SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Saturday 5 p.m., Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
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The series: This is the 10th time in 14 summers these former AFC West rivals have met in an exhibition. For it’s (not) worth: The Seahawks lead the preseason series overall 9-4. That includes their 41-14 win in Seattle last August.
Block somebody (again): Pete Carroll will be focused first on his re-made offensive line. This is the second game of Drew Nowak starting at center, Justin Britt at left guard and Garry Gilliam at right tackle. Entering last weekend the issue was pass blocking. But this time expect Seattle to run Robert Turbin and Christine Michael early and often, to see if this new line can run block with any consistency. Seattle is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry in the preseason, almost 2 full yards below its average when it had the league’s top rushing offense last regular season. That won’t cut it beginning Sept. 13.
Find Kam’s fill-in: Friday was the 29th day of Kam Chancellor’s holdout that has no foreseeable end. Carroll said the team is moving on to finding out whether Dion Bailey or DeShawn Shead will be Chancellor’s replacement at strong safety. Bailey has been the bigger hitter, Shead the versatile play-maker on the ball at both safety and, last week when Richard Sherman rested, cornerback. Whoever plays better here may just start the opener – unless Chancellor suddenly stops digging in his pay-me stance.
Is there a competition at corner?: Tharold Simon says there is. Last seen giving up two touchdown passes in January’s playoffs then two more after Jeremy Lane got hurt early in the Super Bowl, Simon will play for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery. Seattle signed Cary Williams to be the starter opposite Sherman. Simon has limited snaps here plus next Thursday’s exhibition finale against Oakland to challenge for the job.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
62 Drew Nowak C 6-3 292 fourth
One more game like last week and the college DT, ’14 practice-squad G becomes Max Unger’s unlikely replacement
37 Dion Bailey SS 6-0 211 second
Undrafted, injured, on way to practice squad this time last year. Now golden chance to start in opener
35 DeShawn Shead SS 6-2 220 fourth
Previously valued for versatility, now in showdown with Bailey to win Chancellor’s job. This is the final main test.
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year
56 Donald Butler ILB 6-1 242 sixth
Former UW Husky back from IR last season as starter in middle of Chargers’ D
77 King Dunlap LT 6-9 330 eighth
Absolutely mammoth. If SEA’s new DE Frank Clark can get around him, rookie can get around anybody
33 Greg Ducre CB 5-10 183 second
Former UW speedster trying to stick on special teams in 2nd SD stint after tries in KC, WSH.