Competition and winning matter to the Seattle Seahawks every time they take the field. It’s part of the reason they have been undefeated nine pre-season games in a row, and brought home their first Lombardi Trophy last February.
When the Hawks face the Broncos at Denver’s Sports Authority Field this evening they will have several goals, including another victory.
More important to Pete Carroll and his coaching staff is getting a look at young players who might make a strong football team even better in 2014. Here are three rookies I will watch with keen interest.
Seattle used a second round draft pick on lightning quick receiver Paul Richardson. The University of Colorado product is eager to show Hawks fans he’s durable and reliable.
“At Colorado I was just more catching passes over the shoulder down field”, Richardson told me after practice in Renton. “I think in a league where guys can run with you a little bit, it’s a good attribute to be able to jump up over guys and catch passes too.”
The Seahawks coaching staff is anxious to see whether the 6′-0, 175 pounder can take a hit and keep on ticking.
Another second round draft pick, right tackle Justin Britt from the University of Missouri, displayed great footwork during mini-camp. Seattle has purposely created pressure situations for him during the 11- on-11 drills. Coach Carroll expects good competition between Britt, nine-year veteran Eric Winston, and second-year man Alvin Bailey.
I will also focus on number 45, undrafted free-agent linebacker Brock Coyle from the University of Montana. With Bobby Wagner nursing a hamstring injury the past week, Coyle has taken most of the reps with the NFL’s best defense.
The former Junior Olympic snow-skier has plenty of confidence. “First off I think if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will,” shared Coyle. “I believe I can come in an help this team. Whether that’s on special teams, or as a back-up linebacker.”
Linebackers coach Ken Norton likes Coyle’s versatility to play middle or outside linebacker. The man from Bozeman, Montana will have to unseat veterans like Heath Farwell and Mike Morgan.
All three rookies recognize their performance in pre-season games matters, but is just one part of the overall evaluation process to determine whether they’re part of the 2014 Seattle Seahawks roster.-
A few starters are not expected to see action against Denver due to injuries, or off-season surgeries. The list includes safety Kam Chancellor, LT Russell Okung, linebackers Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, and Bruce Irvin.
Bill Swartz, 1090 The Fan
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