Today is the 1,250th day in a row that I've sent a Seahawks newsletter
Seaside Joe 1250: Which Seahawks made a case to make the roster on Saturday?
It’s Sunday, August 7th, and this is going to be an article about the Seattle Seahawks. I will detail some of the players who got mentions in Saturday’s mock game (read a comprehensive rundown of the action that you won’t find anywhere else right here) who might have more realistic shots at making the 53-man roster or having better roles than previously thought.
Names like Mike Jackson, Dareke Young, Greg Eiland, and Iggy Iyiegbuniwe.
First, I want to mention that today is the 1,250th day in a row of the Seaside Joe newsletter, a period of 3.42 years without missing your inboxes. When this started, there wasn’t even have a plan of going 3.42 days or 3.42 weeks without missing a newsletter, but as it happens not a day has passed the first one that Seaside Joe hasn’t hit his quota.
And the crazy thing is…from what Seaside Joe has told me…he’s only getting started.
If we think of this newsletter as “sets of 250,” then Joe has done five and sees no reason that Joe can do at least five more. At the very least, Joe knows he’s committed to keeping the streak alive until the Seahawks have won the Super Bowl again.
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But just because there’s a side story of a streak, Seaside Joe will never get complacent and dip in quality. I’ve been browsing the internet of other stories about Seattle’s mock game this morning and for the most part I’m either reading 250-word observations cobbled together from six minutes of browsing Twitter or stories reminiscent of articles I wrote days or weeks ago of what to expect to happen on Saturday and why Drew Lock would slowly be propped into being the Seahawks’ starter.
And those were just bonus posts I wrote on top of sending out a free daily Seahawks newsletter for the last 3.42 years.
(For a second, I thought that was Pi and I got very excited; that’s why I stick to the one thing that I know how to do which is write about the Seahawks and not math.)
There is a core group of you who have been here since the beginning and this streak would have ended many times over if not for you. But for everyone who else reads Seaside Joe 1250 today, you’re also part of a core group of readers who can say “I was there near the beginning” because the newsletter will keep going out everyday and it will continue to grow into something much bigger than it was intended to be on day one.
More people have visited Seaside Joe in the last week than at any other point in Seaside Joe history.
If you keep sharing, keep spreading the word, keep telling ‘em that “Joe Knows” every time something good like the DK Metcalf contract happens, we could grow 100 fold and be bigger than The Athletic before anyone else realizes what just happened. I mean, how many people are paying full price for The Athletic Seattle at this point? 17?
But I wouldn’t be keeping to my word of being the best resource for Seahawks fans if I don’t pivot back to the team in today’s newsletter. I’ve noticed others using Saturday’s mock game as a chance to focus on Drew Lock outdueling Geno Smith, but that’s literally yesterday’s news and something that I have said would happen for the last two weeks.
What I found most interesting on Saturday was the placement of certain players with the starters and the second string, some of whom have not regularly been included in Seattle 53-man roster projections up to this point.
I was also wondering if Seaside Joe should do a 53-man roster projection and my gut feeling is that those articles are boring by now. Everybody who writes a 53-man roster projection is really giving you the same 50 names and three differences. I’ve been doing 53-man roster articles for over 12 years and they always come out the same: “Hey, here’s all the players you expect to make the team, plus two surprises.”
And then when Pete Carroll announces the real 53-man roster, two or three of your “locks” weren’t actually locks, your ‘surprises’ are wrong, and the Seahawks are doing some roster maneuvering that means that they initially kept three players who they don’t actually want and adding two from other teams that you never would have possibly considered.
Boiled down to its core, a 53-man roster projection is really just “here are the three guys who I think will make it who others don’t think will make it.”
This list of players who earned mention on Saturday are not necessarily players who I expect to make the 53-man roster or to have key roles on the Seahawks this year. But if they were high enough on the depth chart to be playing considerable reps on Saturday, that means that they might be more interesting than previously considered.
Abe Lucas, RT1?
It’s really not a surprise that Lucas opened the day as the team’s starting right tackle, with Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe on the second team. If we were projecting the offense in May, Lucas likely is first on the depth chart. But it was not necessarily expected that it would happen this soon and Lucas didn’t even get reps with the 1s in a practice situation until Friday.
Is Curhan in the lead to be RT1 or does that now fall to Lucas, the player everyone expects to be the long-term answer?
Forsythe was the first backup to Charles Cross at LT, Curhan played his usual spot on the right side, but he’s also been utilized at guard in training camp.
Greg Eiland, OL
The 24-year-old tackle who stands at 6’8 and went undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2021, Eiland played with the 2s at left guard.
Eiland was teammates with Cross in 2020, sometimes playing left guard right alongside him in Mike Leach’s air raid offense. It might make sense then that if Seattle wants to have a similar “type” along the offensive line with certain requirements in pass pro and run blocking, Eiland and Cross come from the same system.
These five players with the 2s were of little surprise and it means that Dakoda Shepley, Eric Wilson, and Shamarious Gilmore are further down the depth chart. But UDFA rookie Keenan Forbes did get action that we know of.
Dareke Young, WR6
We can’t learn much from Saturday’s stats and I don’t think everyone is included in Seattle’s official numbers (there are more completions by the QBs than there are receptions by the WRs, implying some guys did have one catch and are unlisted) but one name that did show up was Dareke Young.
