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Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Position battles come into focus after four days of Seahawks training camp

Seattle’s Trevone Boykin is trying to earn a spot as the No. 2 quarterback. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seattle’s Trevone Boykin is trying to earn a spot as the No. 2 quarterback. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

After four days, the Seahawks rested, taking Wednesday off before resuming training camp Thursday.

Here’s a review by position group of what stood out during the first four practices:


The big question here remains who will back up Russell Wilson once the regular season begins. Jake Heaps, working with the third team behind Trevone Boykin, has had some nice moments, including a touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley that ended practice Monday. But Boykin remains the clear No. 2.

General manager John Schneider, though, has said the team will keep its eyes out for quarterbacks who could become available as camps progress and cuts are made. The truer tests for Boykin will begin with the first preseason game at Kansas City on Aug. 13, when the Seahawks will really get a feel for how ready Boykin is for the job. Former backup Tarvaris Jackson’s legal issues are cleared up, and that could make him a fallback option.

Running back

This position has been hardest hit by injuries. Likely starter Thomas Rawls (ankle) remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list, rookie C.J. Prosise is out because of a hamstring injury, and undrafted free agent Tre Madden is out because of an unspecified arm/shoulder issue. That has left almost all the snaps for Christine Michael, Alex Collins and Zac Brooks (in that order), with Michael appearing to show continued maturity after returning to the team toward the end of last season. If Prosise remains out for an extended period, Brooks could make a run at the job as the third-down, two-minute back. Brandon Cottom, listed as a tight end, has worked consistently as the No. 1 fullback and could find his way onto the roster in that role.

Tight end

Here’s another spot where injuries have been the key story — Jimmy Graham remains on the PUP list, and Cooper Helfet is out because of a broken foot. Veteran free agent Brandon Williams is getting significant work with the No. 1 offense with Luke Willson and Nick Vannett.

Wide receiver

The top four spots are set – Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson, the latter showing he is back after the injuries that limited him to one game last season. After that it remains a jumble, though through four practices Kasen Williams and Douglas McNeil might have the edge.

Preseason games will be big for rookie Kenny Lawler, and undrafted free agent Tanner McEvoy, who stands 6 feet 6 and was a safety in the spring, remains one of the most intriguing players in camp.

Offensive line

The starting unit has been the same the first four days – left tackle Garry Gilliam, left guard Mark Glowinski, center Justin Britt, right guard Germain Ifedi and right tackle J’Marcus Webb. Ifedi stood out Monday for his tussles with defensive lineman Michael Bennett, drawing praise from coach Pete Carroll for showing the kind of toughness the team thought he had when he was drafted in the first round. The second unit also has remained largely the same, notably with Patrick Lewis, who ended last year as the starting center, working behind Britt. One undrafted free agent to watch is left tackle George Fant.

Defensive line

The big news happened a day before players reported when Chris Clemons told the team he is retiring. That could open the door for Ryan Robinson to make the roster as a pass-rusher. Jordan Hill, entering a contract year, has consistently worked as a starting tackle alongside Ahtyba Rubin.


Cliff Avril and Bennett have appeared in midseason form. One undrafted free agent to watch is tackle Brandin Bryant, who has gotten a lot of work with veteran Sealver Siliga on the non-football injury list.


There’s no apparent movement yet on one of the biggest question marks on the entire roster – who will win the starting strong-side linebacking job? The top three contenders – Mike Morgan, Eric Pinkins and Cassius Marsh – have gotten full days working with the first-team defense (undrafted rookie free agent Pete Robertson also has gotten some snaps with the starters). And Brock Coyle and Kevin Pierre-Louis appear to remain as the backups to starters Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright at the middle and weakside spots.


On a defense that is largely set, one other intriguing spot is right cornerback in the base defense. DeShawn Shead, Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon appear to be the top three players. Shead has more often held that spot through the first four days. The roles have been more pronounced in the nickel, in which Shead plays on the outside and Lane in the slot. Brandon Browner has gotten plenty of work at safety, usually at strong safety backing up Kam Chancellor.

An intriguing undrafted free agent to watch is safety Tyvis Powell, who has appeared more comfortable the past few days.

Special teams

The most specific battle here remains at long snapper between Drew Ferris and Nolan Frese. That might take a few games to figure out. Ferris appears the leader.

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