Focus on: A show of hands

Posted Aug 11, 2014

The Seahawks’ three-receiver sets seem set with Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse. But who fills the other two or three spots on the 53-man roster? The competition continues, and coach Pete Carroll says, “We love the position group right now.”

Let’s see, there’s Doug Baldwin, whose 130 receptions for the Seahawks the past three seasons are more than any other wide receiver on the team’s 90-man training camp roster. There’s also Percy Harvin, who when healthy is one big play after another waiting to happen. And then there’s Jermaine Kearse, who has made the most of every opportunity that has come his way since joining the team as a rookie free agent in 2012.

Then what? To this point, the show of hands in the battle for the remaining two or three spots on the 53-man roster has depended on which day and which play you might be talking about.

“It’s a very exciting group,” coach Pete Carroll said after Sunday’s “Bonus Day” practice as the Seahawks put Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Broncos in their preseason opener behind them and started focusing on Friday night’s preseason home opener against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field.

“We’re so fired up that Percy has been with us the whole way and he’s been battling. He’s been showing us why he’s a special player. Doug and Jermaine have done a great job picking up where we left off. We seem like an experienced group, with a lot of playmaking there.”

Against the Broncos, seven wide receivers were targeted – and 16 players overall – with six catching passes: rookie Paul Richardson (four for 37 yards), Ricardo Lockette (two for 35), Bryan Walters (one for 26), Baldwin (one for 18), Chris Matthews (one for 16) and Kearse (one for 11).

And that preseason-opening performance did little to sort out the situation at one of the most competitive positions in camp – a hands race that will reconvene Tuesday morning when the players return to the practice fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center after having Monday off.

Here’s Carroll’s take on some of the other wide-outs who are in the hunt:

“Ricardo gives us a real flashy guy competing,” he said of the 6-foot-2, 211-pound Lockette, who’s also one of the fastest players on the team.

Phil Bates has done a very good job, and did a really good job on special teams (against the Broncos) as well,” he said of the 220-pounder.

“Bryan Walters did well,” he said of the former quarterback from Kirkland’s Juanita High School who also is in the competition to replace the departed Golden Tate as the punt returner.

“To see Paul jump in and play like he did, we weren’t sure how much we were going to play him because he hadn’t practiced a whole lot,” Carroll said of Richardson, the team’s top draft choice this year. “As the game went on he looked like he could hang and stay in there, so we got him some balls and did a very, very good job.”

And that doesn’t include fourth-round draft choice Kevin Norwood, one of the stars of the first few practices who remains sidelined after having a bone spur removed from his foot. Or the 6-5 Matthews. Or Arceto Clark. Or rookie free agent Kevin Smith.

“I think it’s a very competitive group,” Carroll said. “There are guys that are battling all the way through the ranks. We love the position group right now.”