Renton, WA — There is no NFL summer setting like this, and on the day I’m here, the Blue Angels are flying around (that’s not a metaphor, they’re here for an event called Seafair), the sky is crystal clear, and it’s 80 degrees There is no moisture on the shores of Lake Washington. There’s also some football there…
1) The corner situation in Seattle is really interesting. Reclamations Artie Burns and Sidney Jones are becoming starters. But a couple of rookies are pushing them. Thorpe Award winner and fourth-rounder Kobe Bryant from Cincinnati has already accosted the first team and looks like a potential plug-and-play starter with a chance to play in Week 1. Fifth-rounder Tariq Woolen from UTSA impressed teammates on both ends of the floor with his combination of size and athleticism. Who will play where still needs to be figured out. But the Seahawks look like they have some options at this position.
2) Bobby Wagner is gone, his departure has undoubtedly left a void – but with Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton in his old spots, Seattle should be looking at the defense quicker than it has been in years (and I’m not saying either Both are as good as Wagner, to be clear). Brooks, in particular, has a chance to approach Pro Bowl level this year based on how he moves through training camp.
3) The movement skills of rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas began to show in May. Crossovers are a very good option to start on the left. Lucas might be his bookend. But the preseason will be a great opportunity to see where they stand as blockers. Both are products of Mike Leach’s offense, so each has a projection. The Seahawks are betting on the mentality and strengths in their character — Lucas has a certain hatred for the way he plays — but for Seattle, seeing this run on the (preseason) playing field It’s important to show up.
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4) We’ve named four rookies. there are more. Second-rounder Kenneth Walker III, who won the Walter Camp Award at Michigan State last year, can start at linebacker — and showcase his college vision and second gear. Boye Mafe, a fellow second-rounder, is taking the juice from the brink. There’s even a seventh round to watch. That’s Dareke Young, who two years ago was a fullback on Lenoir-Rhyne’s wing T-shaped offense and is now bringing a pretty remarkable combination of size, toughness, and speed to the NFL receiver position (even if he’s still raw) . Add it up, and it looks like Pete Carroll and John Schneider could have a basic course here.
5) Oh, do you want to know about the quarterback? Geno Smith has nearly every first-team representation (and leads), but he and Drew Lock have more to show the coaches between now and Monday night’s opener. Smith has to prove he can play faster than he did in his first two years in Seattle. Rock has to show that he’s down on the offensive end, improving his footwork after a lot of coaching chaos in Denver. The good news is that Carroll doesn’t have to call yet.
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