Hawks breaking down the roster heading toward final cuts
Quarterbacks Average kept past six seasons: 2. 8 Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye. On the bubble: None. Longshot Longshot: Dalton Bell...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Average kept past six seasons: 2.8
Locks: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye.
On the bubble: None.
Longshot: Dalton Bell.
Handicapper's guide: The only question here is whether Frye can play well enough as the third-string quarterback to allow the coaches to feel safe using Seneca Wallace as a wide receiver.
Average kept past six seasons: 5.2
Locks: Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, Leonard Weaver.
On the bubble: T.J. Duckett, Owen Schmitt, Justin Forsett.
Longshot: David Kirtman.
Handicapper's guide: This is one of the most heated roster races. Seattle committed cash to Duckett in free agency, Forsett had the biggest impact of any player in the exhibition season and Schmitt was a fifth-round draft pick. Is there room for all three given the situation at wide receiver? Only if the Seahawks carry fewer defensive players than in past years.
Average kept past six seasons: 5.5
Locks: Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Courtney Taylor.
On the bubble: Deion Branch, Ben Obomanu, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne, Michael Bumpus.
Longshots: Joel Filani, Trent Shelton, Bryan Gilmore.
Handicapper's guide: This will be the toughest choice the Seahawks face with Engram out for another month and Branch unable to practice so far, and it remains possible he could begin the regular season on the physically unable to perform list. Kent has world-class speed, great size and caught five passes in two exhibition games — including a touchdown — but he plays split end, the one position where Seattle has an established and experienced starter in Burleson. Payne and Bumpus are competing to fill the slot-receiver spot Engram played so capably. History provides no firm guide to what will happen as Seattle carried anywhere from four to seven wide receivers over the past five seasons.
Average kept past six seasons: 3
Locks: John Carlson, Will Heller, Jeb Putzier.
On the bubble: None.
Longshot: Joe Newton.
Handicapper's guide: Carlson looked faster than advertised during the team's training camp, Heller is a reliable blocker and Putzier is a veteran with a track record of receiving success, although that was two years ago. It would be a major surprise if those aren't the three tight ends Seattle begins the season with.
Average kept past six seasons: 8.8.
Locks: Walter Jones, Mike Wahle, Chris Spencer, Rob Sims, Sean Locklear, Ray Willis, Steve Vallos.
On the bubble: Mansfield Wrotto, Floyd Womack, Kyle Williams.
Longshots: Nick Jones, Pat Murray, Ben Claxton, William Robinson.
Handicapper's guide: Wrotto's a solid bet to make the roster as a backup guard. The biggest question will come down to whether Williams' potential to be a contributor surpasses Womack's value as a practice replacement for Jones.
Average kept past six seasons: 4.8.
Locks: Brandon Mebane, Rocky Bernard, Craig Terrill, Red Bryant.
On the bubble: Howard Green, Larry Tripplett.
Longshot: Kevin Brown.
Under the microscope: Green has played well enough to make the roster and provides the Seahawks with a bigger body. Tripplett is an experienced pro, but he simply hasn't been healthy enough to make the case that he should be the team's fifth tackle.
Average kept past six seasons: 4.5.
Locks: Patrick Kerney, Lawrence Jackson, Darryl Tapp.
On the bubble: Jason Babin, Baraka Atkins.
Longshots: Nu'u Tafisi, Chris Cooper.
Handicapper's guide: Babin played linebacker for Houston, was traded to Seattle before last season and moved back to defensive end, but didn't appear in a game for Seattle. He's heavier now and appears poised to grab a roster spot as a pass-rush specialist.
Average kept past six seasons: 7.2.
Locks: Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Julian Peterson, Lance Laury, D.D. Lewis.
On the bubble: David Hawthorne.
Longshots: Dallas Sartz, Will Herring.
Handicapper's guide: The Seahawks haven't gone with just six linebackers on the 53-man roster in any of the previous six seasons, but Herring's status is in doubt because of an illness. Hawthorne seems fairly certain to make the roster, but after that, Seattle may cut back on its linebackers and look to its running backs to round out its special teams.
Average kept past six seasons: 4.2.
Locks: Deon Grant, Brian Russell, Jordan Babineaux.
On the bubble: C.J. Wallace, Jamar Adams.
Longshot: Kelin Johnson.
Handicapper's guide: Wallace, an undrafted free agent, made the team last season because of his special-teams ability, and he could again be a key cog in that element of the game.
Average kept past six seasons: 4.2.
Locks: Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Josh Wilson.
On the bubble: Kevin Hobbs.
Longshots: Marquis Floyd, Omare Lowe.
Handicapper's guide: Hobbs has a foothold on the roster and figures to be the final member in the deepest secondary Seattle has had in years.
Average kept past six seasons: 3.
Kicker: Olindo Mare or Brandon Coutu.
Punter: Ryan Plackemeier or Reggie Hodges.
Long snapper: Tyler Schmitt or Tim Lindsey.
Handicapper's guide: Plackemeier is the leader in the punting competition, the competition between Mare and Coutu will be decided over the final two exhibition games, and the question at long snapper comes down to whether Schmitt — a rookie draft pick — can get healthy.
NFL rosters often get described like 53-piece puzzles that arrive in a box ready to be assembled.
If only it were that easy.
It's not a matter of putting together the pieces, because there's also the matter of which 27 players on the training-camp roster must be discarded. Not only that, but a puzzle has a specific number of pieces on each side. In football, the situation is more fluid. A team can pare down the number of defensive players to pad the numbers on offense or vice versa.
Assembly time for a puzzle is a matter of hours. An NFL team spends more than a month every year deciding which 53 players will begin the season. Those decisions come down this week. The roster must be down to 75 on Tuesday and trimmed to the regular-season limit of 53 on Saturday, Aug. 30.
Here's a look at the choices the Seahawks face.
Notes from camp
• Rookie kicker Brandon Coutu did not practice Saturday because of a sore groin muscle. He also sat out Friday's workout. His availability for Monday's exhibition game in San Diego is unknown. The plan had been for Coutu and kicker Olindo Mare to split placekicking opportunities over the final two exhibition games. That may change.
• Defensive tackle Larry Tripplett returned to practice Saturday. He had been out with a leg injury since the first week of training camp.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 07:23 AM
NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.