Monday, June 22, 2009

Complete Roster Breakdown (So Far)

by: Mike Parker

Never one to be outdone, Eric Williams at The Tacoma News-Tribune has posted a complete roster analysis/breakdown through what he's seen at training camp so far. He also describes what the key position battles are likely going to be this summer, bringing names into the fold that often get lost over the buzz and excitement of top-tier draft picks and big free agent signings.

Since running back seems to be a huge point of contention so far in 2009, here's what Williams has to say:

Number kept last season: Six
Currently on roster: Eight.
Average number kept since 2002: 5.5
Locks: T.J. Duckett, Julius Jones, Justin Forsett, Owen Schmitt, Justin Griffith.
In the hunt: Devin Moore, David Kirtman
Longer odds: Dan Curran
Comment – Both head coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp believe the team has enough depth at running back on the roster right now. Jones will be counted on to be the main ball carrier, while Duckett and Forsett will play complimentary roles. Schmitt and Griffith will compete for the starting fullback spot. Griffith has experience on his side, having played in Knapp’s offense in both Atlanta and Oakland. But Schmitt seemed to be picking up the scheme quickly during camp and certainly has the physical tools to excel at the position. Moore, a guy with good speed through the hole, is likely headed for the practice squad.
Williams' observations on Jones and Grifftih are correct - Julius needs to prove he can be a consistent three-down back, and Griffith will give the Runaway Beer Truck a serious run for his money for the starting job at fullback. Personally, I'll be happy just to see Duckett used as more than a completely one-dimensional short-yardage specialist. That was one of the things that drove me absolutely insane about the stagnancy of the offense last year -- Holmgren seemed to have his typical, predictable list of role players that were underutilized. Looking back, it's never a good sign when the coach of the team comes out before the season and publicly declares, "we don't how to use this guy," especially after he shows he can go the distance through the hole in preseason.

Other notions worth mentioning from Williams here:

-DBs coach Tim Lewis saying that this is the most talented group he's ever worked with in his NFL career

-Billy McMullen and Ben Obomanu getting the 5th and 6th WR jobs (I agree with the Obo contention, not with McMullen)

-Jon Ryan remains the team's lock for punter at the current time, but Williams says he may have some competition brought in during camp. There isn't another punter on the roster as of now, but I don't see why the team wouldn't at least bring in some competition.

-About the offensive line: Unger is apparently coming along very well in the second unit, but my gut feeling tells me he'll overtake Chris Spencer at center eventually. It might not happen this year, but Spencer can't afford another injury. Williams says if Jones and Wahle stay healthy, the team has enough depth here. While I'd be inclined to agree, I still want to see more from the backup group that protected Seneca Wallace so effectively against the Jets in the snow last year.

The current Seahawks depth chart can be found here.