Greetings from a soggy/sunny/soggy/sunny CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks will close their preseason tonight in familiar fashion – playing the Oakland Raiders, for the eighth consecutive time in their summer finale; and hosting them for the seventh time.
But a little rain – or even a lot – can’t douse what this game means for those players on the fringe of the 75-man roster. Both teams must make 22 roster moves by Saturday to reach the league-mandated 53-man limit, so tonight is a showcase for those players hoping to still be around on Monday when the Seahawks begin preparing for next week’s regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina.
So this evening belongs to rookie linebacker
The importance of this seemingly meaningless exhibition is not lost on head coach Pete Carroll, who went to camp with the Honolulu Hawaiians of the World Football League in 1974, but did not make the team.
“Heck yeah. I totally do,” Carroll said after Wednesday’s walkthrough when asked if he could relate to the players that will be released. “I can remember every play that happened leading up to when I got cut in the old World League. And also the exchange that happens when you transition out, too. It’s a critical time for us when we’re growing up. So we respect it very highly.”
One aspect that is threatening to dampen the lofty expectations that have been building for the Seahawks is injuries on the defensive line. At one point in training camp, first-year D-line coach Travis Jones had so many options he almost didn’t know what to do with everyone at his disposal.
But that is not the case tonight.
Clemons? He’s well ahead of schedule in his rehab from the surgery that was needed to repair the ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee he suffered during the wild-card playoff win over the Washington Redskins in January. But just when he’ll be able to return also is unknown.
Improving the pass-rush was an offseason priority for Carroll, for the second consecutive year. But instead of Clemons or Avril or Bennett – or even
But this situation will give Jones, Carroll and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn longer looks at the other D-lineman on the roster –
All should see ample action tonight, as will the others who are competing for a role on this team, at best; or a spot on the 53-man roster or eight-man practice squad, at least.
So sit back and watch whatever unfolds, with televised coverage on Q13 FOX set for 7 o’clock, radio coverage on 710 AM ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, and online coverage with our Gameday Page and Preseason Live.