Questions about Colin Kaepernick, fullbacks and roster cutdown dates in our latest mailbag.
Time for another set of Seahawks questions and answers. And as always, you can ask more at @bcondotta.
Q: @dhodgs asks: What are the chances (Colin) Kaepernick is a Seahawk by August 1st?
A: By Aug. 1? I’d say zero. That doesn’t mean I think there is zero chance Kaepernick ends up a Seahawk at some point down the road. But by Aug. 1, I’d say there’s no real chance since I don’t know what would happen between now and then to change anything from the decision the Seahawks made a few weeks ago to instead sign Austin Davis as a backup.
The Seahawks are off until beginning training camp the weekend of July 30 meaning there would be only a practice or two before Aug. 1.
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sounded happy enough with the progress of Davis after mini-camp, saying Austin did really well. Amazingly bright football player. He blew us away with how fast he could pick stuff up. He brings more playtime experience, just in the meeting room that we treasure. He’s been there, he’s played games and all that. Trevone (Boykin) hasn’t had that and can’t have that yet. It’s been a good mix so far. So we brought him in and we’ll make these evaluations as we get back but I think Austin showed very well for himself. He’s got his own style. He’s a different style player than Trevone or Russell of course, but I kind of like what he brought us.”
Boykin still has unresolved legal issues dating to an arrest in March for marijuana possession and public intoxication that also then triggered another arrest for violating probation. His first court date in connection with the March arrest has been initially set for July 14.
But the Seahawks have said they are confident Boykin will be available for the season. And any worries about a possible suspension for Boykin might be moot if the team decides it is comfortable enough with Davis as a backup.
What could change things is if Russell Wilson were to suffer any sort of serious injury and Kaepernick were to still be available. If that were to happen, I think the Seahawks would consider all options.
Otherwise, I think Seattle is going forward with the trio of QBs that it has.
Q: chambers100k asks: How has (fullback Algernon) Brown been doing? Heard great things coming in but no updates.
A: There may not have been a lot of updates in part because of the nature of OTAs and minicamp — no full pads, no hitting, which especially makes it difficult to assess much about blocking; and the nature of the way the Seahawks did their OTAs and minicamp, conducting most of their running drills in walk-throughs that were closed to the media and doing almost all of their passing work in the open sessions.
Carroll said the change was mostly to split up the work more evenly and allow some players recovering from injuries — such as Luke Joeckel and Eddie Lacy — to get the work they needed in more controlled settings, and also to split it out more evenly over the day.
The upshot is that when the Seahawks went to full team drills in the sessions open the media they were almost always practicing passing situations — two-minute drill, etc. — which means no real use of fullbacks.
Brown, signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of BYU, is one of two fullbacks on the roster, the other being Kyle Coleman, a second-year player signed as a free agent following the rookie mini-camp.
Both appeared healthy and doing everything in the individual sessions and other drill work, so the team presumably got a good look at them.
But given that what is usually the most important aspect of a fullback’s play is something the Seahawks can’t have judged yet — blocking — I think we’ll need a few days/weeks into training camp to really know where that competition stands.
Q: @mbakerlax asks: Can you explain how the new roster cut downs will work and what kinds of opportunities or challenges that introduce?
A: Sure. The roster cutdown situation is actually easier to remember than ever. Due to a change in the rules made in March, there is now just one roster cutdown instead of two — from the training camp roster maximum of 90 to the regular season maximum of 53 on the weekend following the fourth and final preseason games.
Teams used to have to cut from 90 to 75 following the third game.
The change was made in large part so that teams could have more players available for the final preseason game, when starters and other key players see little action, if any at all.
The thought was, keep all 90 players and give more of them a shot to play in a game when there are lots of snaps available.
The reality is that most players in that 76-90 group on the roster probably won’t be able to change too many minds in the last game to actually earn a spot on the 53-man. But you never know — and if nothing else, it’s that much more film a player can put out there for opportunities down the road, either with the Seahawks or some other team.
If there’s a challenge, it’s that 15 more players per team — or 480 if my computer has done its math right — will suddenly become available overnight, for a total of 1,184, that teams will have to quickly peruse and figure out if they want to claim/sign.
But scouting is also such a year-round process anymore that I think teams usually have a pretty good idea of who is going to be available.
I think the main difference will simply be more players who aren’t going to make the roster getting a chance to play in the final game.