three-man rotation that should save Kerney, who was third in the NFL in sacks last year but wore down at the end. Bernard is in a contract year. Bryant had surgery to repair torn cartilage but needs to have a big year for them to be successful stopping the run.

LINEBACKER: Starters - SLB Julian Peterson, MLB Lofa Tatupu, WLB Leroy Hill. Backups - SLB D.D. Lewis, MLB David Hawthorne, WLB Lance Laury.

Though their starters are all Pro Bowl caliber, they are thin at the position this year, with the undrafted Hawthorne making the team. Peterson remains one of the best at rushing the passer, Hill is excellent at blitzing and Tatupu is solid in both phases. D.D. Lewis spent five years in Seattle, left for two years and then came back.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters - LCB Marcus Trufant, RCB Kelly Jennings, SS Deon Grant, FS Brian Russell. Backups - LCB Kevin Hobbs, RCB Josh Wilson, SS Jordan Babineaux, FS C.J. Wallace.

Extremely deep secondary is led by Trufant, who emerged as one of the top cover corners last season and got a $50 million contract as a reward. The unit returns everybody and allowed only three deep TDs last year. Babineaux can play both corner and safety, and Wilson has emerged as a talented nickel back.

SPECIAL TEAMS: PK Olindo Mare, PK Brandon Coutu, P Ryan Plackemeier, LS Jeff Robinson, PR/KOR Justin Forsett.

Mare, a veteran, and Coutu, a rookie, are battling to the end for the right to replace Josh Brown. Plackemeier is coming off surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Robinson, 38, was signed after Tyler Schmitt was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 28, 2008

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Ray Willis Name: Ray Willis
#74
Position: OT
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: Florida State
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