The players take a field for the first time in 2012 one week from today. While everyone is watching the QB competition and the other obvious story lines, I’m going to be watching for other, more subtle, developing stories. Here’s what I’ll be watching for when the Seahawk Players finally take the field:
1) How many snaps does Doug Baldwin get on the outside? Early in the offseason, Baldwin was fairly outspoken about not wanting to just be a slot receiver, and wanting to be able to make plays on the outside. The problem is that his skill set makes him dominant in the slot, and appears to make his success on the outside extremely unlikely. Will the Seahawks really give him a chance on the outside, and if they do, can he take advantage of that change?
2) Who’s calling the adjustments for the defensive front 7? Pete Carroll said that it wouldn’t be rookie MLB Bobby Wagner right after the draft, but it was Wagner who was making the calls in the team’s final mini-camp. If KJ Wright, and not Wagner is going to be making those calls in the games, then he should be doing so at the start of camp. If Wagner is making those calls in camp, he’s likely to be making those calls once the games start.
3) What personnel groups are on the field the most? The Seahawks made a big splash to bring Kellen Winslow at TE, but it still remains to be seen how the Seahawks will use their new weapon. I expect a lot of 2 TE sets, but will that be with 1 back on 2 WRs, or 2 backs and 1 WR, empty backfield with 3 receivers? Clearly there will be a lot of different groups, but I’m curious to see which ones are used the most.
4) How much is the Seahawk defense in the nickel? It know it’s practice, and the defensive set will be determined mostly by the offense. But the Seahawks were in the nickel a lot last season, and figure to have the 5th defensive back on the field even more this season since they’ve upgraded that personnel group extensively in the offseason.
5) Who’s not on the field? Chris Clemons is expected to hold out while he waits for a new contract, and James Carpenter and Walter Thurmond aren’t expect to be ready to participate yet either. But it’s the other players that I’m referring to here. Are Dexter Davis, Russell Okung, John Moffitt, and Winston Guy all healed and ready to go like they are supposed to be? Are there any surprise players on the training table and not on the field when camp begins?