Here are five things we'll be watching as the Seahawks hold a scrimmage Sunday.
The Seahawks are set to hold a scrimmage/mock game on Sunday afternoon, a traditional way for the team to end its first phase of training camp.
Here are five things I’ll be watching.
1, The offensive line: The line has been the number one story through the first seven practices of training camp and likely will be throughout the preseason. While much has been made of some of the experiments on the line on Friday, the first and second units appeared unchanged on Saturday. Specifically, that meant J’Marcus Webb back at right tackle after he worked with the second team on Friday, with Germain Ifedi at right guard, Justin Britt at center, Mark Glowinski at left guard and Garry Gilliam at left tackle. The Seahawks signed veteran Jahri Evans after practice on Saturday but it’ll take a while yet to know where he fits in. Sunday’s scrimmage will be the most serious test yet for the new-look line and likely go a long way toward helping coaches decide how much confidence they have in the current lineup to succeed this season or if more tinkering is needed.
2, The backup QBs: Trevone Boykin has been the number two QB throughout with Jake Heaps working with the third team. Conventional wisdom, though, is that the Seahawks could be in the market for a veteran if Boykin shows any vulnerability, especially as some inevitably become available when cuts are made later in the preseason. Boykin has earned praise for his preparation and command of the hustle. But ultimately it’s about making plays on the field. Coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that Heaps has been “lighting it up” in practice. Heaps can add even more validity to that statement with a good performance in the scrimmage while Boykin can give additional signs that he’s up to the task of being the backup.
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3, The backup receivers: The battle for the final one or two or so receiver spots remains fierce. Former UW standouts Kasen Williams and Kevin Smith each appeared sidelined on Saturday — Williams suffered an unknown injury in practice on Friday. If those two remain out on Sunday it could allow the likes of rookie Kenny Lawler — who has been solid the past few days — and maybe even undrafted free agent Tanner McEvoy (who has also made increasing plays the last few days) to make an impression.
4, The strongside linebackers: Cassius Marsh appears to have worked more often as the starting SLB the last few days, though Mike Morgan and Eric Pinkins have also gotten time with the first unit. It’ll be interesting to see the rotations on Sunday and who is used where. This could be evolving into a situation where all three make the final 53-man roster with all three finding their way on the field in specific situations (as well as special teams).
5, The tight ends: Jimmy Graham remains on the PUP list and Cooper Helfet was waived as injured on Saturday (meaning, expect him to revert to Seattle’s Injured Reserve list by Sunday). That has opened the door for free agent Brandon Williams, who has appeared to move ahead of rookie Nick Vannett and at the moment appears to be the backup TE behind Luke Willson. With the Seahawks having an uncertain fullback situation after the loss of Brandon Cottom for the season due to an Achilles injury, Seattle might look to keep a fourth tight end. Regardless, Sunday will mark another opportunity for Williams — who has four catches in his NFL career with Miami and Carolina — to make make that much more of a statement that he belongs on the final 53-man roster.