SEATTLE — The NFL Preseason is officially under way, and Friday night the Seahawks will get their first taste of game action after two weeks of training camp in Renton.
Here are five things to look for in the game against the Broncos.
Crowded Receiving Corp
There is a great deal of talent at wide receiver and the fight is on for roster spots. Former Husky Kasen Williams, who signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent, has really improved over this past week and is getting noticed. If he plays well enough he could eventually bump someone out of a job.
The Return Man
Rookie Tyler Lockett was drafted for a reason — to return kicks. He will eventually figure into the lineup of receivers, but his main purpose is to put the Seahawks in better field position with decent kick returns. The return game was dreadful last year. Bryan Walters was a sure-hands answer who didn’t fumble the ball, but he didn’t eat up yards against opposing special teams. The Seahawks are hoping Lockett will provide that Special spark the return game desperately needs.
Where’s the Boom?
Not one member of the Legion of Boom will be on the field against the Broncos. Earl Thomas won’t play as he continues to strengthen a surgically-repaired shoulder. Kam Chancellor is still a no-show and has missed 11 training camp practices. And Pete Carroll said Richard Sherman won’t play against Denver as he is dealing with some soreness in his hip flexor.
That means the youngsters will get a long look against a Broncos offense that likes to throw the ball. Deshaun Shead and Dion Bailey will see time at Strong Safety. They’ll get game practice and may need it, one of them could end up starting in Chancellor’s spot in the season opener if Chancellor’s holdout extends into the regular season.
Three months ago, Seahawks defensive lineman Jesse Williams was having surgery for kidney cancer, but on Friday night he’ll be on the field playing against the Broncos. Williams has had a remarkable recovery and, after missing the past two seasons due to knee injuries, will finally see game action for the first time since 2013.
Williams is a big body on the line and could be a force against opposing offenses. The Seahawks have refused to give up on the player that helped Alabama win a National Title and his return to the field will no doubt be a special moment for Williams and the Seahawks.
Let him Run
Christine Michael is a ball of muscle the Seahawks took in the second round of the 2013 draft. While there’s no question he can run with the football, it’s the other things he is asked to do that he has struggled with at the pro level, including blocking. Michael will get plenty of work against Denver, as Marshawn Lynch is not expected to play and Robert Turbin’s carries should be minimal.
This will be a chance for Michael to show that he has evolved into a complete player that can run, block, catch and carry the majority of the load for a big portion of a game.