NOTE: I’ll be doing quick write ups like these for every game this year, as well as some post-game analysis. September 10th will start the “Why the Hawks will win” series.
Preseason games are about figuring out what works, what needs improvement, player analysis, and game experience. Wins and losses don’t matter. The Seahawks are in a pretty fun situation right now with all the young guys on the roster fighting for a place on the 53-man. The game tonight is nationally televised on ESPN. It will be interesting to see how players handle the expectations/ pressure (looking at you, Tarvaris). Also keep an eye on Josh Portis, 3rd string QB, who’s been impressive thus far in training camp and who Carroll has said will see extensive time.
Some things I’m watching for:
The WR corps. Mike Williams and Kris Durham will be sidelined for the game. I’d be surprised if Sidney Rice played more than a handful of snaps. I expect to see Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu get strong playing time, but keep an eye on Ricardo Lockette when he comes in. He’s impressed in training camp so far, and it will be fun to see what he can do.
The Lines. One of the main things I want to see is how the offensive line fares throughout the game, who steps up, and who can’t yet handle NFL game play. Though Russell Okung should only play a few snaps, we should get a nice look at the rest of the youngsters, including our second and third stringers who, if history has taught us anything, we’ll be relying on heavily halfway through the season. The defensive line will also be a key to watch. I’m curious how FA signee Alan Branch will be used along the line, if he’ll try at D-end in place of Red Bryant (who’s out tonight), or used on the interior. Young guys like Pep Livingston looking to make the roster and experiments like Jameson Konz at DE will also be fun to watch.
Team Schemes. If I hope to get anything out of this, and all preseason games, it’s to see what the coordinators will be trying to do throughout the year. I’m not especially familiar with Darrell Bevell’s offense, so I’m curious to see where he’ll line specific players up, what formations he likes to use in the ground game (and if Tom Cable has much influence), how deep passes will complement the short…etc, etc. I’m most looking forward to Gus Bradley’s defense. I don’t know what to expect from the young DBs, especially guys like Kam Chancellor and Walter Thurmond who are looking to take consistent, possibly starting roles this year. Keep an eye on drafted rookies Mark LeGree and Richard Sherman, as well as youngsters like Brandon Browner and Josh Pinkard who have both made noise this offseason. It’ll also be interesting to see how the loss of Tatupu impacts the LB group, and if Hill, Curry and the young guys are game-ready. Mainly I want to see how Bradley plans to utilize certain players and certain schemes, and get an idea of what’s to be expected this year.
Well, I hope you guys are as excited about Hawks football (finally) as much as I am. It should be a fun night. Check back tomorrow or Saturday for my game notes.