And Then There Were Six…
The quarterback competition was the battle to watch going into Seahawks training camp. Or so we thought. We should be so naive to think my boy Pete Carroll didn’t have a trick or two up his sleeve.
The signings of Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens.
The initial assumption of these signings was that they were desperate moves on Carroll’s part to add depth to a thin position on the depth chart. Nothing more.
Now, with Owens looking like his 28-year-old self and Edwards making Sportscenter Top 10 honors in his first preseason game, the “desperate moves” are slowly becoming “genius maneuvers.”
A position that was once a question mark on the Seahawks roster is now, dare I say, a possible strength.
But who will make the cut?
Sidney Rice: Age: 25 Height: 6’4″ Weight: 202 lbs
As the battle rages on, in Al Pacino’s words, “Players are living and dying for that one inch!” The gaps between players are minute, one slip on a route, one dropped pass and your spot could be taken.
It is a dog-eat-dog preseason, and Sidney Rice is lying back in his red jersey enjoying margaritas on the sideline.
Rice is the most talented receiver on the roster. He has the highest upside, he is 25 going on 26 in September, and the kid can flat out fly. His 2009 season, by far his best, the explosive receiver hauled in 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and 8 scores.
Now Brett “The Drama Queen” Favre probably had a lot to do with Rice’s production.
But even with Favre, putting up those numbers in your third year in the league are impressive nonetheless.
This is why Seattle gave Rice the $41-million.
Unfortunately, his 2009 season was the only season he played in all 16 games. He has played in a combined 15 games since. His injury-prone nature is holding the young stud back from all he can be. Hopefully his sideline resting does its job, and he bounces back in 2012.
Doug Baldwin: Age: 23 Height: 5’10” Weight: 189 lbs
The Seahawks leading receiver last season with 51 receptions for 788 yards and 4 scores.
How can you not love this kid?
Undrafted after being a 4-year starter for the Stanford Cardinals, Doug Baldwin came into the league with a chip on his shoulder and took advantage of the opportunity handed to him by the Seahawks.
His route-running is fluid-like, he doesn’t go by the book. Baldwin seems to simply glide amongst the defenders, almost unseen, until he finds a hole in the defense and makes the catch. It’s simply majestic.
He always has a positive attitude, and he states that he can be that number two receiver opposite of Rice. The coaching staff loves him in the slot, considering his size and route-running ability, but he wants to be more.
Let’s he puts his money where his mouth is.
Golden Tate: Age: 24 Height: 5’10” Weight: 202 lbs
Has he lived up to the hype? No, not by a long shot.
Tate has found difficulty remaining in the starting lineup because of his inconsistent hands and mediocre route-running ability.
However, when you DO get the ball in his hands, it is a beautiful sight.
His cuts, his explosion off of the line, his blazing speed to beat defensive backs who have a step on him, his uncanny jumping ability. It is all there. he just needs to be able to get the ball in his hands.
The potential alone is the reason he is a lock. But in his third year the young man needs to take a major step to remain a lock.
Ben Obomanu: Age: 28 Height: 6’1″ Weight: 204 lbs
It is odd to consider Obomanu a lock, considering his lack of production.
Throughout his 5 years with the Seahawks he has only started 12 games. However, he has played in 68 and shown glimpses of solidity.
Obomanu was named the number-two receiver alongside Mike Williams in 2010, but was soon injured and lost the opportunity.
Obo has flirted with the injury bug quite a bit in his 5 years, another reason his stats don’t jump off the page. But he has filled gaps when needed, shown ability as a possession receiver and also somewhat of a deep threat, and considered by me a lock on this team.
On the Bubble
Terrell Owens: Age: 38 Height: 6’3″ Weight: 224
The acquisition causing the most buzz around Seahawks training camp, Owens is still fighting for a spot.
Many assumed he was a guaranteed lock, but once Edwards reeled in that touchdown Saturday night, Terrell Owens lost a step in the race.
His positives are obvious, his negatives even more obvious. His production on Saturday night in Denver and the next two games following will decide if he earns a spot on this roster.
I am going to go out on a limb and say he makes the team.
Braylon Edwards: Age: 28 Height: 6’3″ Weight: 214 lbs
Unlike the Owens signing, when Braylon came in I wasn’t convinced he would make the team.
I was excited about the opportunity and the competition he would bring to the position, but like my past articles have stated I simply see him as a waste of talent.
Then I watched his touchdown Saturday night (yes, bringing it up again) and I remembered just how much talent he had to waste.
I see Edwards making this team. He can have an average-to-mediocre preseason following the week-one game and I think he still makes it because of that catch. It just reminds you of what he can bring to the table, and the threat he is every down.
The Bubble’s Bubble
Deon Butler Age: 26 Height: 5’10” Weight: 182 lbs
I was a huge Butler fan when he was drafted out of Penn State in 2009. In college he passed up Seattle’s own Bobby Engram to be the all-time receptions leader in Penn State history.
He then followed that up by running a 4.38 40-yard-dash at the combine. What’s not to love?
Unfortunately, he has yet to separate himself from the pack.
The gruesome injury he suffered in December of 2012 was thought to be a career-ender, but Butler has bounced back. Another reason to love the guy.
He comes in every day, does his job, and does it well. Unfortunately he just does not have that wow factor like Golden Tate, or the numbers of Baldwin. And to have three 5’10” receivers on your roster with similar arsenals is flat out unlikely.
For these reasons I see Butler as a fantastic practice squad receiver (too bad we can’t put him on it).
When it’s all said an done he’s someone who I will be excited about if given the opportunity to be on the roster.