In an attempt to leave Shrug's announcement close to the top, the rest of this will be posted after the fold.
Lots of little chunks of news, but given some of the subject matter this should work as a catch-all for my commentary today.
Game Four is the least interesting of the four preseason contests, but, yes, it still matters and not just because it's our last opportunity to scream obscenities if a starter gets injured. It's also our last chance to see players struggle to make the squad who probably won't play this year and won't be on the roster come next year. wOOt! Chief among them is David Greene. After I championed him in the offseason he quickly invalidated my hope with a real garbage showing in Green Bay. So we now have Greene playing real well in one preseason game and real poor in another. Unfortunately, his most recent poor play was indeed awful and he has never won the confidence of Mike Holmgren and company. The coliseum crowd already has a finger or two wrapped around the proverbial thumb, so to speak. Greene has really chipped away at my belief that he could ever become the Hawks' starter, but for now I would be happy if he just showed up on Thursday, because whether Greene is the future in Seattle or not, I'd rather the Hawks take their lumps with him than overspend on a post-prime, waiver-fodder, veteran starter.
In the rest-of-the-bunch group, Weaver needs to avoid the poorly timed blunder that's been the bugaboo of his preseason. He really deserves to make the squad, as his skill-set is particularly rare in Hawk land and though A.J. Hawk posterized him like MJ a lumbering, Slavic center, his screw-ups are overblown. Watch the tape and you'll see a number of good run blocks, a few good pass blocks, and essentially the only viable third down back on the Hawks' roster.
Will Herring should have no trouble beating out Lance Laury for the fifth linebacker spot. That's not a ringing endorsement for Herring, who hasn't really impressed, but whatever Laury has done, Herring has done better.
Kevin Hobbs probably makes the squad ahead of C.J. Wallace, but if Jordan Babineaux is put on the PUP list, both could survive the cut. Hobbs is no great shakes in coverage, but as a dime back working in lots of zone coverage his skill set, that of a ballhawk with big return skills, is better suited for John Marshall's defense.
Michael Boulware deserves to stick as a special teams player--the team has given up on him so completely and I think his talent is being absolutely squandered, but maybe he'll see some action subbing for an injured starter. Remember the rule of thumb that coverage skills take a long time to develop, Boulware is not a bust, not yet. Ideally, Russell gets hurt, Grant subs for Russell in his more natural position and Boulware gets to work the short safety spot: handling the run, working the intermediate zone.
Finally, at tight end the spot comes down to one of three: Ben Joppru, Leonard Stevens or Joe Newton. I really haven't seen much of Stevens, so I think that fact and his ill-fated surname eliminate him from contention. I like Joppru's blocking skills and Newton's receiving work. Given that Seattle's starter is 35, I could see both surviving the cut.
The only other news today comes from Football Outsiders:
Yeah, ok, that's pretty old news for Hawk fans, well those that read this site anyway. Still, I think that Aaron's use of comparisons is a little specious. Simply comparing him to other players who have a similar statistical profile, very loosely similar I might add, does not account for skill set, or the simple fact that Seattle's offensive line, after a three year reign of dominance, completely fell apart at the seams last season. Sure, Alexander's days of being a first rung fantasy back are pretty much over. Simply looking at his skills isolated from his teammates, I would argue Alexander hasn't been a truly great back at any point in his career, but his ability to follow blocks and read defenses shouldn't just vanish. I sincerely doubt he's capable of a late career resurgence, but a mollified decline over the next 2-3 years, where he slowly seeds carries to a younger, better back, seems reasonable. For now, the goal line carries are his. So if he falls to the late second round, I wouldn't think it stupid to draft him. He's not as talented as, say, Maurice Jones-Drew, but he also doesn't have anyone standing in his way for the starter spot. Drew will likely have the better DVOA, but don't be surprised if Alexander gets more touchdowns.