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Special teams and the inside track on making the 2023 Seahawks roster

Pete Carroll continually preaches special teams, and that’s where those largely invisible players on the fringes of the roster can gain notice.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the last week in May, and fresh off the holiday weekend the NFL news cycle is in one of the few remaining dead times of the year. PFT claims to have dug up and broken the only major news of the long weekend, when the reality is that he simply re-unearthed something OverTheCap.com founder Jason Fitzgerald had covered more than two months ago.

As for the Seattle Seahawks, it has been quiet on the news front for the Hawks, with organized team activities progressing and the large rookie class taking to learning the offense. One of the biggest asks for the rookie class will be to fill the holes on special teams created by veteran departures. Of the top three in Seahawks in special teams snaps in 2022, only special teams captain Nick Bellore is set to return, with Cody Barton and Tanner Muse having departed in free agency. That said, Barton and Muse are far from the only important special teams contributors from 2022 who are not on the roster any longer, so here is a look at all of the Seahawks who played at least 85 special teams snaps during the 2022 regular season. Those players who are currently on the 90 man roster are in bold. (Author’s Note: Specialists not included in the list.)

  • Nick Bellore (352 snaps)
  • Tanner Muse (325 snaps)
  • Cody Barton (269 snaps)
  • DeeJay Dallas (227 snaps)
  • Dareke Young (209 snaps)
  • Colby Parkinson (193 snaps)
  • Will Dissly (180 snaps)
  • Joey Blount (175 snaps)
  • Josh Jones (166 snaps)
  • Travis Homer (130 snaps)
  • Justin Coleman (120 snaps)
  • Tariq Woolen (118 snaps)
  • Cullen Gillaspia (112 snaps)
  • Ryan Neal (106 snaps)
  • Teez Tabor (100 snaps)
  • Jon Rhattigan (96 snaps)
  • Godwin Igwebuike (90 snaps)
  • Isaiah Dunn (87 snaps)

Just from the players in that list who have moved on the the Hawks will need to replace 1,418 snaps, and the members of the 2023 rookie class will undoubtedly play a significant role in that. However, regardless of whether it’s 2023 rookies, or players who spent 2022 on the practice squad looking for their opportunity to break through onto the 53 man roster, the players who are able to demonstrate the skills necessary to fill the vacant roles on special teams will be those players who set themselves apart when it comes time to make the tough decisions on the fringes of the roster.

Thus, even though the Seahawks preseason opener remains more than ten weeks away, one of the most important areas on which to focus will not be on the shiny new toys on offense and defense, but on who is seeing the field on special teams.