Shortly after what could have gone down as his final game as a Seattle Seahawk, Isaiah Kacyvenski was hopeful but realistic on Friday night.
“I went out there every day to try to prove myself,” the veteran linebacker said. “I always gave my all, chased after the ball and did all the little things. I made sure I’ll have no regrets; I didn’t try to leave anything out there.”
It turned out to be enough, as Kacyvenski was one of the few mild surprises to make the Seahawks’ final 53-man roster Saturday. The longest-tenured current player on Seattle’s defense – he is entering his sixth season – Kacyvenski survived the final cut in large part because of his special teams play.
That came as bad news for fellow linebacker Tracy White, one of 23 players who were let go. White and two other defensive players who started at some point last season were the most notable names on the cutdown list. Defensive tackle Rashad Moore, who is struggling to come back from a shoulder injury, and safety Terreal Bierria were the others.
The release of Bierria must have been the most emotionally difficult, as he is already coming to grips with the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused in his hometown of Slidell, La. – just outside of New Orleans. Bierria learned last week that his home had been destroyed by the hurricane, and he was so affected by the happenings in and around New Orleans that he could not play in Friday night’s preseason finale.
Also on the cut list was wide receiver Jerome Pathon, who never seemed to work his way into coach Mike Holmgren’s heart, and former University of Washington teammate Omare Lowe, a defensive back.
Pathon, Bobby Shaw and Taco Wallace were the odd men out, even though the Seahawks opted to keep seven receivers. Jerheme Urban, who is no longer practice-squad eligible because he played in six games last season, was the last receiver kept.
Running back was also a fairly deep position, with five players remaining on the roster: Shaun Alexander, Mack Strong, Maurice Morris, Josh Scobey and rookie fullback Leonard Weaver. Second-year player Kerry Carter did not make the team.
Among the bubble players who survived the final cut, safety John Howell and defensive ends Joe Tafoya and Alain Kashama were probably the most nervous Friday night.
Three draft picks were released, but fullback Tony Jackson (sixth round), linebacker Cornelius Wortham (seventh round) and guard Doug Nienhuis (seventh round) are good bets to be on the Seahawks’ practice squad. A fourth member of their nine-man draft class, defensive end Jeb Huckeba (fifth round), is not on the 53-man roster, either, as he was placed on injured reserve last week.
Most of the other cuts played in NFL Europe and were exempt from the earlier cut.
Also let go were rookie punter Chris Kluwe, meaning Leo Araguz won the job, rookie running back Marquis Weeks and defensive tackle Cleveland Pinkney.
Kacyvenski is one of seven linebackers still on the roster, joining probable starters D.D. Lewis, Jamie Sharper and Lofa Tatupu as well as reserves Niko Koutouvides, Kevin Bentley and Leroy Hill.
Seattle has four cornerbacks (Marcus Trufant out of Washington State, Kelly Herndon, Andre Dyson and Jordan Babineaux), four safeties (Ken Hamlin, Michael Boulware, Marquand Manuel and Howell) and eight defensive linemen (Bryce Fisher, Chartric Darby, Marcus Tubbs, Grant Wistrom, Rocky Bernard, Craig Terrill, Tafoya and Kashama).