Seahawks training camp begins Friday. We’ll answer a key question every day until the team is back on the field at the team facility in Renton.
Today’s question: Is Alvin Bailey ready to take over at left guard?
Of Seattle’s position groups, the one that is drawing the most scrutiny entering the season is the offensive line. That’s largely due to the question of which player will replace center Max Unger, who was traded to New Orleans as part of the Jimmy Graham deal.
Unger, though, is not the only veteran departing, as James Carpenter, the Seahawks’ No. 1 draft pick in 2011 who started 13 games at left guard last season, signed as a free agent with the New York Jets.
Camp practice schedule
(All practices at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton)
Week 1: Friday — 10:25 a.m.-noon*; Saturday-Monday, Wednesday-Thursday — 10:15 a.m.-noon.*
Week 2: Aug. 7 — 10:15 a.m.-noon*; Aug. 8 — 1-2:45 p.m.*; Aug 10-12 — 10:15 a.m.-noon*; Aug. 13 — 10-11:30 a.m.
Week 3: Aug. 17-19 — 10:15 a.m.-noon*; Aug. 20 — 10-11:30 a.m.
Week 4: Aug. 24-26 — 10:15 a.m.-noon; Aug. 27 — 10:30 a.m.-noon; Aug. 28 — 10:45-11:30 a.m.
Week 5: Sept. 1: 10:15 a.m.-noon; Sept. 2: 10:15-11:30 a.m.
* — Open to the public. All public practices are sold out.
The situation at left guard going forward, however, is more clearly defined than it is at center, as third-year player Alvin Bailey is in line to take over, working with the starting unit at left guard throughout OTAs and minicamp.
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Bailey, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013, has started five games in his career, all last season.
What inspires confidence with the Seahawks that Bailey can take over for Carpenter is that three of his starts came at left guard. That included games against the Giants and Chiefs in which the Seahawks rushed for 350 yards and 204, respectively. The 350 yards against the Giants set a team record, and the 554 in the two games set a record for back-to-back games.
Bailey also arrived at offseason workouts in better shape than last year, having lost about 30 pounds from the end of the 2014 campaign when he was near 350 pounds.
Offensive-line coach Tom Cable noted that Bailey gained the weight in the offseason following his rookie year, which he said can be a common malady for young players enjoying an initial taste of NFL success.
“I think he’s learned,’’ Cable said in May. “That’s maturity. The mission was for him to come back at the 320 mark, where he can be at his best, because he got too big.’’
Cable said Bailey’s play also showed some added maturity in the spring.
“I think his grasp of what we are doing has showed up to a much higher level, which is (a reflection of) his confidence, obviously,’’ Cable said.
The Seahawks also added Mark Glowinski and Terry Poole in the draft, both now being used at guard. But entering camp the expectation is that Bailey will join J.R. Sweezy as the starters.
Bailey replacing Carpenter also saves the Seahawks some needed money, the second consecutive year the Seahawks made the choice to let a veteran go — both times to the Jets — and replace him with a younger, cheaper player,
In 2014 the Seahawks did not re-sign right tackle Breno Giacomini, who signed a four-year $18 million deal with New York. The Seahawks replaced him with rookie Justin Britt.
Carpenter, signed a four-year $19.1 million deal with the Jets in March. Bailey is due to make $585,000 this season.
Up next: Will long snapper Nate Boyer have a chance to make the team?