After a long and painful off-season – we have nearly made it. Eight days till a real football game, my friends. Let’s get started.
Last week, a disappointing performance by the offensive line (and the offense as a whole - including Russell Wilson) left Seahawks fans slightly outraged, worried, and concerned. But fret not! Alvin Bailey, who replaced Russell Okung at left tackle due to injury precaution last week, was the consistent weak link on the line. With so much hype surrounding Bailey in the off-season, I was surprised to see such a discouraging performance from him. The good news? – Okung’s injury was minor and he’ll certainly be ready. Bailey will be the backup.
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With the recent release of center Jeanpierre in the first wave of cuts, it looks like the Seahawks have settled on their starting five (Russell Okung, Justin Britt, Drew Nowak, J.R. Sweezy, and Garry Gilliam) and that means Nowak is most likely going to be Seattle’s center. I'll be watching him closely against the Raiders to know what we can expect from him the rest of the season -- can he hold up in pass pro? Can he anchor? How does he look in the run game? How are his snaps? These are things to key in on.
With Robert Turbin falling victim to a high ankle sprain (which can often take weeks, even months to fully recover from), Christine isn't going anywhere. With Lynch not playing, Michael will be the main Seahawks back. I'll be watching his ball security, as his fumbling issue seems to be the main reason Michael hasn't racked up more playing time. Pass protection will be another key area to key in on.
If he doesn't play well – who knows? Maybe Thomas Rawls or Rod Smith makes a jump to take his spot.
This is the number one guy I’m watching in this final preseason game. Simon is entering the 3rd year of his NFL career – after battling with injuries and struggling to find playing time (largely in part due to an obscene amount of talent at corner the last few years). Last week, in his first game since the Super Bowl, Simon made a near interception and several strong plays against the Chargers offense. He seemed to be in good position most of the game, and if Simon steps up, he could definitely compete with Cary Williams for the starting job opposite Richard Sherman.