The 2017 Seahawks Pre-Season begins on Sunday with a trip to Los Angeles to face the newly-moved in Chargers. The game is the first opportunity for the new crop of Seahawks to see the field and much more.
Here we profile the 5 things we will be looking out for on Sunday night.
Seahawks Pre-Season 4 Things
1. Shaq Griffin
As the team closed practice on Friday, it seems the 3rd round pick will get the start on Sunday, with Jeremy Lane hobbled with a muscle strain. But Griffin has positively caught the attention of the coaches through the first two weeks of camp.
” I am pretty excited about him. He is doing really well and has only taken positive steps. He is learning well. He is serious. He has a mentality that will allow him to deal with the issues and challenges of playing opposite Richard (Sherman).”
— Pete Carroll —
Griffin has great length, hands and movement skills at the position. After being the earliest CB selection GM John Schneider has made in Seattle, Griffin’s quick ascension is only encouraging for the 3rd round pick.
As Pete Carroll mentioned, he is going to get the work in opposite Sherman. Something they have pressed on in practice, with alot of targets going his way. Griffin will be for sure one of the focus points on Sunday.
If it continues on the path this week has gone down, the Seahawks have special depth at a position which struggled for that last year.
2. George & Germain
This easily could’ve been the entire offensive line unit. But with that being the case every week, we will focus in on the bookends of the unit- George Fant and Germain Ifedi.
The pairing appear to be at the front of the queue at left and right tackle and.will likely start on Sunday. Two things will be of note with that; How they fare and how deep in the game they play.
George Fant appears to be the starter in 2017 with Pete Carroll on Friday noting him and Joeckel are working well on the left. So this weekend is more about seeing his improvement more than anything. Through two weeks of camp, no player has had more plaudits thrown his way than Fant.
Carroll oft-raving about his transformation hasn’t wavered and the ‘2nd year jump’ term refers to him more than any other Seahawk. Fant’s improvement will be a big positive for the Seahawks going forward, seeing him put practice into action on Sunday will say a lot for how the Seahawks approach the rest of the pre-season with the former Western Kentucky Basketball star.
As for Ifedi, he has had a up and down camp, but like Fant, appears somewhat forced in at right tackle. Ifedi- the 2016 1st round pick- has a rookie year to overcome where there was more negatives than positives.
A second year at a second position is not ideal, but Sunday is the first game in what could be a big and telling season for the former Aggie.
3. The Seahawks Back-Up QB Worry
We wrote here about the importance of the back-up quarterback position heading into 2017. On Sunday, the first chance to see the pair battling out will be important moving forward.
Austin Davis & Trevone Boykin are in a battle where neither is out shining the other. Boykin has the tools to be a smart, easy fit for the role. But if he struggles, Davis has the league starting experience to push the former TCU star out. During a two weeks in camp where both have worried rather than excited, Sunday will be telling.
Last year the splits at QB were strange as Boykin would come in and out of games. This year in a tighter battle, that will change.
A position with a lot of negativity around it can be put at ease on Sunday. All it needs is someone to win by impressing. Sunday is the first opportunity at doing that.
4. Who Will Be the 4th Back?
A lot has been said about the Seahawks running game heading into the 2017 season. After a down year in 2016, the unit appears healthier and deeper with the trio of Thomas Rawls, C.J Prosise and Eddie Lacy.
Outside of that it appears the battle for the 4th spot is the tightest with a straight fight between Alex Collins and Chris Carson.
Collins was the 2016 incumbent and after a slow start, he appeared to pick up steam towards the end of the year and earnt some rave reviews from the coaches at VMAC. His seriousness and awareness of conditioning something the coaches noted through the early part of the off-season.
With his 2016 incumbency, Collins would be best placed to win the battle. But he is being put under pressure by the 7th round pick, Carson.
Carson, after an off-season where he appeared to be niggled and sidelined for the majority has taken his camp opportunites to flash and turn heads. Two years ago, Pete Carroll was cheerleader for UDFA RB Thomas Rawls. He would soon beat out higher draft picks and two years sits as the likely Seahawks starting RB.
In 2017, Carroll has given the same praise and attention to Carson. That is worth tracking on Sunday.