Seahawks Gameday Preview: What to watch for


It’s time for the Seahawks to suit up for their first preseason game, and fittingly it’s a home contest. This city has been starved for some real, three dimensional football every since those fateful, final few seconds of Super Bowl XLIX.

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Personally, I’m looking forward to this game more than any preseason game in years, and here are some of the things I’m looking for:

THE ROOKIES: The Seahawks list 23 rookies on their current roster, and many of them will have a chance to make an impact this season. Here are the guys I’ll be looking at more than others:

Jul 31, 2015; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) signs autographs following training camp practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

  • Frank Clark, DE, Michigan:  After a tumultuous post-draft week following his selection in the 2nd round, Clark has had a very quiet camp, and that’s a good thing.  Reports are that he’s been exactly the type of strong, versatile D-lineman the Hawks envisioned when they drafted him, but there are questions about his ability to rush the passer.  With Brock Osweiler expected to get a bulk of the playing time for the Broncos tonight, Clark should get a few chances to get home.  Let’s see if he can.
  • Kasen Williams, WR, Washington:  After turning heads at rookie mini-camp and earning himself a contract, the undrafted free agent has drawn raves so far this month, with Pete Carroll even stating that he’s seen flashes of the pre-injury-five-star-recruit form that earned the former Husky National Player Of The Year honors at Skyline High School.  He’s got the hands, size and speed (when healthy) to be a steal in this rookie class if he can produce on gamedays.
  • Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State: We’ve written about him a ton on our site, and so has just about everyone else. Whether it’s returning kicks of running routes, I can’t wait to see this kid with the ball in his hands.
  • The DB’s:  With all of the injuries (and a certain safety holdout), the Seahawks defensive backfield will be hard to recognize tonight.  Rookies Ryan Murphy (7th round) and UDFA Keenan Lambert (ironically Kam Chancellor’s brother) are among those vying for the opportunity to get snaps in Kam’s absence.  CB Tye Smith (5th round) has had an uneven camp, and may need to make plays during these preseason games to solidify a spot on the roster.
  • Nate Boyer, LS, Texas: The former Army Green Beret is a 34 year old rookie who demonstrated an outstanding ability to long snap while at Texas. His size (5-11, 220) and Clint Gresham’s contract make it nearly impossible for him to make the team, but his backstory is so appealing it’s hard not to take interest, and if he proves himself capable, he could be a phone call away in the event of a Gresham injury.

THE CROWD: This is the first time Seahawk fans will have a chance to see their team since the Super Bowl. I expect a much louder reception than you see for your typical preseason game.  It will also be cool to see the new Toyota Fan Deck which added 1,000 new seats at the south end.

Jul 31, 2015; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) participates in a drill during training camp practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

THE OFFENSE: We will likely only see the starting unit for a series or two, and that will probably be minus Marshawn Lynch. Even with a vanilla playbook, it will be intriguing to see Jimmy Graham on the field, and how he impacts the offense. I also want to see how the line performs. How well they gel will determine how successful the offense can be, and there have been some struggles among candidates to start at left guard.

THE PASS RUSH: Reports of the defensive line dominating most practices are prevalent.  The Broncos are rebuilding up front on offense. I’m hoping to see a lot of pressure on Denver QB’s tonight.

MY NEW SEATS: After years of sitting under cover, we moved down much closer to the field this year. I can’t wait to see the action from up close (in the south endzone). Be sure to look for my weekly in-season column The View From Section 114 each week, looking back on that week’s game.

Next: Know Your Enemy: The Broncos

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