Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Down to 75 & Almost Time for Some Real Football

Down to 75 & Almost Time for Some Real Football

Ok, sorry so it’s been a few days since our last post. Things been happening, and the day just doesn’t seem long enough to get it all done. Additionally, it’s still preseason, so it’s kind of like hurry up and wait. There’s always a few good series per game, but there’s normally at least a half game of non-starters, and a good 10 minutes of guys who will soon be on a practice squad, or worse, on the payroll of an athletic department somewhere (out of league).


We now stand at what has become the least important preseason game; game 4. Very little chance of seeing very many starters, if so they most likely won’t play more than a series or two. Going into the game with 75 players and having to cut to the final 53 only two days later, it’ll give the coaches a good chance to judge what, for the Seahawks anyway, has to be some tough decisions. Going into Oakland for our last game on Thursday night gives us a few extra days rest before the Dolphins come to town in week 1.

Getting back to the player cuts going on now, I have to say I was kind of surprised with the ones they’ve made already. I heard Brandon Browner wasn’t having a great camp, and we didn’t see him on the field much during the first three games. So that means the ‘hybrid safety’ experiment is over. Too bad, Browner has always fit well with the current Legion of Boom, as he was an original member. I just believe he was caught in a numbers game. The Seahawks are real full in the defensive backfield, and a lot of the players are pretty young. Brandon’s age may have just caught with him, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign on with another team. I just hope it isn’t a team in the NFC West.

The first round of cuts became public Monday the 29th. These included FB Kyle Coleman, WR Montario Hunter, and DE DeAngelo Tyson. Additionally WR Deshon Foxx was put on the waived/injured list, and DT Sealver Siliga was placed on injured reserve. The team also terminated the veteran contract of Browner. On Tuesday the 30th RB Zac Brooks, LB Quayshawn Nealy, LB Pete Robertson, G Kristjan Sokoli, and C Patrick Lewis were waived. Also RB George Farmer, CB Trovon Reed, DE Josh Shirley, and WR Kevin Smith were put on the waived/injured list. The only real surprise for me here would be C Lewis, as he started a few games for the Seahawks last season. Apparently rookie Joey Hunt has looked pretty good, so the team thought Lewis was expendable.

Among the current 75 man roster there are six cornerbacks (also DeShawn Shead listed as a defensive back), eight defensive tackles, eight linebackers, six (?) tight ends, and ten wide receivers. I expect these last two; TE and WR will lose some big numbers come Saturday, when the final cut down to 53 must be done. I’m assuming three maybe four tight ends and five wide receivers will remain with the team. The tight end decision will be a tough one; with Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson being veterans with the team, and Nick Vannett having a good camp. I have also been surprised with the play of Brandon Williams. Seems like a good enough receiver, not sure of his blocking ability though. Thankfully, this isn’t my decision to make, and that’s why the coaches get the big money.

Overall I’d probably give the team a grade of B for the previous preseason games. There have been some good points and some not so good. It’s always hard to judge a preseason, because you can never be quite sure of how much a team is really showing. Coupled with the injuries from last year (Graham and Rawls) we have yet to see the full starting units together. With preseason week 4 being what it is, or has become, I seriously doubt we will until week one, against the Dolphins. Christine Michael has, to me anyway, been the biggest surprise of the games so far. If he can keep it up, we should have a decent one-two punch at running back, if Rawls can come back and show some of the magic from last season.

Just going to touch quickly on what I’ve seen from the rest of the league in this preseason. Dallas seems to have a budding superstar who is now going to find himself thrust into the bright lights. Dak Prescott has been very impressive so far. I wonder if the LA Rams and Philadelphia Eagles are a little uneasy about their top two picks, Goff and Wentz. I’m not saying these two aren’t quality quarterbacks, but Prescott has so far shown a skill set that fits well in the Dallas system. I believe if the Cowboys are smart they will do as the Seahawks did with Russell Wilson during his rookie year; simplify the offense. Don’t ask the rookie to do too much. Dak should be fine behind the offensive line the Cowboys have, but they thought Romo would be, and look how that turned out.

I heard the Minnesota Vikings lost their young quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, for the season yesterday. Apparently some freak accident during a non-contact drill tore his ACL and dislocated his knee. That’s really too bad for the team and Teddy. I believe he is one of the future stars of the league. They have said he should be able to make a full recovery. The Vikings seem to have all the pieces in place, so let’s hope they’re right.

In the rest of the NFC Green Bay looks to be tough again as does Arizona and Carolina. Tampa Bay has shown a lot of improvement also. The NFC East seems, again, to be a pick ‘em division. All four teams here don’t seem to put as much emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. Not sure why I feel this way, but having rookie coaches in New York and Philadelphia may show us something different. Still believe Seattle, Carolina, and Arizona are the big three in the conference, with Green Bay having the ability to surprise.

In the AFC I still believe, unfortunately, that it’s the Patriots, then everybody else. Not sure any other teams can dethrone them, though we should have a good comeback year from Indianapolis and Andrew Luck. Also the Pittsburg Steelers should be a tough team, as long as they can keep Big Ben healthy. My dark horse in the AFC would have to be the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Derek Carr has another year under his belt, as does WR Amari Cooper. With Michael Crabtree at the other receiver, they should have a decent passing game. As with last year though, they need to find a running game to complement it and keep defenses honest. Have also heard a lot of rumor of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas. Big money there, but some of these young stars with all that money sounds like trouble to me. We’ll just have to wait it out.

The Seahawks finish the preseason tomorrow night in Oakland, playing on the baseball field. Should be an interesting game as both teams will have two more days to cut an additional 22 players from the roster. As I said, I don’t believe we will see many starters playing, or playing very long, as roster spots 1-40 (or so) are pretty much set. It’s the players on the bubble that will see the field more, as the coaches have some tough decisions to make.

So until next time……..GO HAWKS!!

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