Training camp is here! I have talked about every position group and player on the roster except for three. Today, I cover quarterbacks, tackles, and tight ends. This will make for a good time capsule as the podcast was recorded before Russell Wilson signed his deal.
Wilson is now a Seahawk for the next five years. That is terrific news. He also still has room to grow as a player. When the offense bogs down, it is often due to Wilson’s lack of comfort working within the framework of the passing game. He gets antsy in the pocket and bails out, creating impossible situations for his lineman, and missed opportunities with his receivers.
He is being paid like an elite franchise quarterback. It is up to him to show growth and earn that money going forward. His work ethic is legendary, but it was hard to see improvement in his game from year two to year three. He may have even regressed a bit. It was toward the end of the season that he was able to show a little more confidence throwing the ball on time. Pete Carroll noted it. The team benefited from it. That is the single biggest area he needs to focus on to reach his goal of being the best quarterback of all time.
The other quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson and RJ Archer are part of the least interesting camp battle for backup quarterback. Here’s a secret: Jackson will win.
Russell Okung is in the final year of his deal. He probably does not stick around. That means there should be some real focus in camp on who is playing backup left tackle. Last season, that was Alvin Bailey. He is now your starting left guard. The most logical candidate is Garry Gilliam, who is a converted tight end that moved to tackle at Penn St.
He showed great athleticism and promise last year, but was an undrafted free agent. Expecting him to grow into a starting left tackle might be a stretch. Okung was the 6th pick in the 2010 draft for a reason. Jesse Davis is another undrafted free agent who will get time at tackle. He made a good impression at rookie mini camp with Tom Cable. Terry Poole played left tackle in college, but is supposed to be a guard with Seattle. Don’t be surprised to see him out at right tackle behind Justin Britt, who needs to show some growth as a pass blocker in his second year.
Jimmy Graham. Seattle’s biggest offseason addition will play an integral role in the Seahawks offense. He has the potential to impact the roster in interesting ways as well. John Schneider can choose to keep one fewer wide receiver if he wants, considering Graham will play out wide most of the time. That sets up a curious battle between the likes of Cooper Helfet, Rashaun Allen, Anthony McCoy, and guys like Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette, and Douglas McNeil.
They will either keep four tight ends and drop a receiver or three tight ends, which is far more likely. Luke Willson has a chance to get some important snaps as what will really be the starting tight end. Look for a lot of situations where Willson is lined up as tight end and Graham is split out as a receiver. Graham may cut into receiver snaps more than Willson’s. McCoy has battled back from two achilles tears. If healthy, he is an important addition who can block and catch.