My apologies for the 3 month hiatus. I am back for good, I promise!
Day one of season 37 starts tomorrow morning when the Seahawks conduct their first training camp practice of 2012. Tomorrow is day one of a very long and grueling journey. A journey that is as unpredictable as guessing how many jelly beans are in the jar. A journey that will be written based on what is left on that beautiful green grass field. The offseason is history. The 2012 season is upon us and I cannot be more excited.
Tomorrow’s open practice starts at 10:30 tomorrow morning. Because it is the first day, I am definitely expecting some rust from many of our key players, but I will also be expecting to see new plays and formations that were installed during OTA’s and minicamp. Here are some players, and position battles that I will be focusing on for the first day of training camp.
1. Quarterback Competition
Tarvaris Jackson is expected to take most, if not all of the first team snaps at quarterback. Matt Flynn will take the second-string snaps and Russell Wilson will take the third-team snaps. With Jackson as the experienced vet in this offense, I expect him to prove early that he deserves to be the starter. If he does not do this, the 12th Man will be calling for Flynn to take over this competition. I believe it will be Jackson’s job to lose. With Jackson as the pre-camp frontrunner, Flynn as the $8 million man and fan favorite, and Wilson the potential-filled fast-learning rookie, Coach Carroll and his staff have a lot of work to do to settle this competition.
2. Right Tackle
With James Carpenter still rehabbing his ACL injury from last season, the starting right tackle spot is up for grabs in my opinion. I believe Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan are the players looking to earn a starting spot on the offensive line. This spot is important because it will be necessary to develop continuity among the starting unit early, as this will improve the play of the entire offense later down the road.
3. Middle Linebacker
Rookie Bobby Wagner looks to be the starting MLB come week 1, but veteran Barrett Ruud will be challenging for a roster spot and a spot as our starting middle linebacker. Ruud is coming off an injury and Wagner was a 2nd round draft pick this year. The last time a rookie started at middle linebacker for the Seahawks was Lofa Tatupu in 2005. Tatupu was also a 2nd round pick. Not to put pressure on Wagner, but if he lands the starting job, the pressure is on to tie the defense together, which is one of many responsibilities required of a middle linebacker.
4. Bruce Irvin
I am interested to see where rookie Bruce Irvin will line up in different packages. Irvin has been described as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid. With Chris Clemons and Red Bryant as our starting defensive ends and Leroy Hill and K.J. Wright as our starting outside linebackers, Irvin’s presence on the field will shift with each defensive play. My hope is to see where he mostly lines up and from which spots he is most effective at getting to the quarterback.
I will be attendance at practice tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow night for my notes and observations of day one of Seahawks training camp!