Swartz: Seahawks Sort Out Defensive Line Rotation
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A strength of the Seahawks run to the NFL Championship last season was the talent and variety of the defensive line. Constantly rotating big and fast men kept everyone fresh in games and towards the end of the season.
With the free-agent departures of Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and Clinton McDonald, opportunities abound for new faces to emerge during Seattle’s OTA and training camp this summer.
Seahawks’ Coach Pete Carroll talked about the audition process at the start of the first voluntary OTA this week.
“We’re taking in information and seeing where guys fit. We’re wide open to the rotations and who’s going to play and start at this point, ” said Carroll.
Seattle did re-sign the versatile Michael Bennett and plan to use him plenty more than last season. Cliff Avril also figures to get more snaps than he did in 2013. Brandon Mebane continues to anchor the inside.
Carroll is hopeful another veteran can set the edge against the run.
“I’m very excited for Tony McDaniel to come back with us again. He had a very good year for us doing the stuff we want him to do. I think he comes here trying to own the ‘three technique’ spot.”
Second year players Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill are expected to push McDaniel for playing time. Williams was placed on the injured reserve list his entire rookie season due to a knee injury. Hill saw action in just four games last season because of nagging injuries and depth at the position.
Another man eager to crack the starting defensive line rotation is 310 pound Greg Scruggs, who’s also bouncing back from a torn acl.
“Gosh, he’s worked so hard this off-season and getting right. He’s ready to go physically, but has to get through the stuff of pushing and leaning on people, ” said Carroll. “I feel really good having him back out with us. I think he’s going to max it out and our expectation is he could be a big factor in the rotations.”
D’Anthony Smith, Michael Brooks, Dewayne Cherrington, and rookies Jimmy Staten and Andru Pulu will try to grab the coach’s attention over the coming weeks as the Seahawks attempt to duplicate the terrific unit they had in a special season.
-Bill Swartz, 1090thefan-
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