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Projecting Seattle's 53 Man Roster: Special Teams, Practice Squad and Notable Snubs

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The contest between Brandon Coutu and Olindo Mare is not yet won. Neither may decide it themselves, but, rather, injuries and a need to stock certain types of talent on the practice squad may.

Kicker

Brandon Coutu

Coutu could conceivably be stashed on the practice squad, but that move has obvious drawbacks. For one, another team could and likely would sign him. He'd also be taking a spot from another player who might prove invaluable in what already looks like an injury wracked season for the Hawks. Keeping Coutu moves Mare to free agency, where he'd likely stay. In that sense, Seattle could re-sign Mare if eventually figured out the folly of retaining a kicker who can't kickoff playing in a league full of teams searching for the next Devin Hester.

Strengths: May encourage team go for it more on 4th down.

Weaknesses: Kickoff distance. Field goal length.

Punter

Ryan Plackemeier

Good luck Reggie Hodges. You won't regret subbing in Seattle.

Strengths: Length. Loft. Backspin.

Weaknesses: Bench press.

Snapper

Tyler Schmitt

I'll just chalk this up to common sense and say that the job is his unless he's placed on IR.

Strengths: Snapping. Downfield tackling.

Weaknesses: Blocking. Health.

Practice Squad

Michael Bumpus

Has a nice mix of potential out of the slot, skill should he be needed this season and poor measurables meaning he won't be signed.

Kelin Johnson

I'm not sure Johnson ever makes a pro roster, but he's a great employee and probably steady enough he could play a game or two in a pinch.

Pat Murray

Has the footwork Holmgren demands, and the power Ruskell likes. Only drawback is that he's strictly a guard.

Tim Lindsey

The team won't again risk scouring the bottom for a long snapper and I think will attempt to retain their relative wealth at the position.

William Robinson

There's a lot to like about Robinson. Especially if two years from now he fills out and starts looking like a tackle instead of a tight end. But the quickness, height and skills are there, and that's something. Probably the last player you'd ever want to see take a snap in 2008.

Joe Newton

Newton is Putzier young, but unlike Putz, Newton can be stashed on the practice squad. Unlike Newton, Putz has proven an ability to receive in the NFL.

Samuel Gutekunst

The man from no college gets a pass because he's a foreigner. Doesn't count against the 8.

Dallas Sartz

A three year starter out of USC, Sartz is a player fans love, but who might not cut it as a pro. His leadership skills and work ethic are perfect for the practice squad and, eventually, coaching.

Kevin Brown

Maybe I just have a soft spot for guys who get tips. Or maybe my soft spot belongs to players recovering from injury. Whatever motivates me, Tim Ruskell likes Cal linemen, multiple season starters and high character guys, and he makes the decisions. Brown is athletic but undersized and will need to grow into his body a bit to contribute, but the potential is something like Craig Terrill.

Notable Snubs

Jason Babin

The team would love to keep Babin, but with such depth at the position, it would be a waste to spend another roster spot on a defensive linemen. Especially since Babin has no potential as a defensive tackle. The other reason we can expect Babin to be shipped out is that he still has trade value. He's a former first round pick, a defensive end (always coveted) and has shown some life in the preseason. So, not so much a snub as a player lost to an unavoidable numbers crunch that should net Seattle a high draft pick useful part in trade.

Floyd Womack

You know it's the end when I stop being mean. Womack is and has always been just good enough, cheap enough and versatile enough to make the roster. But this season I think Seattle finally figures out that a backup who can't stay healthy isn't a backup. That's Womack, perhaps capable, but ever a dead roster spot because his brittle body cannot even survive practice. An oft-injured offensive lineman is a luxury an injury riddled roster cannot afford.

Chris Cooper and Larry Tripplett

When you're a veteran with all the skills in camp replete with rookies and journeymen, you should be making noise, but after weeks of not hearing from these two I think it's safe to say they're on their way out. From Seattle and maybe the league. The latter is up to them.

Will Herring

Whatever Herring is suffering from sounds serious enough that the kid should just take a season off and concentrate on his health. IRed. Get well brother.