Since arriving in the Pacific Northwest in 2010, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have become known for their willingness to churn the roster of the Seattle Seahawks in order to evaluate an extremely large number of players. They traditionally do this both during the offseason and into training camp, though the pandemic prevented much of this taking place during the most unique offseason in recent memory. However, with just five days until roster cuts are due on Saturday, September 5 by 4 pm New York Time, they appear to have hit their groove.
Saturday the Seahawks waived undrafted rookie defensive end Eli Mencer in order to make room for receiver Paul Richardson, and then on Sunday the team brought back Pita Taumeopenu while placing defensive lineman Branden Jackson on injured reserve. The team was not done adding players at receiver, however, as reports emerged late Sunday that the Hawks were set to add yet another receiver to the mix for the final stretch of training camp.
The #Seahawks are expected to sign former #Cowboys WR Lance Lenoir, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 31, 2020
This is an extremely interesting development for a couple of reasons. Obviously, the Seahawks are in need of receivers after having seen the position group so depleted that Jayson Stanley, a defensive back, was forced to play wide receiver in practice last week. However, what makes this signing interesting is, as was noted while discussing the injuries to John Ursua and Phillip Dorsett last week, the physical profile of Lance Lenoir matches what the Seahawks tend to look for from slot receivers, not outside receivers.
Physical and athletic profile comparison of Lance Lenoir to John Ursua, Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin
This is in no way saying Lenoir is going to suddenly wake up one morning at 25 and be a Doug Baldwin or Tyler Lockett caliber receiver, but it’s known the team looks for specific traits at specific positions. That said, a 4.67 time in the forty is certainly not what Seattle looks for from an outside, where it tends to prefer the likes of Paul Richardson (4.40), DK Metcalf (4.33), David Moore (4.43) and so on.
Normally a receiver added just days before the end of training camp has little to no hope of making the roster because of a lack of knowledge of the offense. However, in this case that is largely different as Lenoir spent two years and part of a training camp in Jason Garrett’s system with the Dallas Cowboys. That is important because under Garrett the Cowboys ran a variant of the Air Coryell system Garrett played in with Dallas during the 1990s, with Norv Turner having been the offensive coordinator during Garrett’s rookie season in 1993.
Turner left Dallas after the 1993 season to become the head coach of the Washington Football Team, where he taught his version of the Air Coryell system to Cam Cameron. Cameron, in turn, was the offensive coordinator of the then San Diego, but now Los Angeles Chargers, from 2002 to 2006, where Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was the quarterbacks coach for the first four years of that timeframe.
What that means is that Lenoir likely comes in to camp with a knowledge of the offense and his responsibilities far beyond a traditional last week of camp addition. Now, it certainly doesn’t spell the end of the road for Dorsett or Ursua or whoever else the Hawks are planning on using in the slot this season, however, it likely provides Seattle a bit better flexibility should Ursua’s hamstring or Dorsett’s foot need more time to recover than Pete Carroll is letting on.
The Seahawks will need to make a transaction in order to make room for Lenoir on the roster, and Field Gulls will be here to keep readers updated on that transaction when it happens.