2019 State of the Seattle Seahawks; Mini Camp Edition. Yay!


Could the return of Cassius Marsh be what the Seattle Seahawks need to get back to the Land of Milk and Honey? Maybe, yeah. (Patrick Smith/ Getty)

Baseball. The reminder of summer, and all that is America’s national pastime. Also, the one thing out there that really makes me realize just how much I love football. So much so, that I am poised to type out this State of the 2019 Seattle Seahawks June Mini Camp Edition. Why not? We all know the truth. This town and region bleeds blue and green, and the Mariners are, well.. yeah.

So, what is this piece about? Well, it’s in the title. It’s the State of the Seahawks during their final mini camp before the league requires the players to break from their teams for a month before they must reconvene with the programs at the end of July. For those not terribly in-the-know about these league wide mini camps, allow me to describe. For the players, there are no pads involved, except for leg pads if you want to wear them, and you wear your helmets. There is also obviously no hitting involved, and defenders aren’t even allowed to make a contested play on the ball. Basically, it’s hard to gage how well defensive and offensive linemen are doing, how well secondary players are doing, and Russell Wilson makes a lot of really beautiful deep throws to receivers who don’t have to worry about a defender playing them aggressively. The coaches are looking at how well the players are into their assignments, routes, positioning, etc. It’s just mini camp. In the theater world, we would call these “table top reads.”

So what can we gleam from all this mini camp stuff? Well, I’m not a reporter. I’m just an overly obsessive type who wants to be a blogger. So, I don’t get to go out there and see, but listening to Pete Carroll, the other coaches, and veteran players during their press conferences, and I think I can still parse a few things. I can read the tea leaves.

Here’s the nutshell that I am piecing together; I think this team is more capable of winning the division than a lot of people think. I think they are another year fuller along in a new offensive system, and they might be deeper on the defense than many think. Let me walk you through the position groups to explain.


The most important position in all of football, and Seattle has one of the very best in Russell Wilson. I know football is a team game, but that it literally half the battle. I also know that Seattle wants to be a running team, but one of the reasons that they run with such success is the threat of Russell Wilson that defenses face. I think last year was likely Wilson feeling out offensive coordinator Brian Schottenhiemer’s version of the vertical Air Coryell offense. I would suspect a major step forward this year. Wilson’s deep ball is elite, and Seattle just added more deep ball targets with this last draft class. Put these things together, and I suspect Wilson is due a monster year this year even without Doug Baldwin on the roster. I would say take that to the bank.

Running Back

Chris Carson is an athletic freak and a beast, but my money is on Rashaad Penny taking a major step forward in 2019. Don’t be shocked if Seattle has the best one two punch at running back in the league this year. Rookie Travis Homer is an interesting dark horse as a change of pace and third down back, and if they finally get a healthy season from CJ Prosise, this could be an incredibly deep position group.

Wide Receiver

This is the group that will likely enter the official training camp in late July with the most question marks. The retirement of Doug Baldwin is a massive loss for the team, and they didn’t look to add veteran help to lessen the blow. They might be using these mini camps to determine whether to add one during the real camp later. What they do have on the roster is Tyler Lockett who has developed a terrific chemistry with Wilson. Also coming back is David Moore who flashed a bit in 2018 and Jaron Brown who Carroll has been praising lot lately. They also drafted the big, physically freaky and fast DK Metcalf, along with another big fast receiver in Gary Jennings, and a slot player in John Ursua. A sleeper name to watch out for is undrafted rookie free agent Terry Wright from Purdue (he has been getting a lot of organized team activity buzz the last few weeks).

It could be quite possible that Seattle like their receivers a lot more than you do. Also, interestingly enough, Seattle has quietly gotten a lot bigger and faster at receiver. These are the types of pass catchers the New Orleans had surrounded Drew Brees with for years, and are more traditional prototypes for the Air Coryell offense that Shottenhiemer calls.

Tight End

There are no names in this position group that are going to put the fear into defenses, but they do what Seattle wants them to do. Ed Dickson, and Nick Vannett are guys who are decent blockers and who can catch. Two possibly more interesting younger players are Will Dissly, who was promising last year but is coming back from a serious knee injury, and Jacob Hollister, who Seattle traded for after the draft. Hollister has been steadily praised by Wilson, Carroll, and Schottenhiemer, and might be a dark horse candidate to break out this year as a pass catcher.

Offensive Line

Outside of Quarterback, this might be the strongest area of the team, and that hasn’t been said about the Seahawks since Mike Holmgren was the head coach. Four for the five starting offensive linemen are former first round picks, and their center was a second rounder. They are set at left tackle in Dwayne Brown, but also, with Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, DJ Fluker, and Germaine Ifedi, this line is HUGE. My dark horse is 6-4 322lb rookie guard Phil Haynes. They don’t need to rush this player along, but if Iupati or Fluker get injured and he steps in and holds his own, Seattle might feel compelled to keep going with the youngster.

Defensive Line

On paper this feels like another thin area, especially after they traded Frank Clark, but I’m actually not to sure. Rookie defensive end LJ Collier feels like he could be an automatic plug and play sort at both end and tackle. Free agent Ezekiel Ansah is likely the other “on paper” starter. Second year player Jacob Martin could further become an important pass rush specialist, but for my money at end though, I think second year player Rasheem Green might become the big surprise story player of 2019. I think he has that kind of talent.

Also, another dark horse I want to suggest is the return of Cassius Marsh. Marsh had a decent year for the 49ers in 2018, plays with sound technique, and has the twitch to rush the passer. Folks might be writing him off as a bit of camp fodder. I wouldn’t. He’s only 26 years old, and likely still carries some upside. With Clark gone, and Ansah on the mend, there is a opportunity for Marsh to establish himself in a second go around in Seattle, and considering how he has bounced a bit since Seattle traded him to New England, he might view this as his last chance to salvage a long playing career. I like him coming into Seattle with that edge. I’m just going to toss there words out there now; don’t sleep on Cassius Marsh.

