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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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August 17, 2008 9:50 PM

Thunder and lightning...and a roster analysis

Posted by Jose Romero

As I write this the lightining has begun out my window. Nice show. So was the Seahawks game from Saturday, part of which I just finished watching on replay.

A couple of things I noticed that I didn't in person: Justin Forsett got congrats from Bears players too, after his big effort. And Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill were looking across the field just before Brandon Coutu's winning field goal at the Bears sideline. Tatupu raised his arms and signaled "Good" before the ball was kicked.

So the Seahawks are 2-0 in the preseason. Let's take a look at the roster -- keep in mind these are just projections and I wrote them to provoke further discussion. There's more games to play and more to observe and more could happen between now and the first roster cuts Aug. 26.

Quarterback
On the team: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye.
Longshot: Dalton Bell. He hasn’t even played in a game yet.

Running back
On the team: Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, Leonard Weaver, Owen Schmitt, T.J. Duckett, Justin Forsett.
On the bubble: David Kirtman. He had a decent game, but Forsett went crazy, and the fact that he can be a return man makes him more of an asset. You know how the political analysts project a state for a presidential candidate based on early returns? I'm going to go ahead and project that Forsett makes the team. He just has to stay healthy and be productive when he gets his chance over the next two exhibition games. Duckett stays, too, because he is a weapon in short-yardage situations.

Wide receiver
On the team: Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram, Courtney Taylor.
On the bubble: Jordan Kent, Ben Obomanu, Michael Bumpus, Logan Payne, Bryan Gilmore.
Longshots: Trent Shelton, Joel Filani. The injuries have allowed young players to step forward and show what they have. Payne made a key catch and got yards after the catch that really put the Seahawks in position to win Saturday. Bumpus leads the team with 80 receiving yards in two games, and is outplaying Obomanu, an experienced player, in games. Kent is almost a lock at this point, and if he has at least one more good game should be on the final roster.

Tight end
On the team: John Carlson, Jeb Putzier.
On the bubble: Will Heller, Joe Newton. Heller has experience in his favor and the Seahawks often keep three tight ends.

Offensive line:
On the team: Walter Jones, Rob Sims, Sean Locklear, Mike Wahle, Chris Spencer, Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto, Ray Willis.
On the bubble: Floyd Womack, Kyle Williams, Pat Murray.
Longshots: Ben Claxton, WIlliam Robinson, Nick Jones, Samuel Gutekunst. Maybe room for only one "bubble" guy here. Womack has the experience but keeps getting hurt. Still, he might be the best option with Locklear hurting. Murray threw a nice block on a long Forsett run Saturday. Vallos might have not been a lock had the Seahawks not lost Chris Gray to retirement and Chris Spencer for most of camp.

Defensive line
On the team: DE Patrick Kerney, DE Darryl Tapp, DE Lawrence Jackson, DT Brandon Mebane, DT Red Bryant, DT Craig Terrill, DT Rocky Bernard.
On the bubble: DT Howard Green, DE Jason Babin, DE Baraka Atkins, DT Larry Tripplett.
Longshots: DE Nu'u Tafisi, DE Chris Cooper. DT Kevin Brown. Green is very close to a lock to make the team. Babin and Atkins are the prime contenders for what could be the last roster spot at this position. Tripplett and Cooper, a pair of veterans, have been hurt and thus far have missed their chance to compete for a job.

Linebacker
On the team: Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill, Julian Peterson, D.D. Lewis, Lance Laury.
On the bubble: David Hawthorne.
Longshots: Will Herring, Dallas Sartz. Hawthorne made three nice solo tackles Saturday and is closer to making the team. Herring has been injured and that could cost him, if he doesn't go on injured reserve.

Defensive backs
On the team: Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Josh Wilson, Brian Russell, Deon Grant, Jordan Babineaux, Kevin Hobbs.
On the bubble: Jamar Adams, C.J. Wallace.
Longshots: Omare Lowe, Kelin Johnson, Marquis Floyd. Babineaux has been injured but is too versatile and talented a player to cut. Hobbs really helped his chances Saturday and has game experience. Adams and Wallace might be battliog for the last spot.

Punter
On the bubble: Ryan Plackemeier, Reggie Hodges.
Placekemeier needs to kick well in the last two exhibition games and in practice, because Hodges has impressed.

Long snapper
On the bubble: Tyler Schmitt, Tim Lindsey. Schmitt seemed a lock until a back injury sidelined him last week and brought on Lindsey, who snapped well on Saturday.

Kicker
On the bubble: Olindo Mare, Brandon Coutu. This is going to be a dogfight. Coutu's five field goals Saturday really helped his cause, but Mare kicked off well and has experience going for him.

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Posted by Josh Brownsauce

11:39 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Is the rookie kicker any good in the rain? 85 degree weather isn't happening in Seattle in November.

