On Sunday, Thomas Rawls put to rest one of the offseason's biggest talking points by declaring he would be "most definitely" ready to go for training camp. That declaration of health has come after head coach Pete Carroll recently said tight end Jimmy Graham was further along than Rawls, and after months of hesitant optimism surrounding both Graham and Rawls' recoveries. Rawls being ready to go for training camp came as a surprise to some, but with the running back's injury coming almost seven months ago, he seems right on track. Rawls' availability for training camp is just the first of a few myths set to be busted in the coming months as the Seattle Seahawks march towards September. What other long-discussed Seahawks myths will be proved untrue in the coming months?
Jimmy Graham will be ready for week one
Sometimes Carroll's patented injury optimism is refreshing, sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes, it's just downright misleading. The Seahawks own grey-haired bubble of positive energy has remained upbeat on Graham's rehab all offseason, even going as far as to say he was further along than the aforementioned Rawls. It's a nice thought and would be an incredible achievement, but to think Graham will be ready to go for week one is just wishful thinking. The unfortunate torn patellar tendon injury was suffered November 29th, putting a week one return in unlikely territory for a simple ACL tear; a torn patellar tendon is a whole different animal.
The most famous (recent) instance of this injury was Victor Cruz, who has still not returned to the field since suffering a torn patellar tendon in October of 2014. His return was hampered by a hamstring injury, but that's the nature of injuries like Graham's. They leave players more susceptible to further injury. In this day and age Hawks fans can be confident that Graham will come back close to the player he was before injury; it may just not be until after week six. A trip to the PUP list and a mid-season return is a more realistic, and a safer conclusion, to Graham's injury saga.
Brandon Browner is on the roster bubble
Assuming Browner's recent legal troubles don't come to anything more, I believe the LOB-elder statesman is close to a lock for the final 53-man roster. For starters, he's cheap, with a cap hit of just $750,000 in 2016 if he makes the roster. More than that, Carroll, Kris Richard and the defensive staff have a clear idea of what they want Browner's role within the defense to be. Earlier this offseason Carroll spoke on the new role he envisions for Browner in Seattle; a safety in base downs that can be moved into the slot in sub packages to cover tight ends or receivers. Given the issues the Seahawks had against tight ends in 2015, this seems like a clear attempt to solve a big issue for the defense.
The only non-starter on Seattle's roster right now outside of Browner capable of filling that role is Eric Pinkins, who's still transitioning to linebacker. With that in mind, I think it's safe to start getting excited about Browner's return and the use of big nickel packages in 2016.
There will be a real competition at center
Fear not, Justin Britt will not start at center for Seattle to start the 2016 season. Sure, the team started a former defensive tackle at center in his first NFL start to begin 2015, but you don't make that mistake twice, right? Right!? Seriously, someone tell me please. Okay, well good news for you, me, and Russell Wilson's pack of badgers; they will not make that mistake twice.
Of course the idea of competition will be there, and absolutely incumbent starter Patrick Lewis will have to earn his job, but it's his to lose. Britt's transition to center is the team trying (again) to find a spot for a player they invested decent draft capital in a short time ago. If he can stick on the roster as a reserve capable of theoretically playing all three positions on the line, great! As for rookie Joey Hunt, starting week one is just too much too soon. The team loves his athleticism and ability to get to the second level, but the short-armed center is bound to be overwhelmed in a division filled with notoriously long-limbed defensive lineman.
At the end of the day, Britt will have his shot and so will Hunt. Competition is the main theme of this team and it will be demonstrated every day, but the team knows what they have in Lewis. Nothing flashy nor spectacular, but the offensive line unquestionably improved when he was inserted into the lineup in the middle of 2015. This year's first round pick Germain Ifedi will undoubtedly benefit from playing next to his college teammate, and the whole line - and offense - will benefit from that as a result.
The most penalized defender in the league being on the field for the Seahawks, a star tight end being out injured for close to half the season, and Lewis instilling confidence in me; aren't you glad you let me bust some offseason myths for you?