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Seahawks starting units on the first day of training camp

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday the long offseason for the Seattle Seahawks finally ended with the team taking the practice field for the first time in training camp. With the team taking the field, that means we can take a peak into who is currently in the starting spot for each position.

Obviously, many roles are very loosely held at this time, as players will slide in and out of spots on the depth chart as injuries and progress adjust who is holding a specific role at any given time. In any case, here’s how the skill positions for starting offense looked Thursday to open camp per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

So, that makes the starting eleven on offense as follows:

QB: Russell Wilson

RB: Chris Carson

TE: Ed Dickson

WR1: Tyler Lockett

WR2: David Moore

WR3: Jaron Brown

LT: Duane Brown

LG: Mike Iupati

C: Justin Britt

RG: D.J. Fluker

RT: Germain Ifedi

No surprises in that group. There’s obviously a lot of time left between now and the start of the season for things to change, but with the exception of Iupati, this is effectively what the Seahawks offense looked like in 2018 during the periods of time Doug Baldwin was unavailable.

Moving on to the defense, it’s yet another group lacking in surprises. Here’s Gregg Bell of the News Tribune reporting the starting defensive unit for the Seahawks.

DE: Cassius Marsh

DT: Poona Ford

DT: Jarran Reed

DE: Quinton Jefferson

OLB: K.J. Wright

MLB: Austin Calitro*

OLB: Mychal Kendricks

CB: Shaquill Griffin

FS: Bradley McDougald

SS: Tedric Thompson

CB: Tre Flowers

That asterisk at middle linebacker for Calitro is obviously there to indicate that this role is Bobby Wagner’s once he begins practicing. Wagner is at training camp and not technically holding out, but he’s apparently refusing to practice until the Hawks make him the highest paid off ball linebacker in the NFL. Now, at least he’s there, and it’s obviously better than Earl Thomas (2018), Kam Chancellor (2015) or Marshawn Lynch (2014) holding out, but it is a distraction in its own way.

Back to the topic of the starting lineups, one of the big questions for the defense is, of course, who will fill the void at nickel cornerback created by Justin Coleman’s departure for the Detroit Lions. With Seattle playing nickel roughly two thirds of the time the defense is on the field, the nickel corner spot will be extremely important. Making it even more important in 2019 compared to 2018 is the fact that the Arizona Cardinals might have something resembling an actual passing offense, rather than whatever it was that involved David Johnson running up the middle constantly.

Add in the fact that the schedule sees the replacement of some poor passing offenses with more potent offenses, and it could be a dangerous combination of an inexperienced secondary trying to stop top offenses. In 2018 Seattle went 1-3 against opponents with a top ten passing offense by DVOA, and that was with Justin Coleman locking down the nickel spot. In 2019 the Hawks have a half dozen opponents on the schedule which finished with a top ten passing DVOA in 2018. Thus, between opponents that can score and a young secondary, the Hawks may need Russell Wilson to do a lot of Russell Wilson things over the course of the 2019 season.