With much of training camp accounted for, it's time we turn our attention to the preseason. The preseason is as rich as the knowledge of the fan watching it. The first thing to watch is who starts and how long they start. Below is a projection. One-series does not mean literally one series, but only a reasonable minimum depending on the coach's preferences. I know that Mike Holmgren would sometimes pull vulnerable players if the team wasn't playing well. Other coaches might play them more.
- Matt Hasselbeck: Seattle wants Hasselbeck to orchestrate the offense in a game situation and then retire to Dick Cheney's private bomb shelter.
- Chris Spencer: Seattle needs Spencer to get game experience in its new system, but however minor his ankle injury, expect him to be protected.
- Deion Branch: Too valuable and too injury prone to risk too many snaps.
- Patrick Kerney: Seattle might not start him at all, but I think it will risk a series to get him game action.
Lofa Tatupu: If training camp is any indication, Tatupu isn't just the quarterback of the defense, he's getting quarterback treatment, too.
Most of the starters will play for most of or all of the first half. There's not a lot to say about some, but a few involve interesting angles.
- Aaron Curry: Curry should start and play through the half at strongside linebacker.
- Kelly Jennings: Marcus Trufant's injury has been the best thing to happen to Jennings professionally since lucking onto the most talented secondary in Hurricanes' history. Jennings is frustrating, but the team is committed to Josh Wilson at nickelback and doesn't see Kevin Hobbs as a starter. So Jennings is primary depth at starting cornerback. He's still going to need to show something to stick.
- Cory Redding: Redding is returning from what murmurs suggest is a very serious knee injury. He hasn't looked or been especially limited, and so a strong showing throughout the preseason could help put doubts behind him.
- Owen Schmitt: If he starts. Quietly, Justin Griffith has reasserted himself. Or, maybe, Schmitt just hasn't gotten up to speed as quickly as Knapp would like.
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh: Housh doesn't seem the type you protect, but he's very expensive and may not need the snaps.
- Nate Burleson: Coming off injury, Seattle might err on the side of caution.
- T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones: Should play through the first half, but how many snaps each player receives and in what situations should be interesting.
The second half is the more provocative. It's when players play for their jobs and draft fans see the guys they've read so much about. It's also a telling indication of a player's position on the depth chart. Watch for these players and positions in the second half.
- Quarterback: Seneca Wallace will get most of the snaps, but see if Mike Teel or Jeff Rowe get a series. It would be nice to see Teel even if he struggles.
- Strong safety: The team could just play C.J. Wallace and not shake things up, but with Courtney Greene practicing well and Jamar Adams being the best talent and entering his second season with the team, both deserve some snaps to show off their ability.
- Kevin Hobbs: Kid might want to share his talents with the rest of us, because I've read his name for so long without actually seeing him, I wouldn't be surprised if he had eyestalks and tentacles.
- Justin Forsett: Short story: Had a good game once. Was cut. Might have a good game again.
- Max Unger: Unger has been quiet at practice, but it's in the game where his skills should show.
- Red Bryant: It's time Bryant stops toying around with second-stringers and dominates.
- Will Herring: Herring is moving up the pecking order. He offers a skill-set unlike any of Seattle's other linebackers. I am curious not just how much Herring is used, but how Herring is used.
- Kyle Williams: Capable depth or liability yet to be actualized?
- Right tackle: Ray Willis might be in for only a series at right tackle, and that means someone is going to get a lot of snaps in his place. Actually, two players are likely to play extensively. Watch Andre Ramsey and Na'Shan Goddard and have a list of available free agents handy.
- Travis Fisher: Where he plays, how much he plays and how well he plays interest me. I want Seattle to retain this guy, but he's currently on the outside looking in.
- Wide receiver second wave: This is what everyone else will be talking about. And, heck, it will make for an interesting and hotly contested battle.
The final list is players that I am interested in seeing if they play at all. This is the fringe.
- Michael Bennett
- Dan Curran
- Marquis Floyd
- David Kirtman
- Lance Laury (as a linebacker)
- Cameron Morrah
- Dave Philistin
- William Robinson
- Grey Ruegamer
- John Tereshinksi*
- Derek Walker
- Cory Withrow
*Fun fact. No one is quite sure if it's Tereshinski or Tereshinksi.