RENTON – One of quarterback Russell Wilson’s favorite targets will be battling for a roster spot tonight when the Seattle Seahawks face the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field in both teams’ final exhibition game this season.
Charly Martin had four receptions for 36 yards in the Seahawks’ first three exhibition games, including a 14-yard touchdown from Wilson last week against Kansas City.
Martin has worked mostly as a slot receiver during training camp and has shown polished route-running skills, soft hands and a good feel for finding holes in zones.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Martin signed with the Seahawks in January, so he has benefitted from working out at the team’s facility during the offseason and learning the culture that coach Pete Carroll tries to establish for his team.
“This is an unbelievable place,” Martin said. “I’ve spent some time around the NFL, and this place is a great organization. Pete runs a great program, and we’ve got a good team. And Pete knows how to get these guys ready, and he does a good job of making sure we enjoy it.”
Martin, 28, is in his third NFL season, having spent the past two years with the Carolina Panthers. At West Texas A&M University, Martin finished with school records in receptions (244), receiving yards (4,108) and touchdowns (44), so he understands how to produce under pressure.
With receivers Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards seeming to be locks to make the Seahawks’ roster, Martin likely is in a battle with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler and youngsters Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham for two roster spots.
“I control what I can control,” Martin said about Friday’s looming cuts. “There’s only so much I can do, and I make sure I’m mentally and physically ready to go every day. And aside from that, my hands are off of it. I come out, take advantage of the opportunities, work as hard as I can and have fun.”
Carroll said he’s taken notice of Martin’s play.
“He’s been really strong this camp,” Carroll said. “He’s done a very good job in all of the areas that we have needed him to. He’s tough, he does a nice job inside running routes and making catches with guys all over, he’s a good blocker, and he’s contributing in special teams.
“So those are really good attributes for a young receiver.”
Carroll, after putting the Seahawks through a short walkthrough Wednesday, said his team’s first-round pick from last year, offensive lineman James Carpenter, is improving and definitely will play this season. Carpenter is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he recovers from knee surgery.
Carroll said deciding whether to keep Carpenter on the PUP list to begin the regular season will be difficult. Doing so would make Carpenter ineligible for the first six games.
“He’s not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us,” Carroll said. “But still, it’s a crucial time here. And we’re going to have to make a big decision on how we do this.
“He has busted his tail to get back, and we’re really, really excited. He is definitely going to play this year.”
Carpenter suffered a knee injury during a blocking drill in practice last year and underwent surgery in December. He missed the final seven games of the season.
Carroll said when Carpenter returns to action, he’ll be moved from right tackle to left guard, where he will compete for playing time with starter Paul McQuistan.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams