It’s not too often that you get the kind of opportunity in the preseason that the Seattle Seahawks have this week. Matched up against the Denver Broncos, the Hawks will be taking on a team who they very well could see in this year’s Super Bowl (really not trying to get ahead of ourselves, however).
Not only that, but they’ll also be able to see Peyton Manning in action and be able to test their pass coverage against one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
So while there are quite a few people who will be tempted to shrug this off as just another warm-up before the season starts, I really believe that this will be a valuable game for the Seahawks, especially when you consider the surprising fact that there are a lot of position competitions going on right now.
We’ll see quite a few players rotate into the game, but expect the starters — or potential starters, rather — to play at least through the first quarter.
With that said, here are three guys who I expect will come up big tonight against Denver in the C-Link.
Yesterday I raved about Earl Thomas in a post where I talked about Seahawks who were in the top-5 in the NFL at their respective positions. A player who is known for his on-field intelligence and ability to fly to the ball and deliver a tough hit, Thomas should be tested tonight against the Broncos’ passing attack. He’ll have to flex his impressive skills for the first time this year, and I expect him to be more than capable of doing so.
Look for him to have some opportunities for interceptions and really be present wherever the ball ends up on the field.
Walter Thurmond III
My main man from Oregon, I expect Walter Thurmond to shine tonight. Though he has been hampered by injuries throughout the latter stages of his collegiate career and during his time with the Seahawks, he apparently seems to be full go and ready to contend for a starting spot in 2013.
A player who can make an impact in special teams or in the secondary, look for him to return a few kicks/punts as well as see plenty of action at corner this evening.
Though he has an uphill battle in contending for significant playing time at corner, I still believe he was a steal in the draft and can play corner better than just about anybody on the team (and that’s a big statement considering Richard Sherman is one of the top corners in the league). He’s fast, instinctive, and very intelligent when on the field.
Look for him to impress fans and coaches in Seattle’s 2013 home debut.
Last week Christine Michael showed Seattle fans just why the Seahawks chose to draft him when they had just drafted a running back last year. Always emphasizing competition, the front office saw in advance what fans got to witness last week.
He has the speed, power, and versatility to be a starter in the league and should see plenty of time on the field tonight against Denver. Though I still believe Robert Turbin will remain with Seattle as a back as well, Michael looked the part — at least last week — of an impact playmaker at running back.
Look for him to get quite a few touches tonight in the first half of the game against Denver’s starters so the Hawks can truly gauge his potential for NFL success against one of its top defenses.