I’m headed home from Oakland, but wanted to offer my projected, 53-man roster before I touched down at Sea-Tac.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh being shopped around the league will have a ripple effect on Seattle’s 53-man roster, but for now here’s my thoughts on how it will shake down on Saturday.Quarterbacks (3):
Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, J.P. Losman
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Hasselbeck is the unquestioned starter, and the Seahawks can feel good enough about Whitehurst’s performance in the preseason that they at least know he can competently run the offense. The Seahawks could pick up another roster spot by keeping only two quarterbacks, but I think that’s unlikely.
Running backs (5): Tailbacks – Leon Washington, Justin Forsett, Louis Rankin. Fullback – Quinton Ganther, Owen Schmitt.Comment: I just don’t see Julius Jones sticking as a reserve running back because of the amount of money he makes, plus he does not contribute on special teams. Jones runs hard and his a competitor, but he’s never flashed the type of elusiveness that Forsett and Washington have shown. Seattle likely will fish around the waiver wire to see if they can upgrade the talent here.
Wide receivers (5): Mike Williams, Deion Branch, Deon Butler, Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu.Comment: If they keep six receivers, then I see Ruvell Martin instead of Brandon Jones sticking here. With Houshmandzadeh now being shopped around the league, I think the damage is done and I would be surprised if he returns, even with the guaranteed $7 million he will make this season.
Tight ends (3): John Carlson, Chris Baker, Cameron MorrahComment: I think Anthony McCoy is the wild card here. He has an ankle injury that could keep him out the first week of the season if he remains on the active roster. And along with Chris Baker’s lingering hamstring, it appears Morrah is the healthiest backup right now. But Seattle could just be resting Baker and McCoy for next week.
Offensive line (11): Russell Okung, Chris Spencer, Sean Locklear, Ben Hamilton, Max Unger, Steve Vallos Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto, Mike Gibson, Chester Pitts, Tyler Polumbus.Comment: You’ve got to keep an extra guy here because of the injuries to Okung, Willis and Pitts. But if you had to part with someone, Hamilton and Vallos could be options. But I think Seattle wants to avoid the lack of depth they had at this position last year. Total offense: 27
Defensive line (9): Chris Clemons, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, Red Bryant, E.J. Wilson, Kevin Vickerson, Dexter Davis, Nick Reed, Craig Terrill.Comment: Terrill could be the odd man out instead of Quinn Pitcock, but I think Terrill is still a better option as an inside pass rusher, and he also plays on special teams. I thought James Wyche looked solid in his first action with the team and is an intriguing prospect, particularly if Reed is out for an extended period of time. Defensive tackle Amon Gordon also had a sack in the final preseason game. I’m not sure of the severity of Kentwan Balmer’s ankle injury. So I don’t know if he’s headed for the IR of if the team will carve out a roster spot for him.
Linebackers (6): Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, Will Herring, David Hawthorne, Matt McCoy, Tyjuan Hagler.Comment: Leroy Hill will be suspended for the first game, so he won’t count on the 53-man roster for the first week. That’s one of the reasons I believe they will keep both McCoy and Hagler at least for the first week of the season.
Defensive backs (8): Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Walter Thurmond, Roy Lewis, Lawyer Milloy, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jordan Babineaux.Comment: I think you have to keep Babineaux because of his versatility and potential play-making ability, so Jamar Adams and Kevin Ellison could be the odd men out. Kennard Cox has looked good at times this season, so he could be an option instead of Lewis.
Total defense: 23
Specialty (3): Jon Ryan, Olindo Mare, Clint GreshamComment: Gresham needs to prove that he’s the guy over the course of the first part of the regular season, or you might see a move here. His snaps have been inconsistent.
One-game suspension: Leroy HillNon-football injured list: Josh Pinkard
Practice squad: LB Joe Pawelek, TE Anthony McCoy, CB Cord Parks, CB Marcus Brown, DE Rob Rose, OG Mitch Erickson, C/OG Jeff Byers.