The Seahawks begrudgingly trimmed their roster to 53 players on Saturday, then on Sunday and Monday made a few more roster transactions to pick up some cast-offs. Once the dust settled, the roster was 'set', and will probably remain this way for abouuuuuuuut 24 hours or so (we're already approaching that 24 hour mark so apologies if this post is wrong by the time I print it).
Without further ado, meet your Seahawks 2011 (for today anyway) 53-man roster:
No real surprises on the quarterback front. Two huge question marks in Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst, and an undrafted free agent that played at four different high schools and several different universities (Portis). There are a lot of people in the media... well, some anyway, that say the Seahawks have the worst quarterback situation in the NFL. I'd disagree, but I'd also admit it hasn't looked pretty in the preseason and isn't likely to suddenly look awesome this Sunday. Patience is the key word here.
No surprises at the running back position either. Lynch is the 'feature back', Washington the likely 'change of pace' back, and Forsett will get carries on 3rd downs and when Lynch and Washington are tired. Not sure at this point how the rotation will really work, but I'm comfortable with all three of the Seahawks running backs. Hooray!
FB: Michael Robinson
Named a team captain yesterday, Michael Robinson is a former college QB at Penn State that transitioned to fullback/running back when he was drafted to the 49ers. He played a key role in special teams for them but then was surprisingly dropped at the 53-man cuts last season. Good for us, bad for them. The Hawks picked him up and he's been a leader and solid player for the Hawks since. He also gained about twenty pounds in the offseason to blow up linebackers lead blocking for Lynch, Washington, and Forsett.
Sidney Rice is the big addition. Mike Williams will look to improve on his 'comeback' season of last year. Ben Obomanu has been hurt basically all of training camp but is a versatile and effective receiver. Golden Tate is the lighting rod of controversy for the Seahawks receiving corps, but will look to quash that noise by playing up to his potential this season. Doug Baldwin is the feel-good story of Training Camp -- an undrafted free agent out of Stanford to whom the Seahawks GM John Schneider faxed a hand-written letter, begging him to sign with the good guys. He did, and he made the team, a pretty big accomplishment for an UDFA. He'll look to contribute in the slot.
No surprises here after John Carlson went to the IR with a shoulder injury. Dominique Byrd is another feel-good story from camp -- a former USC standout that was drafted in the third round back in 2006, he floundered around for a few years on teams' practice squads but had a very strong preseason for the Seahawks. I'm excited to see what he can do this season. Zach Miller is a Pro-Bowl tight end that the Hawks signed over from the Raiders, so that's nice. Anthony McCoy is another former-USC tight end that has been a beast so far in camp and preseason for the Seahawks. The tight end position is a very strong one for the team.
Russell Okung is the team's unfortunately oft-injured 6th pick overall from last season. He's been awesome when healthy but has faced some unlucky ankle injuries thus far in his career. He'll look to make the start on Sunday but keep your fingers crossed that he can stay healthy. Tyler Polumbus was acquired from the Lions last season for a 2011 seventh round draft choice and has been good depth at LT and LG, and his versatility is why he made the roster and why he was traded for in the first place. Jarriel King is an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina that originally signed on with the Giants. He was cut on Saturday, and the Seahawks claimed him, apparently liking what they saw in King on tape. He's not necessarily a left tackle for the Seahawks, but right now where he'll play is up in the air.
Robert Gallery is a veteran guard that signed in free agency from the Raiders, and should provide leadership and solid play at the left guard position, provided he stays healthy. Paul McQuistan is another free agent that signed with the Seahawks this offseason, and should provide good depth at both guard positions.
Max Unger sat on the IR last season, but the Seahawks former 2nd round pick out of Oregon is looking to live up to his draft status. He will be backed up by Lemuel Jeanpierre, a former undrafted free agent out of South Carolina.
RG: John Moffitt
Moffitt was selected by the Seahawks in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft this season, out of Wisconsin, and will look to hold down the right guard position. He looks a little bit like John Belushi.
James Carpenter was the Seahawks first-round draft pick out of Alabama but has struggled at right tackle, especially in pass protection. He played left tackle in college so he's learning on the fly. If he can't cut it for the Seahawks, Breno Giacomini, a former 5th round draft pick out of Louisville that the Seahawks swiped from the Packers practice squad last season, will be backing him up. Giacomini has looked pretty good in training camp and the preseason, so I believe he'll be a capable swing option.
