May 26, 2014 in Sports

Seahawks expect intense battle at wide receiver

Todd Dybas Tacoma News Tribune
 
Courtesy photo

Seattle Seahawks
(Full-size photo)

The Seattle Seahawks take another incremental step toward playing football again by starting offseason training today.

They’ll run workout sessions today through Thursday, Monday and Tuesday next week, June 5 and June 9-12.

The defending Super Bowl champions will be mixing in new faces and trying to reboot their stars for another run during these first sessions. Here are a few things to watch for over the two weeks:

The fight at wide receiver: This figures to be a battle through the end of training camp. Seattle drafted two wide receivers – second-round pick Paul Richardson and fourth-round pick Kevin Norwood – to bolster the unit.

During the offseason, Seattle signed Chris Matthews out of the Canadian Football League and Taylor Price, who previously played for New England and Jacksonville, but has not played since 2011.

Adding those four to the returning group of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Sidney Rice, Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters makes wide receiver the most competitive position on the roster.

Despite being a run-first offense, Seattle felt the need to augment the wide receiver personnel, particularly after leading receiver Golden Tate went to Detroit in free agency.

Do or die for James Carpenter: The Seahawks used their first pick in the 2011 draft on left guard Carpenter. That sent a message of how they felt about his ability.

This offseason, the Seahawks did not pick up Carpenter’s fifth-year contract option (each first-round pick receives a four-year contract with a fifth-year team option). That sent another message, namely what Carpenter has produced is not good enough. He rotated with Paul McQuistan last season.

Coach Pete Carroll claims Carpenter is in much better shape this offseason than last, when he was slowed by two knee injuries. Carpenter never did appear to get his wind during the year.

His NFL future could be on the line with his performance this season.

Who will backup the backup QB?: Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has a guaranteed one-year contract, two years in Seattle and five prior years of experience with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system, making him close to a lock as the No. 2 quarterback behind Russell Wilson.

Something dramatic would have to happen in camp for Jackson to be displaced.

Behind him, Terrelle Pryor – acquired in the offseason for a seventh-round draft pick – former Washington star Keith Price and B.J. Daniels will be fighting for the third quarterback spot. The Seahawks typically only have two quarterbacks active on game day and three on the 53-man roster.


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