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Training Camp Preview Part 3 - Wide Receivers

It's been blazing hot in Seattle the last couple of days - and by "blazing hot" I mean we broke 90 for about twenty minutes sometime Saturday - so my usual zinging barbs are languishing under some overly taxed sweat glands. I'll try to make up for this by using the thesaurus tonight.

All right. Wide receivers. What we got? I'll tell you what we got.

Like the rest of Seattle's vaunted yardage gainers, there isn't much to wonder about who'll be in the 2006 receiving corps. The positions are prohibitively set. All we have to discuss is how consistently the unit will perform.

It's hard to tell from this vantage point whether the Seahawks' pass catchers will improve their way into the NFL's elite. The last time any current Seahawks receivers had a 1,000-yard season was 2004, when Darrell Jackson posted 1,199 yards for Seattle, and Nate Burleson netted 1,006 for Minnesota. With Hasselbeck's preference for a short-to-medium passing game, receivers are used more strategically than as yard-swallowing game-breakers.

Nonetheless, I still feel the potential for an aerial rebirth is there, at least. For the fans who endured a veritable Vaseline factory of dropped passes earlier this decade, that may be enough.

The primary troika of wideouts are Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram, three guys who have gotten real familiar with the magazines in their doctors' waiting rooms at various times over the past three years. In fact, Jackson doesn't figure to be much of an on-field presence in Cheney, as he intends to rest his knee for as long as possible before the start of the season. He's still the No. 1 receiver for the time being. But you'd have to think Burleson's waiting offstage.

Burleson and Engram will switch positions this year, in a manner of speaking. Burleson was in the slot last season for the Vikings, as it was hoped he'd compensate for the loss of Randy Moss to the Raiders. Engram went to the split in '06 when Koren Robinson was released. This year Engram moves back inside, where he feels most comfortable as a dependable, over-the-line specialist. Meanwhile, Burleson will spot closer to the sideline.

The other two more or less known quantities at the wide are Peter Warrick and D.J. Hackett. Both had decent moments at long range in 2006. Warrick's name has come up a lot lately as a potential game breaker. I'm too tired and hot to make any specific citations about that. But that would be nice, wouldn't it?

That tentatively leaves a sixth WR spot open, since Holmgren usually likes to carry 6 receivers. (Not counting Seneca Wallace. Ha ha.) The two likeliest candidates, I guess, are Skyler Fulton -- give it to me Oly! - who was a "star" in "NFL Europe" last year, and draftee Ben Obomanu from Auburn. This may be the most contested position battle in Cheney this summer.

Other names listed on the roster as WR's are Tony Brown, Keenan Howry, C.J. Jones, Maurice Mann, and the endorsement synergy waiting to happen, Taco Wallace. If any of them do anything noteworthy we'll be sure to freak out about it in full view.