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



August 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

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Rookie report: Russell Wilson isn't only one shining

DE Bruce Irvin

First round, No. 15 overall

Three weeks and he still doesn't have a tackle according to the official statistics. Should we be worried? Not yet. Tackles are at best an incomplete measure of a defensive player's impact -- especially on the defensive line -- and at worst outright misleading. Now, it's in no way a positive sign that the guy drafted for his pass rush ability has not yet sacked the opposing quarterback, but let's not get carried away with pronouncing any conclusions on Irvin just yet. The Seahawks aren't going to show their full array of pass-rush plans in exhibition games, and Irvin has been getting pressure. He just needs to use his speed more and focus on getting around blockers instead of trying to bull rush them.

MLB Bobby Wagner

Second round, No. 47 overall

For the second consecutive year, Seattle is going to begin the regular season with a rookie starting at middle linebacker. Last year it was K.J. Wright filling in for David Hawthorne, who missed the opener with a sore knee. This year, it's Wagner, the second-round pick out of Utah State. Over the offseason, the Seahawks considered having Wright call the defense to lessen the rookie's loud, but Wagner has handled that just fine. He's the one with the speaker in his helmet, hearing the calls from the sideline, and when that headset stopped working in the first exhibition game, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was shouting in the calls from the sideline, and Wagner was so dialed in he was able to read Bradley's lips.

QB Russell Wilson

Third round, No. 75 overall

Hmmmm, do we really need to say much more about him? After all, Jerry Brewer penned a letter of appreciation before Friday's game. Then, we put him on the cover of our sports section after his performance in Kansas City on Friday. Then, I tried to put that performance in perspective by writing about the lessons drawn from his performance the day after the game. Even columnist Steve Kelley -- who's clear in his opinion Matt Flynn should still start -- said Wilson is remarkable.

RB Robert Turbin

Fourth round, No. 106 overall

Wilson wasn't the only rookie who got his first start on Friday in Kansas City. So did Turbin, who is Wilson's roommate. And with Marshawn Lynch sitting out the game, Turbin showed that Seattle does indeed have more depth at that position than it did last year when the offense went belly-up after Lynch unexpectedly was scratched from Seattle's game at Cleveland. The most telling part of Turbin's performance was those 50 yards he racked up on three carries in the touchdown drive to begin the second half.

DT Jaye Howard

Fourth round, No. 114 overall

Fellow rookie Greg Scruggs has been ahead of him in the depth chart, but that doesn't mean Howard hasn't flashed potential. He had two tackles in the second half of Friday's game, exhibiting good strength on the interior.

LB Korey Toomer

Fifth round, No. 154 overall

The Seahawks took a bit of a chance here, drafting him with an eye toward his size and athleticism. He showed his strength with a thunderous tackle in Friday's game, but he's largely been working with the third-unit linebackers so far this training camp.

CB Jeremy Lane

Sixth round, No. 172 overall

The Seahawks special teams were improved on Friday, and coach Pete Carroll said afterward the team tried to focus on grouping some of the core special-teams players together this week. While it's hardly a definitive statement on Lane's status, it was telling that he was on the kickoff coverage unit to open the game. With Roy Lewis' status uncertain because of a knee injury, Lane could become a core part of the special teams.

S Winston Guy

Sixth round, No. 181 overall

Seattle continues to play him in its Bandit defensive package, which on Friday included three defensive linemen, two linebackers and six defensive backs with Guy becoming a designated blitzer. He collided with Bruce Irvin on the third-down play in which the Chiefs' scored their first touchdown though that might be putting it kindly. Guy and Irvin wound up so close together on that play that Chiefs lineman Eric Winston was able to grab hold of both of them, which is probably not how that play was drawn up.

G J.R. Sweezy

Seventh round, No. 225 overall

He has started the past two exhibition games at right guard, and while starter John Moffitt may return this week after elbow surgery, Sweezy is a virtual lock to make this 53-man roster, which is remarkable given the fact that he's changing sides of the ball.

DE Greg Scruggs

Seventh round, No. 232 overall

With Jason Jones missing the past two exhibition games, first because of illness and then a sore knee, Scruggs found himself playing with the first-unit nickel defense as a defensive tackle. He had a sack in the first quarter of Friday's game, but suffered a hamstring injury in that period, which kept him out the rest of the game. He's had a great training camp, though.


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