There’s one week left in Seahawks camp, and while this year has been quieter from a news perspective, there have still been a few notable storylines that have developed over the course of the last month.
I covered most of them in this week’s mailbag. Thanks, as always, to those who submitted questions.
There have been three rookies who have been turning heads since the day camp opened: Damien Lewis, DeeJay Dallas and Alton Robinson. All three could make an immediate impact as soon as Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. Lewis is already cemented as the starter at right guard. Dallas has been the most impressive pass catcher out of the backfield and might have secured himself third-down snaps from the jump. Robinson is a bit harder to figure out because he’s behind Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin at LEO. However, he’s bulked up to 277 pounds and might be a candidate to join the rotation at 5-tech. He’s arguably been just as impressive, if not more so than Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier.
Beyond the first-year players, I’ve been very impressed with linebacker Cody Barton. He’s markedly more confident, which has translated to him playing faster and being more vocal while he’s on the field. There are a few players who are constantly around the football, and he is one of them. Unfortunately for Barton, it will likely take an injury for him to see regular snaps on defense given the Seahawks depth at linebacker.
Marquise Blair is another name that can’t be ignored. Shaquill Griffin was singing Blair’s prasies after Wednesday’s mock game, but he’s hardly the only one to do so. Everyone seems to be impressed across the board with Blair’s transition to nickel.
Lastly, receiver John Ursua appears to have made great strides heading into Year 2. He’s currently nursing a minor hamstring strain, but prior to that he’d been impressing on a daily basis. Brian Schottenheimer praised Ursua for his greater understanding of the offense, which has allowed him to play freely without thinking too much.
I think the No. 3 receiver remains Phillip Dorsett, pending his health of course as he’s currently nursing a sore foot. David Moore, John Ursua and Freddie Swain will battle for roster spots behind the top three. Seattle’s noted interest in reuniting with Josh Gordon made it clear the team was looking for added depth at receiver. With Gordon’s status still up in the air (who knows when the NFL will deliver a verdict on his potential reinstatement), it makes sense that the Seahawks kicked the tires on Paul Richardson.
This is the million dollar question, one I don’t think anybody knows the answer to. Maybe this was his plan all along: to join a team at the last minute and get to miss training camp for a second-straight season. My gut tells me this has far more to do with money than it does taking the month of August off. At this point, there’s a very real possibility that Clowney remains a free agent as the regular season opens. I just don’t envision a team caving and giving him the money he seeks sometime during the next two weeks. That means unless Clowney opts to swallow his pride and admit his gamble didn’t pan out, the saga will continue with no end in sight.
I’d be really surprised if K.J. Wright wasn’t starting in Week 1. The Falcons have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and I think everyone, both coaches and players, would feel more comfortable with Wright in the lineup at WILL. Pete Carroll said it would take a remarkable camp from Brooks in order to win the job immediately, and I’m not sure he’s accomplished that. That’s not to say Brooks has been a disappointment or won’t contribute at all this season, but it was always going to be a tall task for him to start immediately given Wright’s presence.
The starting offensive line feels pretty set barring a last-minute addition (say, Justin Britt).
LT – Duane Brown LG – Mike Iupati C – Ethan Pocic RG – Damien Lewis RT – Brandon Shell
The one thing I’d add here is that it’s worth monitoring Shell’s sprained ankle. He should make it back in time for Week 1, though.
I think he’ll be in the rotation along the defensive line. Assuming everyone is healthy, I don’t see him getting more than 15-20 snaps a game. I just haven’t seen anything that indicates a breakout year is coming from a production standpoint.