(Source; MIKE SANDO; The News Tribune)
Coach Mike Holmgren saw a hungry Seattle Seahawks team during a two-week passing camp that concluded Thursday.
“While we had a great year last year, and we’re happy for the fans and the stadium is full and all those good things that happened last year, there is some unfinished business,” Holmgren said.
The starting lineup is pretty much set, but the Seahawks face the usual round of difficult decisions on backup positions.
The team is carrying 93 players on its 80-man roster, counting unsigned draft choices and players exempted for participation in NFL Europe.
Rules call for teams to reduce their rosters to 75 players by Aug. 29. The 53-man limit takes effect Sept. 2, eight days before the regular-season opener at Detroit.
Comment: The team isn’t confident it will be able to sign a desirable veteran backup. Holmgren made it clear Greene must improve to stick around. Hamdan has a broken ankle and may or may not be back in time for training camp.
Max note; I'm still a bit on the fence about Seneca Wallace. He looked damned good for one game during the preseason and not so swell in the rest. I wasn't real impressed overall when he came in to replace Hass after the Hawks locked up home field. The UFA QB's are Doug Flutie (will he ever go away?) Vinnie (got phantom?) Testaverde, Tye Detmer,(nah) Shane Mathews (who?) and some Clown named Jeff Blake out of Chicago. Pick'uns are slim.
Locks: Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram, Nate Burleson, Peter Warrick, D.J. Hackett
• On the bubble: Maurice Mann, Ben Obomanu
• Longer odds: Taco Wallace, Skyler Fulton, Tony Brown, Keenan Howry, C.J. Jones
• Comment: Fulton played well in NFL Europe, but that doesn’t mean much now. Mann and Obomanu seemed to enjoy strong passing camps.
Max note; Nate Burleson should be a solid replacement to the sorely missed Joe Jurvicious lost to the Vikings during the offseason. Look for Hackett to get more comfortable with the long ball and establish himself as the speedster down field. A healthy Peter Warrick should show more of his potential and D-Jack certainly lost the dropsies after KR split making him the franchise reciever with Bobby (I only dropped one) Engram as a close second in the two slot.
Locks: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris, Mack Strong (FB)
• Looking safe: Leonard Weaver (FB)
• On the bubble: David Kirtman (FB), Josh Scobey
• Longer odds: Marquis Weeks, Ran Carthon, Jimmy Dixon
• Comment: Weaver is approaching “lock” status, but the team will give Kirtman a chance in training camp.
Max note; Mack Strong will still be on the field when his body has turned to stone. All they will have to do is stand him there and he will still perform like a rock.
Shaun? Pfff...HOF. On pace to crush any and all of Sweetness', Emmitt's, Brown's or OJ's records. And you can take that to the MaxBank. Scooby maybe on the bubble but after last season stellar perfomance on kick returns, he shouldn't be going anywhere. He brought back the excitement that has been missing for a long, long time. Why MoMo is still here is beyond me but with Weaver locking up as Macks replacement, there may actually not be much room or need for him
• Locks: Jerramy Stevens, Itula Mili
• On the bubble: Will Heller
• Longer odds: Brock Edwards, Matt Henshaw, Keith Willis, Mike Gomez
• Comment: Stevens might not return from a knee injury until well into training camp.
Max note; Not much to say here. Stevens has improved significantly, however, I still believe Mili is the better TE.
Locks: Walter Jones, Floyd Womack, Robbie Tobeck, Chris Gray, Sean Locklear, Chris Spencer, Ray Willis, Tom Ashworth
• Looking safe: Rob Sims
• Longer odds: William Henry, Jeff Bolton, Lance Reynolds, Pat Ross
• Comment: Womack’s health is again a concern.
Max note; Can "Pork Chop" begin to fill Huch's shoes. Losing Steve isn't going to go un-noticed in the offensive line. Look for Matt to land on his back side a few more times this season. I fully expect to see a lot more of first round draft pick, (C) Cris Spencer as the tandem with Chop trying to fill the void next to Walter Jones until Tobeck has had his fill at center.
Locks: Grant Wistrom, Marcus Tubbs, Chuck Darby, Bryce Fisher, Craig Terrill, Rocky Bernard, Darryl Tapp, Russell Davis
• On the bubble: Joe Tafoya, Chris Cooper, Kemp Rasmussen, Jeb Huckeba
• Longer odds: Robert Pollard, Darrell Wright, John Syptak
• Comment: Health is a major concern on the line. Wistrom, Tubbs and Bernard are coming off surgeries and could miss the start of training camp.
Max note; The Defense has improved over last seasons squad. Look for Darryl Tapp to be the splash of the defense. Add to that, the return of the Hitman from his bar fight excursion, the high flying secondary should be in good shape. They put Tafoya on the bubble but the "Max Bank" say's he's going to be a strong contributing factor being well worth his 2nd round status. Lets not forget about Rocky. He ate and chased more QB chickens than anybody near expected. Look for Tubbs to follow Rocky's lead and become more of an impact player. With Darby, Fisher and Wistrom as the anchores, our front D-line should become extremely feared.
• Locks: Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Julian Peterson, D.D. Lewis
• Looking safe: Isaiah Kacyvenski, Niko Koutouvides, Kevin Bentley
• On the bubble: Cornelius Wortham
• Longer odds: Lance Laury, Evan Benjamin
• Comment: Tatupu, Hill and Peterson could form the strength of the defense.
Max note; Lofa, in his first season, played like a grizzled five year veteran. What more can I say about the, soon likely to be, best MLB to ever own the Gridiron? Look Out? Leroy Hill should feed off Lofa and cause some havok, While Kaz and Niko are strong staples in the defense I see this crew gelling to a top five rated defense.
Locks: Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Kelly Herndon, Jordan Babineaux
• On the bubble: Jimmy Williams
• Longer odds: Gerard Ross, Reggie Austin, Lance Frazier, Kevin Hobbs
• Comment: Jennings has been working opposite Trufant with the starters. Babineaux returns from shoulder surgery in August.
The Jury is still out on Jennings only because I haven't researched him in the least, so I'll spare the diatribe. Corners should be ample being out ran only buy the fastest of turf burners. What they lack in speed, Babineaux and Boulware will make up with deception and exellent play reading skills. those two had plenty of upset plays in store last season. I see no reason this season won't be more of the same.
Locks: Michael Boulware, Ken Hamlin
• Looking safe: Mike Green
• On the bubble: Oliver Celestin, Shaunard Harts, Etric Pruitt
• Comment: Boulware could miss some of training camp after undergoing ankle surgery. Hamlin is returning from head injuries. Green has extensive starting experience from his days in Chicago.
Max note; Hammer time returns, That has to be good. M.B. was addressed and I haven't a clue as to what Green brings to the table
On the bubble: P Tom Rouen, P Ryan Plackemeier, P Gabe Lindstrom
• Longer odds: K Ryan Killeen
• Comment: The punting situation remains unsettled as Rouen, a veteran of 810 punts in 188 regular-season games, faces a challenge from younger prospects.
Whew, I'm glad this wind bag artical has come to an end. The punters can kick ass and we still dump them bringing in another boot to do the Job and I don't see one damned thing wrong with the current P.K., Josh Brown who reeled back from strong adversity last season building his confidence along the way.