Young made two catches on Saturday and he’s deserved mention in training camp more often lately too.
Assuming that I’m right about Drew Lock becoming the Seahawks starter eventually, that might also bode well for Young’s chances because the two reportedly have a good rapport.
What’s interesting is, “How do the numbers make sense at WR?” The Seahawks are going to have to keep six, I think. DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Dee Eskridge are on the roster; Marquise Goodwin has a strong case since Eskridge isn’t participating yet (Pete hopes he can be ready for the first preseason game); Freddie Swain has the most experience in Seattle after the top two guys; Cody Thompson keeps making plays.
That’s already six.
Would Young be kept over Swain? One thing that Swain was doing on Saturday and could do in the regular season is return punts/kicks and contribute on special teams. If the Seahawks are comfortable with Ken Walker or DeeJay Dallas in those situations though, is Swain expendable?
Swain didn’t make any notable plays offensively on Saturday and he might have a better shot of passing through waivers to the practice squad than Young. We only heard of Bo Melton on Saturday when Lock missed him.
Joel Iggy Iyiegbuniwe, ILB2?
After adding Sean Desai to the coaching staff in the offseason, the Seahawks brought in another former Bear by signing Iyiegbuniwe to a one-year deal. With Jordyn Brooks needing the day off to rest his hamstring, Iggy got the start and that implies he’s the most comfortable with the playbook right now.
Will that continue for five more weeks?
The team had Tanner Muse and Vi Jones with the second team, and it still appears that Pete Carroll is comfortable putting Nick Bellore on the field for defense as he made two tackles on Saturday from that position.
But Iggy was only a special teamer for four years in Chicago and there are no signs pointing toward him as a key member of the defense. That must be why the Seahawks are looking at free agent linebackers right now and that could be where a surprise name not currently on Seattle’s roster makes the final 53.
Tariq Woolen, Starting CB????
Mike Jackson, CB6?
Sidney Jones IV would have had the start on Saturday if he was healthy, but not being healthy has been an ongoing issue for him as is and the Seahawks will need to feel great about their depth at cornerback going into the season. Good news:
I expect Jones IV, Artie Burns, and Justin Coleman to start, with Coby Bryant, Woolen, Tre Brown as backups. That would be one more cornerback than the team kept last season and it still doesn’t include Ugo Amadi, Marquise Blair, or Mike Jackson.
If Coleman is released, that could free up a spot for one of the young cornerbacks. Or would the team prefer Amadi over Coleman? Or Blair over somebody? All of these corners have “had their day” in camp, sometimes multiple times over.
The only locks at this point seem to be Jones IV, Bryant, and Woolen. Burns’ experience with Desai and his quality play in camp make him seem a near-lock. Coleman’s experience as Seattle’s starting nickel is helpful to his case. Brown has spent the entire camp on PUP, but the team is so high on his future that I can’t imagine risking him to waivers.
Perhaps the most shocking thing to do would be to cut Burns and start Woolen opposite of Jones IV. We’ve spent more time talking about Bryant in camp, but on Saturday Woolen got the nod with the 1s and he was the standout player of the day on defense.
Meanwhile, Jackson got almost no mention out of training camp but the 2019 fifth round pick (Cowboys) is only 25, played 25 snaps with Seattle last season, and was with the 2s on Saturday. The numbers worked in his favor with Jones IV sitting out, but will the numbers keep working in his favor?
Cody Thompson, WR5
Thompson was another standout on Saturday and he’s got at least one advantage over many of his competitors for WR depth: this is his fourth year with the team.
That could also be a disadvantage: Four years but he hasn’t made the roster. He does something that compels Pete to keep bringing him back. If he stays on Lock’s good side, Thompson could grab the final receiver spot from Freddie Swain or Bo Melton or Dareke Young, however that works out.
It’s crazy to think that when Thompson first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent on May 6, 2019, Seaside Joe had already been running for two months.
He hasn’t given up, and neither will Joe.
Tell ‘em Joe Knows.
What do you get for a 1,250th anniversary? Stardust? It is a significant accomplishment no doubt. As someone who has spent a lot of time on other Seahawks blogs not to be named here, this has become my "go to" so thanks, Ken.
We know the "final 53" is never the "final 53" for the Seahawks, and there is always a surpirse or two at cutdowns.
Those twitter clips may be skewed in Lock's favor, but the QB "competition" doesn't look that close anymore. That int Geno threw to Woolen was really bad. I think you are right that we see Lock practice with the 1s this week, but I also think he may be named the preseason starter for game 1 and never look back. I haven't seen a clip of the 60+ yard bomb that just missed Melton, but think how just that one completion could have further skewed the stats and our perception of these two QBs. Also, does DK, Lockett or Goodwin make that catch?
I do wonder if they want Bryant and Woolen to focus on just a single side for their rookie year and that's why we saw Woolen with the 1s over Bryant (after switching Burns to LCB as the best player available at the position). Looks like they are both making the final 53 and that's great!
It was cool to see Dissly and Walker split out wide on that DK TD from the slot. Interesting formations and trying to generate favorable matchup opportunities is fun to see from Waldron and company.
The right-side OL carrousel seems like it may continue into the season and unfortunately may just end up being whoever is consistently the least bad. Mediocre might be the ceiling there this season.