Posted by 84Hawk

12:07 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Jordan Kent should be on the team, he gets a lot of seperation. Bumpus runs crisp routes and isnt afraid to get the ball. They should be on before Taylor. Duckett is a waste of money, Ruskell will only keep him because he's a former Falcons player. If you're a former Falcon or Buc - in Ruskell's mind, you're great.

Posted by Hank

1:56 AM, Aug 18, 2008

what i think separates Kent from the rest of the bubble guys like bumpus or gilmore is his length
Kent could be productive in short yardage situations because he can provide a safety option because of his size
this could also be useful in long jump balls because he can get above the smaller, faster corners that we see all over the nfl.
We will have two solid true slot receivers once engrham and branch are back thats why i think bumpus wont make it past week 5 even if he does make the initial 53

Posted by No.12

3:34 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Hodges didn't impress me with two blocked punts in Saturday's game.

Maybe the Seahawks coaching staff can spray Coutu with a water hose in practice to simulate the "cold November rain" conditions Josh Brownsauce is speculating about.

Speaking of Josh Brown, he missed his only field goal attempt in his first appearance in St. Louis.

Posted by stiguy

8:14 AM, Aug 18, 2008

call me crazy but I don't see great value in keeping TJ Duckett over keeping an additional receiver. He is a big back that runs much smaller than he is... I think we have the backs to fill his role and need the depth at receiver much more than a journeyman rb who offers minimal upside. your thoughts?

Posted by cgitw1

8:42 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Kirtman should stay, Schmidt on practice squad for further study......

Posted by free

8:47 AM, Aug 18, 2008

I was watching the Seahawk replay game Sunday and couldn't believe it....they lost, missed the stinking field goal in overtime, what a difference a day makes?

Posted by c00zie

9:01 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Danny - any chance the Hawks could get what they need in short yardage from a combination of Schmitt and Weaver? It just seems like Duckett is only good for one thing - short yardage. It's not like he's going in to be the feature back, what with Jones, Morris and Forsett all ahead of him in my mind. The only reason I can see him making the team is because we gave him too big of a contract this offseason. What are your thoughts?

Posted by AZlarimer

9:11 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Big things come in small packages. Proof-Forsett
To games to go drop the muscle between the ears and think like bussinessmen.

Posted by fish93

10:23 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Coutu might get a chance this week in practice to show what he can do in the rain. It is supposed to be ugly all week.

Posted by Keith

1:32 PM, Aug 18, 2008

Finally got to see the Forsett highlights...One word: Amazing. Haven't seen a Seahawk RB run right through a defense like that since 05' Shaun.

Posted by Tyler

2:00 PM, Aug 18, 2008

Kent has shown too much; he wouldn't clear waivers if we tried to send him to the practice squad; he will make the squad.

Forsett would likely clear waivers and make the practice squad, but he's the lightning in a bottle that the offense needs. I like him over Kirtman and even Duckett any day. Duckett was a poor signing.

Hawthorne looked great at MLB. I was really surprised by his play; she should make the squad as well.

Posted by Trufan

3:37 PM, Aug 18, 2008

No way Forsett clears waivers now. Even if he makes it to the Practice Squad another team can pluck him off of it at anytime and place him on their 53 man roster....players are not protected there.

I also agree with you on Kent. Kent stays, and I know Holmgren likes Bumpus alot, so he may stick or go to the practice squad. I don't see them cutting Obomanu lose though, he knows the offense and did what was asked of him last year when he played.

I also like Hawthorne.

I think Holmgren and the front office has some very tough calls to make. I wonder if some of these bubble players, who may be starters or key role-players on someless talented teams, that may no clear waivers, could be traded for a draft pick in lower rounds.

Duckett needs to go. There are too many good younger players that will benefit the team.

Posted by kenneyxiii

5:49 PM, Aug 18, 2008

Duckett must go, as should Mare, i watched him suck in the dome in NO. And he has no leg for fg outside of 40 yards, Please keep Coutu..

Posted by Armand Smith

12:01 AM, Aug 19, 2008

I have followed Dalton Bell since the beginning of his college career. I hope the coaches let him play this Saturday. He could be a good back up quarterback if a team will give him a chance to play.

He has a great arm and after what I saw of Charlie Frye throwing 3 interceptions I think Dalton should be given a chance.
His former coach in college now with the Dallas Cowboys wanted to pick him up off waivers from GB but Seattle beat them to it. He knows how Dalton can play. Last year Carolina let him play a total of one and a half quarters in preseason during the last game against the Patriots. HE went 9 for 17 for 119 yards.

Posted by sdoerrer

7:15 AM, Aug 19, 2008

Is there a reason Duckett needs to be kept for short yardage situations? I don't see why Leonard Weaver couldn't handle those duties. He ran the ball very well last year. Schmitt might even be able to do it. Duckett has just looked terible. How much do the Seahawks still have to pay Duckett if they release him?

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Aug 17, 08 - 09:50 PM
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