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Summary from the Final Week of Camp
With Russell Wilson sitting out, Geno Smith got the start and went 11-for-15 for 90 yards. He’s solidly in control of the No. 2 job. The Seahawks used several other quarterbacks in the preseason, including Danny Etling, Alex McGough, and Sean Mannion. Mannion is the last of that trio to hold onto a position, but he’s still a long shot to make the final roster.
To hear Pete Carroll tell the tale, Rashaad Penny had a strong summer. But the oft-injured tailback struggled in preseason game action. He will make the roster, but he is no threat to a healthy Chris Carson, which throws his role into question. Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer seem locked in as third-down backs because of receiving ability (Dallas) and pass protection (Homer). Alex Collins could also be slated for a meaningful role. Some have wondered if Penny might be a late cut or trade and if Collins could become the No. 2.
We know DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Freddie Swain are the top three; the question is, who else did enough to earn roster spots? Dee Eskridge played sparingly against the Chargers and was coming back from a toe injury that had put him on the PUP for most of camp. The second-round rookie had a catch and ran the ball on a sweep, which is likely how he will be utilized in the regular season – as a gadget player.
Colby Parkinson is returning from a foot fracture and hopes to be ready for Week 1. “He’s on the running this week, for the first time. He’s been on all the equipment, making really good progress,” said Carroll. “He’s been really hopeful about it. So, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed that he has a chance to get back and compete to be on the team.” Will Dissly and Gerald Everett both played on Saturday, at least briefly. Everett has had some solid practice sessions in August, but they haven’t all been lights out.
Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche will be out for a week or two. Darrell Taylor finished an encouraging summer with his first sack of the preseason against the Chargers, and the team is using him off the edge in nickel packages. The most interesting outcome for Tuesday’s cutdowns may come at cornerback, where at least one or two quality players will miss the cut.
D.J. Reed returned both punts and kickoffs last season, and Tyler Lockett handled both for years before that. But as Reed and Lockett have become more important on defense and offense, the Seahawks have looked for alternatives. DeeJay Dallas may be the answer on kickoffs after two electric returns in the preseason finale. Several players, most notably Freddie Swain, have tried to make a case for fielding punts.
Summary from Week 3 of Camp
Russell Wilson didn’t play in the 30-3 loss to Denver this week, making it hard to decipher whether coordinator Shane Waldron will meaningfully change the offensive approach, as many fans hope. Backup Geno Smith also missed the week due to a concussion. Alex McGough started but struggled mightily, throwing an interception on the opening drive and then fumbling on fourth down later in the half. He was waived this week. Sean Mannion was no better and may face a similar fate when the team cuts down to 53 players.
Chris Carson is the unquestioned lead back, but the pecking order beyond him remains unclear. Rashaad Penny missed the opening week of the preseason but started against the Broncos. Durability is always the concern with Penny, but the coaches gave him a substantial workload this past week, and he appears to be holding up okay. Unfortunately, Penny eeked out a meager 1.5 yards per carry in the start, which makes Alex Collins someone to watch. Collins played interchangeably with the starters. DeeJay Dallas has likely earned a roster spot, but less for his running ability and more for his receiving and kick return skills. “He’s been really consistent,” coach Carroll said of Dallas. “He’s been more explosive. It seems like he came back to camp more fit, with the benefits of an offseason; power-wise, he’s more powerful than he was. He seems quicker than he was.” Josh Johnson is not getting enough interest, but he was arguably the best Seattle back on the field Saturday. Johnson can get vertical quickly and has shown short-area quickness, though it seems to fade on longer runs.