Chris Clemons is the Seahawks starting LEO, a rush end off the weak side. He put up 11 sacks last season and will look to surpass that in 2011. He's backed up by Raheem Brock, a capable veteran that notched 9 sacks last season, and Dexter Davis, a former 7th round pick out of Arizona State. He showed promise last season playing in certain packages and on special teams, so he'll be someone to watch if Clemons or Brock get injured.
Red Bryant is a converted defensive tackle that played effectively on the strongside end last season until he got hurt. He missed most of the season with an MCL tear but is a stalwart on the Seahawks defensive line when healthy. He'll be backed up by newly acquired (off waivers) Al Woods. Woods is a versatile defensive lineman that can play inside or on the end, but was apparently targeted because he has similar dimensions and athleticism as Bryant at 6'4, 314 pounds.
Alan Branch was the 33rd overall pick in the 2007 Draft out of Michigan by the Arizona Cardinals. He underwhelmed in the desert but at 6'6, 338, he's got the physical attributes you like to see on the defensive line. He's athletic for his size and will look to create pressure from the interior with the help of the man next to him, Brandon Mebane. Mebane was re-signed this last offseason and will move to the nose tackle spot. He's a force in the middle should be more effective at getting to the quarterback than he has been in the last two seasons.
Clinton McDonald was picked up from the Cincinnati Bengals in a trade for Kelly Kennings. McDonald was a 7th round pick for the Bengals in 2009 and will ideally act as a situational pass rushing defensive tackle for the Seahawks. He flashed a lot of potential in the preseason this year and from what I've read, a lot of Bengals fans were disappointed to see him go. That's always a good sign.
Landon Cohen was acquired off of waivers on Sunday after the Patriots released him. Cohen was a 7th round pick in 2008 by the Lions, and played in 14 games for them in 2009. He bounced around after being released by the Lions, with stints in Jacksonville and New England. He's got similar scouting reports to that of Clinton McDonald- an undersized but athletic situational pass rushing defensive tackle. This is one of the Seahawks greatest needs so it's not a surprise they're brining guys in to see if they'll stick.
The Seahawks released veteran leader and middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu prior to the season and David Hawthorne moves to the middle. He's a former undrafted free agent out of TCU and shined in fill-in duty at MLB in 2009. He should be a leader for the Seahawks defense in 2011. Leroy Hill is out of career purgatory after several run-ins with the law and some injury issues, and will look to get back to the level Seahawks fans are used to him playing. He's one of the longest tenured Seahawks at this point, and one of only two Hawks that were part of the 2005 Super Bowl team.
Aaron Curry looks to shed his growing 'bust' label this season. He'll get some time at strongside and weakside linebacker. KJ Wright, the Seahawks 4th round pick this year out of Mississippi State, moves to the middle to backup Hawthorne. He's looked pretty good in the preseason there. Matt McCoy is a veteran special teams contributor and backup strongside linebacker. Malcolm Smith is a former USC Trojan that the Seahawks selected in the 7th round. He'll be depth at weakside linebacker and contribute on special teams.
Marcus Trufant is the elder Seahawk in terms of tenure with the team and hope to stay healthy this season. On the opposite side of him, Brandon Browner, a CFL transfer and former Oregon State product, will fight with former Oregon star Walter Thurmond for the other starting corner position. Richard Sherman was a 5th round pick for the Seahawks this season out of Stanford. He's played well thus far in the preseason so you could see him on the field in certain situations. Byron Maxwell, a 6th round pick, will likely get most of his snaps in special teams as a gunner -- a role in which he shined in training camp and preseason games.
Earl Thomas will start at free safety and is a budding superstar, the Seahawks 14th pick in the 2010 draft out of Texas. Opposite him will be Kam Chancellor, a 5th round pick in 2010 out of Virginia Tech. He'll be one to watch, and at 6'3, 230, is probably one of the biggest safeties in the NFL. He's stout against the run but his abilities against the pass are still a bit of a mystery.
Undrafted free agent Jeron Johnson beat out fifth round pick Mark LeGree and former Trojan Josh Pinkard for one of the Seahawks final safety spots on the roster. Johnson played well in the preseason and gave the Seahawks no choice but to keep him around. He'll contribute in nickel and dime subpackages and special teams. Veteran Atari Bigby will provide veteran leadership in the Seahawks secondary and play a backup role.
Signed off of waivers after Denver cut him, Hauschka is a young kicker with a strong leg. He's had some success in this league and the Seahawks will look to develop him this season.
P: Jon Ryan
Ryan is my favorite punter of all time. (He's also pretty good at punting).
LS: Clint Gresham
Clint Gresham makes a very good living snapping the football. He's good at it too.