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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



August 12, 2009 at 6:20 PM

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Roster breakdown: The defensive version

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Defensive ends
Average kept 2002-'08: 4.7



POS.2008'07'06 '05'04'03'02
DE5554544

Pencil them in: Cory Redding and Patrick Kerney are the starters; Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson the backups.

Roster hotspot: The competition for the fifth defensive end will be a good one. Baraka Atkins has good size, but seventh-round pick Nick Reed has shown an ability to be a threat during training camp. Let's see what happens when the exhibition games start.

Defensive tackles
Average kept from 2002-'08: 4.5



POS.2008'07'06 '05'04'03'02
DT4*554555
*Does not include Rocky Bernard, who was suspended for the first game

Pencil them in: Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane are the starters, Red Bryant and Craig Terrill are the backups.

Roster hotspot: Kevin Brown has spent time on Seattle's practice squad, and undrafted rookie Michael Bennett has played tackle during this training camp, and he could be a candidate to develop. The versatility of Cory Redding -- and his experience playing tackle -- could give the Seahawks the flexibility to have four defensive tackles on the roster.

Linebackers
Average kept from 2002-'08: 7


POS.2008'07'06 '05'04'03'02
LB6777787

Pencil them in: Starters are Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and Aaron Curry; D.D. Lewis is a veteran back up who can play all three positions.

Fairly safe: Lance Laury is a special-teams mainstay, and David Hawthorne and Will Herring have played similarly important roles. Dave Philistin and Shane Simmons face long odds to make the final roster.

Safeties
Average kept from 2002-'08: 4



POS.2008'07'06 '05'04'03'02
S3*544345
*Does not include Jordan Babineaux, who was suspended for the first game

Pencil them in: Deon Grant and Brian Russell are currently the first-string safeties, and Jordan Babineaux the top backup at both spots. C.J. Wallace has made himself a special-teams mainstay, which is how he played his way onto the roster in 2007.

Roster hotspot: The Seahawks have liked the play of seventh-round pick Courtney Greene. If they keep five defensive tackles, does that open a spot for Greene on the active roster? Jamar Adams certainly looks the part of a front-tier safety, but he continues to get third-string reps. He will have to do something extraordinary during the exhibition games to move past the practice squad.

Cornerbacks
Average kept from '02-'08: 4.1



POS.2008'07'06 '05'04'03'02
CB4344455


Pencil them in: Marcus Trufant and Ken Lucas are the starters, Josh Wilson is the nickel back and Kelly Jennings currently sits fourth on the depth chart.

Roster hotspot: Kevin Hobbs has shown signs of becoming a real playmaker at times, but he's going to have an uphill climb to make the roster as the team hasn't carried more than four cornerbacks going into the regular season since 2003.

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