Good morning. I’ll be heading over to CenturyLink later this afternoon for the game tonight. I also will post my projected 53-man roster right after the game tonight, so look for that.
Here are five things to look for Seattle’s game tonight against Oakland.
Get ‘em in, get ‘em out: With Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin and Jason Jones already nursing nagging injuries, Pete Carroll should play the starters on both sides of the ball for at least a series, and then let them watch the rest of the game from the sidelines. There’s no need to take a chance on having a player suffer a significant injury before next week’s Arizona game.
Looking for Flynn to spin it: After not being able to get out on the field last week because of a sore elbow, Matt Flynn was buried in an avalanche called Russellmania. Well, today is Flynn’s first chance to start digging out of the hole and remind folks why the Seahawks spent big money to bring him. I expect Flynn to play well tonight.
Clarity at the receiver position: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Bralyon Edwards appear to be locks right now, so I’m interested to see who emerges to grab the last few spots in a battle I think includes Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler, Charly Martin, Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham. Expect some big plays from the receiver group tonight.
Continued growth from J.R. Sweezy: Besides Russell Wilson, the seventh-round draft pick's transition from defensive lineman to offensive lineman has been the story of camp. Another strong performance by Sweezy would go a long way in determining if he’s the team’s starting right guard for the season opener at Arizona.
Who emerges among young LBs? K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Leroy Hill appear to be locks on the roster. Other than that, I think guys like Mike Morgan, Heath Farwell, Malcolm Smith, Korey Toomer and Allen Bradford are fighting for those last, couple spots
Here’s my advance for today’s game, focusing on one of the players on the fringe in Charly Martin.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that offensive line coach Tom Cable has the run game clicking again this year.
710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard says a strong performance from Braylon Edwards is one of the things he’s looking for in tonight’s game in this video link.
Bill Swartz of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Golden Tate has high expectations heading into his third season.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com ranks Russell Wilson in the bottom third of the league’s starting quarterbacks, in a group that includes Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Christian Ponder and Mark Sanchez.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com outlines for reasons teams are playing rookie quarterbacks early – first round picks offer hope, head coaches are more involved in the draft process and on the hook for the picks, colleges are better preparing QBs for the pro game and you can still win with a rookie quarterback.
Chuck Klosterman of Grantland debates the merits of three rule changes he would like to see in the NFL – the elimination of offensive and defensive holding, reducing the points for field goals inside the red zone and the elimination of overtime in the regular season.
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema says he’s not surprised Wilson won the starting QB job in Seattle. Bielema:
“I know they paid a lot of money to get Flynn and all that great stuff. But until you see what Russell Wilson does behind the scenes - you obviously see what he does on game days - even if he wasn't going to be the starter, you'd better hope that if you were the starter, if you were Flynn or whoever, that you'd better not roll your ankle one day or have the flu or miss practice. ... He is a relentless, relentless competitor, and he's so contagious.”