The Seahawks return from a day off from practice to the field Wednesday morning for the ninth day of training camp.
Here’s what I’ll be on the sidelines watching for:
IFEDI’S PLACE: Coach Pete Carroll said on Monday he expected Ifedi back to full participation Wednesday. Last year’s first-round draft choice was out from Thursday’s practice when defensive end Frank Clark punched him until Monday, when he returned on a limited basis in position drills then watched the team scrimmage in the mock game.
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Will Ifedi go right back into the starting right-tackle spot, which he had been from offseason OTAs and minicamp until Clark’s punch? Or will the coaches make it more of a split position than it was, with rookie Ethan Pocic?
Pocic, Seattle’s second of two second-round picks this spring, is the highest rookie draft pick practicing. That’s with Malik McDowell’s rookie season in jeopardy from his ATV accident. Pocic was the first- and second-team right tackle while Ifedi was out. He didn’t dominate, showing the center in college at LSU is still learning the footwork and speed required to repel edge pass rushers on the outside. Will the Seahawks continue to accelerate Pocic’s learning with first-team time?
Ifedi hasn’t been dominant either, for all of 2016 at right guard and this camp so far. He needs as much or more at right tackle than does Pocic.
CLARK’S PLACE: Carroll also said Monday that when Clark returns to practice the team was moving on past the punch. The coach said that return would be Wednesday or Thursday.
I’ll be watching to see if Clark goes right back into the edge pass-rush role he’s had for the previous two seasons plus first 4 1/2 practices of this camp until Carroll threw him out of practice Thursday. No punishment -- not bans from practice or even fines -- get a guy’s attention more than taking away playing time.
WHAT TO DO WITH TWO SPOTS: Tuesday’s waiving of fullback Kyle Coleman and injured offensive lineman Robert Myers left Seattle beginning Wednesday with 88 players. The preseason roster limit is 90. Expect at least one of the next two signings to be an offensive lineman; the team has had 10 healthy blockers fully participating the previous two practices entering Wednesday. Pocic’s looked almost exhausted during scrimmages as the first-, second- and sometimes even third-team right tackle, so that’s an obvious spot for an import. Or two.
They could add a fullback. Marcel Reece is the only player listed as a fullback on the roster, though Tre Madden has practiced some there while listed as a running back.
These two signings may be more about depth and practice rotations than about helping this season. Anyone available to sign Aug. 9 had issues elsewhere -- or else they’d still be in that other team’s camp.