Defensive tackle I am not worried about in the least. Seattle has one of the best young DTs in the game in Jarran Reed playing on a contract year, and they have a promising young player in Poona Ford ready to play along side him. The vibe around the team feels like they really like Ford a lot, and think they got a steal there. I’m excited to see how his game progresses. Pro Football Focus loved him at the end of last year.

Veteran Al Woods is possibly my favorite free agent signing, though. He’s not a sack guy, but at 6-4 330lbs, he is a big powerful space eating DT that will soak up multiple blockers to make those around him more able to make the play. During Seattle’s recent Super Bowl runs, those were the kind of players Seattle had inside. My dark horse is undrafted rookie free agent Bryan Mone of Michigan. The dude is 6-3 and 366lbs of man mountain. The thought of having Woods and Mone in the game together on run downs is absolutely fascinating. If these two guys make the final roster, Seattle is very much committed to taking away the run in 2019. In my opinion, this is potentially a fascinating under the radar storyline.


I think this is by far and away the deepest unit on the defense. Seattle has the best linebacker on the planet in Bobby Wagner, and they have two very good veteran players in KJ Wright and Mychal Kendricks. If these three are all playing together healthy, Seattle might have the best 4-3 linebacking unit in the league, no kidding. Seattle also drafted Cody Barton, and Husky fan favorite Ben Burr-Kirven. I was high on them drafting BBK, but all the early praise seems to be landing on Barton and how quickly he has picked up on things. If Seattle were to lose Wright or Kendricks for a stretch, Barton might have the talent take one of their jobs away. Second year player Shaquem Griffin is moving to SAM linebacker and will rush from the edge, which is what he did in college. Griffin could be an interesting ex factor as an extra rusher on third downs. There’s not another position switch on the roster that I am more intrigued with.


This is probably the area on the defense that stresses out most fans. In large part, I think it has more to do with who is no longer on the roster than who is. I think Bradley McDougald is a solid safety who can man both spots, and I think rookie safety Marquise Blair is a player that if you took the DNA of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and mixed it up in a blender, you would get this guy. I also think Tedric Thompson and Lano Hill are both safeties that can factor and take further steps forward.

As for the corners, here is my bold prediction. Shaquill Griffin is going to have a major breakthrough year after his somewhat sophomore slump, and Tre’ Flowers is going to take a major step forward as the other starter. I love the athletes that both of these guys are, but I think the characters of both of these guys propel them forward into a much better 2019 campaign.

Nickel corner is a bit up for grabs, but this is a Pete Carroll coached team, and I suspect they will figure out who their nickel player is by the start of the regular season. Akeem King seems like the early favorite, but my dark house is rookie Oregon Duck Ugo Amadi. He’s listed as a free safety, but if you parse Pete, it feels like they want to get a long look at him in the nickel, and the dude was a flat out baller for the Ducks. Amadi has me intrigued.

Special Teams

Seattle is set in the teams. They have a pro bowl punter (Michael Dickson) and a pro bowl kicker (Jason Myers). Not worried at all here.

Final Thoughts

It’s early. It’s not even preseason yet. There are things that will change once we get into the regular season. There will be surprise cuts, surprise players that step up, and probably a disappointment or two of players who won’t. There also could well be a player or two coming in via trade or free agency still.

However, the plain truth remains. Seattle has one of the very best head coaches in the game matched with one of the very best quarterbacks. They have an immensely built up offensive line that powers a highly productive run game, and I think they are potentially really underrated in a few areas on the defensive side.

In a league that increasingly loves to air it out and get the ball out to playmakers in space, Pete Carroll still believes firmly that ultimately the truest battle in football is won and lost in the trenches. If you can run, you set up explosive plays downfield. If you take away the run, you make an offense one dimensional and you can rush the passer and force turnovers.

I think Seattle might have a unique situation at defensive line with a blend of size and rush ability that many folks are not seeing right now because of the lack of name recognition beyond Jarran Reed and Ezekiel Ansah. There is a reason why they felt no need to pursue Gerald McCoy when he recently hit the market. I think they might like what they got.

I also think that with the drafting of linebackers, and safeties, Seattle is positioning themselves to defending better against the Rams. Tackling in space is key to beating that team as demonstrated by New England. This is my homer take, but I think Seattle is poised to overtake the Rams for the NFC West division this year. I know San Francisco is going to likely be the sexy pick in the West, and they might be pretty good, but I have yet to see their franchise quarterback play a full healthy season, and I am not as sold on their head coach as some are. He will be going into his third year there, and with that, there is pressure to win. The vibe I get from that dude is that maybe his temperament isn’t the best when the pressure is on, but we shall see.

It just has a feel like this is a year in the division where a veteran head coach matched with a veteran quarterback, with a veteran offensive line, and a defense led by veterans mixed with youth is going to win the day more times than not. I also think relying on some key underdogs like Cassius Marsh, Al Woods, Shaquem Griffin, and Poona Ford, they might be bringing back the “we all we got, we all we need” chants full throttle. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am. I like it.

One thing I am certain about, I will be writing a lot more about this team soon enough. Oh, yes. I will.

Go Hawks.



1 thought on “2019 State of the Seattle Seahawks; Mini Camp Edition. Yay!

  1. Oh yes you will and we all will be reading your usual great thoughts. Keep up with your thoughts since they are more thorough then any I have ever read. GO HAWKS…


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