Reporting Bill Swartz
An overnight rain shower soaked the grass fields of the Seahawks practice complex in Renton, so the team held its short walk-through session indoors. Players wore shorts and t-shirts, no helmets or pads. Heck, there wasn’t even an air horn to sound the end of practice.
Seattle’s 4th exhibition game Thursday night against the visiting Oakland Raiders will be a final audition for many players trying to make the 53 man roster. However, at a couple positions head coach Pete Carroll might be trying to find a new starter.
Injuries have created a big concern for the middle of the defensive line. Carroll said Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel won’t play after tweaking groins. Jesse Williams (knee) is on the reserve/pup list, and fellow rookie Jordan Hill is still recovering from a strained bicep. Michael Bennett is out of town receiving treatment on a toe. Cliff Avril has a hamstring injury which might keep him out of the regular season opener.
“With Mebane and McDaniel not playing we’re kind of light in the middle. It’s a good chance to see (Sealver) Siliga and Jaye Howard and all the young guys like (Michael) Brooks to get out there and do some playing,” said Carroll. At least the coaching staff already knows what it has in Red Bryant and Clinton McDonald.
Mike Morgan, O’Brien Schofield, and Benson Mayowa will play the outside pass rush positions.
Some front line players will see plenty of action against the Raiders. Carroll says Bruce Irvin will play a lot at the (sam) linebacker position. James Carpenter had a good week of practice and will get plenty of snaps at left guard. Tight end Zach Miller’s foot injury is a thing of the past and he will see some time in the first quarter.
Fullback Michael Robinson continues to recover from an viral illness, with the possibility of missing the regular season opener. Derick Coleman and rookie Spencer Ware will share time Thursday night. Sidney Rice (knee) will not play against the Raiders, but Carroll expects him full go for the September 8th game at Carolina.
Former Washington Husky Jermaine Kearse, DeShawn Shead, and Juanita High School product Bryan Walters will handle kick return duties, while Walter Thurmond III fields the punts.
Carroll says defensive end Chris Clemons continues to make great progress in his acl rehab. Seattle’s leading sacker still has not been involved in any contact of team drills. The coach says the Hawks will have a tough decision to make whether to have Clemons on the 53 man roster, or reserve/pup list.
With Seattle’s deep roster, the coach said he and GM John Schneider will be faced with some of the most difficult cuts they’ve had to make. Carroll fully expects many of the guys they release to wind up on other roster, if not starting. Decisions, says the coach, will be based on both short, and long term needs of the team.
-Bill Swartz, 1090TheFan
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