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Monday, July 28, 2008

Seahawks Training Camp Opens

The first three days of Seahawks training are complete. There haven't been any major developments yet, but a few noteworthy events took place that already begin to address some outstanding questions coming out of the last minicamp

TBD: Will health concerns keep either Mike Green or C.J. Wallace from making the squad? Is there room for Kevin Hobbs?

Answer: Yes to both. The Seahawks released S Mike Green because he wasn't able to stay healthy. Green also had only one year at $1.3 million left on his contract, making him less attractive from a financial and development stand point than C.J. Wallace or Kevin Hobbs. Green's release is a positive signal for both of those players. Jordan Babineaux is basically the #3 safety and will continue to come in as part of the nickel package (I think of him as a third safety in that personnel grouping). Hobbs now figures to make the team as the #4 corner, behind Josh Wilson. And C.J. Wallace appears to have put his health struggles behind him and he will be the 4th safety. Hobbs could still be a numbers causality if injury concerns force the Seahawks to keep 10 offensive linemen.

TBD: Will Deion Branch be healthy enough to be on the active roster on August 30th?

Answer: That question remains unanswered, although it appears very likely that he will be ready enough to avoid staying on the PUP list, and would just be one of the 8 inactive players for the first few weeks of the season. Bobby Engram reported to camp, which helps make that an easier decision to make. I was ready to call the "young receiver" race back on May 5th, and the reality of that situation should be more apparent to everyone now. Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu, Logan Payne in that order. Those guys are making the team. Jordan Kent is not.

TBD: Who else makes the team, if anyone? Marcus Tubbs, Larry Tripplett, Howard Green, and Chris Cooper are all worth mentioning.

Answer: Howard Green is currently working alongside Craig Terrill with the second unit. That could easily change as camp moves forward and is what to watch for to determine the Seahawks thinking. Tripplett and Red Bryant are with the third unit for the time being.

TBD: Is the coaching staff comfortable enough with Charlie Frye to allow Seneca Wallace a more expanded role at receiver or as a return man?

Answer: That question is still entirely open. However, it isn't as important with Bobby Engram reporting to camp and the receiver position solidifying. Wallace isn't as needed at receiver as he might have otherwise been. It would still be nice to see Charlie Frye make some solid strides and to see Seneca Wallace make some athletic plays.

TBD: Can Floyd Womack stay healthy enough to make the team? Given the health issues across the board on the offensive line, this might be a year the Seahawks keep 10 guys.

Answer: He better. And with the other injuries (most notably the latest to Chris Gray), the Seahawks going with 10 offensive linemen is looking more and more likely. I originally assumed that last spot would come from the wide receiver position by axing Jordan Kent. However, If Deion Branch isn't on the PUP list at the start of the season, then that spot needs to come from another position because Branch replaces Kent in the numbers count. It could come down to Kevin Hobbs vs. Steve Vallos for the final roster spot. The other possibility would be a scenario where the Seahawks keep only 8 defensive linemen. Marcus Tubbs, Larry Tripplett, Howard Green, and Chris Cooper would all find themselves left off the final 53-man roster.