The Seahawks will host the Broncos in their second preseason game of 2021, and it will be the first game with fans packing Lumen Field since Seattle's final home game in 2019. While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll would not divulge on Friday who all will play on Saturday night—the Seahawks rested almost all of their starters in the preseason opener—there will be plenty of interesting things to keep an eye on as the game unfolds.
If you won't be at Lumen Field, here are all the different ways you can watch and listen to the game, and while you do, here are five things worth keeping an eye on Saturday night:
1. The return of the 12s.
While it was great to see fans in Lumen Field for the team's mock game two weeks ago, this crowd will be substantially bigger and louder, marking the first full stadium for a Seahawks game since their final home game of the 2019 season. And no, it won't quite be regular-season intensity, but it will still be special to see and hear a stadium full of 12s once again.
"It feels like forever since we've had a chance to play in front of the fans, so coming back, it's our first chance to make an impression on them, on how we're going to play—style of play, effort, and what they can count on," Carroll said. "This relationship with our fans has been famous, and this is our chance to reunite and get rolling, so we need to play good football to do that, so that's what we intend to do. It's exciting to come back and just see it all happen, so we are looking forward to that."
2. Could Tre Brown contend for a starting spot?
Early in camp, the competition for the starting spots at cornerback featured Ahkello Witherspoon and Damarious Randall splitting time at left cornerback with the starters, and Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed working with the No. 1 defense at right cornerback. Practice this week, however, has seen rookie Tre Brown get some looks with the No. 1 defense, and while he still would have work to do to win a starting job, he is showing he deserves a shot to compete for it.
"If you notice, he's getting work with the ones," Carroll said. "That's for us to just get a feel for him with those other guys on the field. These games are really important for him to make a bid for how much he can contribute. He's been really active, he's tough, he's been really competitive with the ball, he has not given up plays. He's just been really consistent. He's been a real bright spot in camp. You draft him and wait and see, you don't know, but he's battling. I'm really excited about just the competitive side of this, because he's trying to earn a job to start. He's that close already, so we'll see what happens."
3. Rashaad Penny's preseason debut.
Heading into his fourth season, Rashaad Penny is looking to finally enjoy a fully healthy year that allows him to showcase the talents that made him a first-round pick. Penny was held out of practice last week and missed the preseason opener, but was back on the field this week and will make his debut. The hope this year is Chris Carson and Penny can give the Seahawks the one-two punch in the backfield that Carroll loves—and that they were providing in 2019 prior to Penny's ACL injury—and a strong, and healthy, showing Saturday night would be an encouraging step in the right direction for Penny.
"I just want to see him play football," Carroll said. "He's been very explosive when he played, he's had a lot of big plays when he has opportunities. I just want to see him play good, hard, physical football and we think the results are going to be really good."
4. Can the offense function more cleanly?
The Seahawks played their last preseason game with their offensive starters all getting the night off, so there wasn't too much to read into a performance that saw the Seahawks score only once, a 43-yard touchdown reception by DeeJay Dallas. Obviously things should go more smoothly if the starters get some playing time, but regardless of who's on the field this time around, the Seahawks want to show that they can function better on offense, particularly on third down.
"We need to play clean, and we need to convert on third down," Carroll said. "We need to play good, clean football. We did a great job taking care of the ball last week and that's something we're always working on doing. Good decision-making needs to happen again, and we need to convert and move the club. If you don't convert on third down, you can't get into the rhythm that we need, so that's a big deal."
5. Do Alton Robinson and the pass-rush depth show up again?
With veterans like Carlos Dunlap II, Kerry Hyder Jr. and Benson Mayowa getting the night off last weekend, Seattle's young edge rushers showed that the team has good depth there with players like Alton Robinson, Rasheem Green and Darrell Taylor stepping up.
"The edge guys did a nice job in the game," Carroll said.
If young players like those mentioned above, as well as L.J. Collier, can continue to play well, it will be a great sign for Seattle's depth along the defensive line, and at defensive end in particular. Seattle's best defenses under Carroll have deployed deep defensive line rotations—the most obvious example being a 2013 defense on which Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett were not starters—and this year's line has a chance to be one the Seahawks' deepest since the Super Bowl teams.
On Robinson in particular, Carroll noted that the 2020 fifth-round pick is pushing to earn significant playing time after coming through with four sacks in limited snaps as a rookie.
"He's played both sides, he's playing Sam (strongside linebacker) and feels very comfortable doing that," Carroll said. "What he's showing us is he's a real consistent competitor and he plays hard all the time. You can really count on him. He's just fighting for playing time and how much. He's going to a part of it. We just need to see how much he plays. He's making a big statement."
Photos from Seahawks Training Camp practice, held on Thursday, August 19 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Seahawks Training Camp is presented by Safeway.