Seahawks revolving door picks up speed
ERIC D. WILLIAMS; Staff writer
The Seattle Seahawks again made several roster moves Sunday in anticipation of the looming season opener against San Francisco.
The Seahawks announced Sunday that they had released offensive linemen Steve Vallos and Mansfield Wrotto and safety Kevin Ellison.
Additional and bigger names are likely to be released today, including running back Julius Jones and safety Jordan Babineaux, ESPN reported. Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and fullback Owen Schmitt also are reported to be going.
In other news, Seattle claimed offensive guard Evan Dietrich-Smith (Packers) and cornerback Nate Ness (Dolphins) off of waivers.
And the team confirmed the trade for offensive lineman Stacy Andrews from the Philadelphia Eagles for an undisclosed draft pick, likely a seventh-rounder.
Barring further moves, only 25 players on the Seahawks’ 53-man roster will be leftovers from last season.
Andrews, 29, was a fourth-round selection by Cincinnati in the 2004 draft. He played five seasons for the Bengals before signing with the Eagles before the 2009 season. Andrews has started 34 NFL games, and likely will play tackle for the Seahawks as they deal with injuries to tackles Russell Okung (ankle) and Chester Pitts (knee).
Dietrich-Smith, 24, originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2009, so Seattle general manager John Schneider, who worked for several years in Green Bay’s front office, knows his history. Dietrich-Smith was the only undrafted rookie to make the Packers’ opening-day roster last season, playing in 13 games for the Packers.
Ness, 24, spent time on the Miami practice squad in 2009.
Fullback Michael Robinson and defensive tackle Junior Siavii reportedly have been added to the 53-man roster. Quarterback Zac Robinson (waived by New England) and cornerback Ross Weaver (waived by Miami) were reportedly added to the practice squad. But the Seahawks did not confirm any of those roster moves Sunday.
Also, the team did not take long to replace offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who abruptly retired Saturday.
ESPN reported that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hired Paul Ruel, a former offensive line coach at USC.
Ruel was set to coach the offensive line for the Omaha Nighthawks in the United Football League. Ruel should be a good fit for the Seahawks because he is familiar with the zone blocking scheme, having implemented that scheme for Carroll at USC.
Ruel also has NFL experience. He has been an offensive line coach for Detroit (2000), Green Bay (2001-02), Buffalo (2003) and the New York Giants (2004).
Recently released receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has not landed with another team yet. Minnesota coach Brad Childress and Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis have said they are not interested, so his next two choices appear to be Oakland and Washington.
SEAHAWKS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
1:15 p.m., Sunday, Qwest Field
Against the Seahawks: The Seahawks hold a 12-10 advantage over San Francisco, and have won four of the past six meetings. Last season Seattle split against the Niners, losing on the road, 23-10 and winning at home, 20-17.
Stats and stuff: San Francisco’s Vernon Davis has Seattle’s number. The athletic tight end finished with eight receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Seahawks last season. … The San Francisco game will be a reunion of sorts for defensive end Kentwan Balmer and fullback Michael Robinson, both recently released by San Francisco and picked up by Seattle. … Several national publications have picked San Francisco to win the NFC West division title for the first time since 2002, including Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.
Quotable: “It’s time. We’ve had our growing pains. Now we’ve got all of the pieces. If we take care of the small things, it can be a special year.” – San Francisco running back Frank Gore on his team’s playoff potential
Eric D. Williams, staff writer
Sunday at Seattle
Sept. 20 New Orleans
Sept. 26 at Kansas City
Oct. 3 at Atlanta
Oct. 10 Philadelphia
Oct. 17 Oakland
Oct. 24 at Carolina
Oct. 31 Denver
Nov. 7 Bye
Nov. 14 St. Louis
Nov. 21 Tampa Bay
Nov. 29 at Arizona
Dec. 5 at Green Bay
Dec. 12 Seattle
Dec. 16 at San Diego
Dec. 26 at St. Louis
Jan. 2 Arizona