Most of next year’s starters are on the Seattle Seahawks‘ roster already. However, some have not yet been chosen.
This is where the controversy comes in.
From elusive receivers to the big men in the defensive front, every aspect of the Seahawk’s depth chart has a training camp battle waiting to happen.
Here are few training camp battles that may take place in Seattle as they look for the perfect roster formula for success:
Battle 1: Quarterback, Starter and Backup
Candidates: Tavaris Jackson, Matt Flynn, and Russell Wilson.
The most important position in football is the most unknown position for the Seahawks for the second year in a row. Fortunately, they have upgraded their talent tremendously this year.
First, the starting quarterback job. Flynn is the presumed starter, but they may want to try out Russell Wilson to start if he has a good preseason. It is unlikely, but Carroll could try to let Wilson start.
What may be more likely is that Tavaris Jackson actually starts and Matt Flynn is given more time to master the playbook and get comfortable with the Seahawk players. Jackson has familiarity and can help progress Flynn.
If Flynn starts, which is the likely end result, the back up will turn to Wilson or T-Jax, with the job probably going to the latter. Jackson could come in if needed and try to produce similarly to last year, which was decent. It would also give Wilson time to mature into a solid quarterback.
Battle 2: Every Linebacker Position (except KJ Wright’s)
Candidates: Leroy Hill, Barrett Ruud, Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and every other linebacker on the roster besides KJ Wright.
What was probably the biggest need going into the offseason has become one of the deepest positions on the entire depth chart.
Seattle started their linebacker additions by resigning Leroy Hill and signing Barrett Ruud in the early stages of this offseason. They then went on to draft three linebackers, including using their first two picks on Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner.
Irvin is set to play a hybrid DE/OLB so he will not fully take a full linebacker position. Look for Ruud, Wagner, and Hill to fight with the other linebackers on the Seattle roster for playing time, with those three taking the majority of the snaps.
Battle 3: Third Receiver Position
Candidates: Golden Tate, Deon Butler, and Ben Obomanu.
Last season, Doug Baldwin broke out and went from undrafted free agent, to Seahawk leading receiver. Sydney Rice may have been injured last year, but he will come back this year strong and with the coaching staffs support.
That leaves the third receiver spot up for grabs for several of the young wide outs who haven’t had a chance to shine yet.
Deon Butler is the darkhorse candidate for the job, due to the fact that he spent last year mostly on the bench, playing limited time in only five games. But the two years before, he had showed a lot of promise.
Golden Tate may be the player for the position, but he still has work to do. He played in all 16 games last year, but didn’t get a lot of production and didn’t seem to show any signs of breaking out.
That leaves Ben Obomanu, the front runner right now. He was the leading receiver last year behind Rice and Baldwin. He may not be a star, but he could be a solid option for whoever this year’s quarterback is.
Battle 4: Backup Running Back
Candidates: Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, and possibly Justin Forsett.
The Seahawks don’t have much of a controversy at starting running back with Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch holding down the starter spot.
But the backup position may be up in the air as the Seahawks already have two viable options and a third drafted for good measure.
Justin Forsett isn’t resigned yet and may not be after what happened in the draft. He could possibly be given another shot but it’s highly unlikely.
Washington has been unbelievable in the return game, but just hasn’t become the running back that they hoped he would become when they got him from the Jets.
That leaves the newly acquired rookie from Utah State, Robert Turbin. He has the intangibles, which was the main reason he was drafted. He also brings a nice change of pace that could be vital in getting through defenses that prepare for Lynch.
Battle 5: Backup Cornerback
Candidates: Marcus Trufant, Winston Guy, and Byron Maxwell.
This may not be the most pressing issue, but this battle will get heated by preseason’s end. Richard Sherman’s great play last year and Brandon Browner’s Pro Bowl season have taken the starting spots, but that still leaves the backup position which still gets a lot of playing time.
Trufant is the fan favorite veteran who may put up contention, but in the end, he will just be their to mentor and teach others. His full time playing career may have come to an end.
Byron Maxwell got injured very early last year, so he couldn’t prove much, but if he can stay healthy and play well early, he could be looking at solid playing time.
Winston Guy has the most to prove as a rookie, but also the most to gain. He may have a chance to steal the backup spot if he can do what he did in college.