Seattle Seahawks: What we learned from training camp

The Seattle Seahawks will conclude training camp on Tuesday before turning their attention to the final three preseason games to decide final roles and roster battles.

As always, training camp provided several intriguing stories for the Seahawks. With injuries, standouts and a few surprises, Pete Carroll still has some important decisions to make before the start of the regular season.

While there are still some things to be resolved, we learned plenty about the Seahawks during training camp.

Right tackle is the biggest question mark

This was likely the closest position battle, at least among starters, on the team heading into camp. Michael Bowie’s possibly season-ending injury and subsequent departure to the Cleveland Browns made things even more mysterious.

That left the door wide open for rookie Justin Britt, who has been hit-and-miss so far. Britt has drawn rave reviews from the Seattle coaching staff, but watching him both in practice and the first preseason game indicates that he needs much more work in pass protection.

Eric Winston and Wade Smith are solid veterans who will battle for playing time. Alvin Bailey is also another name to watch, as he is very talented and could move over from left tackle once Russell Okung is fully healthy.

Still, right tackle appears to be Seattle’s biggest question mark and potential weakness. Regardless of who the starter ends up being, the Seahawks need to find a stable situation quickly.

Seattle’s depth will be more seriously tested this year

The Seahawks didn’t lose any huge pieces in free agency other than Golden Tate, but several key role players left, making the team far less deep than it was a year ago.

In particular, the defensive line and secondary lost some important backups from 2013. If Paul Richardson and Percy Harvin miss any time with injury, the wide receiver corps will also be a bit short.

That loss of depth showed during training camp and last Thursday’s loss to the Denver Broncos. For much of the game, the Seahawks committed far too many penalties while looking sloppy and listless.

The first preseason game typically means little or even nothing, but the Seahawks’ second and third string will be worth watching for the rest of the preseason. Seattle has a few backup players with high potential – Greg Scruggs, Benson Mayowa and Tharold Simon, to name a few – but they are yet to prove anything in game action.

With less depth, injuries will also be magnified more this year. The Seahawks already lost Jesse Williams, who would have received a look at defensive tackle, for the season and possibly his career. A.J. Jefferson also played well on Thursday and was in good shape to make the roster as a backup corner, but suffered a significant sprained ankle during the game.  

Cassius Marsh has huge potential

The news about Marsh has only gotten better since the draft, as he had several positive moments in camp and on Thursday.

Seattle hoped Marsh could turn into a Michael Bennett-type defensive lineman, with enough versatility to line up anywhere. It’s early, but Carroll has been thrilled with the way Marsh has looked in the preseason.

Marsh was one of the few players to stand out against the Broncos, picking up a sack and four tackles. He looked quick in his initial burst, while also using his famed high motor to power through the Denver offensive line on multiple occasions.

It still might be in Marsh’s best interest to bulk up a little as he’s a bit undersized, but he is well on his way to earning meaningful snaps in the regular season.

Jackson Jeffcoat faces a long battle to make the team

The Seahawks looked to have the steal of the undrafted free agent period with Jeffcoat. While Jeffcoat is at an in-between size, he fit in well with what Seattle typically looks for in the LEO role.

Nobody is a lock to make the team, but Jeffcoat was in good shape to earn a spot as a possible backup LEO. However, his preseason debut did not go well, as Jeffcoat was routinely sealed off the edge and was unable to make much of an impact.

Mayowa’s size advantage of about 10 pounds looks important while comparing the two. O’Brien Schofield could also be in the mix for the backup LEO role and has looked good in camp. 

It’s not necessarily a direct battle between all three of those players for one roster spot, but Jeffcoat will have to show more over the rest of the preseason to make the 53-man roster. 

Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr./ Getty Images

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.


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