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Projecting Seattle's 53 Man Roster: Offense

I'm not going to flatter anyone's ego, or claim that common sense lists with 50 word blurbs are strictly for the "hard core". It's patronizing and adds credence to what is in reality filler. Instead, let's look at a feasible 53 man roster, why I think Seattle will end up with this group, its strength and its weaknesses and you can tell me where you think I've gone wrong.


Matt Hasselbeck

Seneca Wallace

Charlie Frye

Strengths: Top talent in Hasselbeck. Serviceable backups in Wallace and Frye.

Weaknesses: The long term potential of Frye.

Running Back

Julius Jones

Maurice Morris

TJ Duckett

Justin Forsett

Nothing Morris did on Friday changes the fact that he can't pass block. So, despite looking like a man on fire against a stout run defense, Morris should stay a second string, situational running back. What Morris did do, though, is make himself borderline untradeable. Seattle will finds spots for him, in much the same they did last season, exploiting his perceived strengths: receiving and draws.

Jones is Seattle's complete back and the player Mike Holmgren wants to win the position outright. That's because Jones complete skills will add versatility to an offense that will need versatility to thrive. In short, Jones is fighting for carries and Morris is fighting for Jones' carries.

Duckett will be used in short yardage, to kill the clock, occasionally as a fullback or in split backs and, probably, in the rare tricky draw.

Forsett will play the Alvin Pearman role. Punt returner, change of pace back. Should get some screen passes on especially long third downs.

Expected split: Jones 50%, Morris 30%, Ducket 15%, Forsett 5%

Strengths: Depth. Complimentary skills sets. Versatility.

Weaknesses: No single premier rusher. Only Jones is complete, meaning plays will be somewhat telegraphed when the other three play.


Leonard Weaver

Owen Schmitt

Weaver starts and should see all non-garbage time snaps. Weaver has Pro Bowl potential, mainly for his contributions running, receiving and pass blocking. Still not a great run blocker.

Schmitt will contribute on special teams and be in the mix for garbage time, clock killing drives. Schmitt is the team's best run blocker and could pair with Duckett to create a punishing run-first, fourth quarter offense.

Strengths: Overall talent is excellent. Weaver needs only to become a great lead blocker to be among the best fullbacks in the NFL. Schmitt can contribute on special teams and gives Seattle an ace in the hole when playing with the lead.

Weaknesses: None.

Tight End

John Carlson

Will Heller

Carlson is the starter in waiting. Seattle needs him to show enough over the next three weeks for Seattle to shed Putzier. Putz is an all receive no block tight end that adds nothing in the red zone. Seattle has no need for him unless Carlson falters or is injured. Injury is more likely.

Heller is the designated blocking tight end, but does enough as a receiver to sell two tight end sets. Heller will see most of his snaps in the red zone. Three tight end sets can be filled out with Ray Willis or Steve Vallos.

Strengths: Efficiency. Top end talent. Red zone ability. Blocking.

Weaknesses: Depth. Injuries.

Offensive Tackle

Walter Jones

Sean Locklear

Ray Willis

Kyle Williams

Willis offers depth at guard and tackle.

Kyle Williams makes the list for his ability to play left tackle in a bind.

Strengths: Front line talent. First unit run and pass blocking. Right tackle pass blocking depth.

Weaknesses: Left tackle depth.

Offensive Guard

Mike Wahle

Rob Sims

Mansfield Wrotto

The health of Wahle and Sims, plus that Willis and Vallos can play guard in a pinch gives Seattle the luxury to go thin here.

Strengths: Pass blocking. Power. Health. Potential.

Weaknesses: Downgrade at left guard from Wahle to anyone else.


Chris Spencer

Steve Vallos

Vallos played tackle at Wake Forest and looks to be Seattle's newest everyman.

Strengths: Potential. Athleticism.

Weaknesses: Current ability. Run blocking. Blitz recognition. Health (Spencer).


Courtney Taylor

Logan Payne

If Taylor wins the spot, Holmgren will call it like Darrell Jackson. A more open game designed for a top receiver. If Payne wins the spot, Holmgren will call it like last season when Engram saw snaps at flanker. More bottled up, and out of more three and four wide sets.

Strengths: Current ability. Red zone.

Weaknesses: Health. Potential.

Split End

Nate Burleson

Jordan Kent

Burleson will start, with Kent probably getting looks in the red zone and out of 4 wide receiver packages. Kent's potential is best suited for split end, where his mix of speed, size and athleticism will force defenses to account for him, while his lack of skills and inconsistent play will be less detrimental.

Strengths: Red zone. Big play. Deep threat (Kent).

Weaknesses: Consistency. Route running. Possession.


Bobby Engram

Ben Obomanu

Payne and Kent can play an alternate slot when going four wide.

Strengths: Speed, big play ability and an ability to stretch the seam.

Weaknesses: Depth. Third down conversions. Consistency.

I'll project the defense, special teams and practice squad later today.