Jim Moore’s Seahawks takeaways: No need to be concerned about defense
Danny O’Neil is our starting writer in this space for good reason. He’s a Seahawks Insider. But Danny had the night off and I’m coming off the bench to offer this week’s takeaways from Friday night’s game against the Chiefs.
Whereas you’ve come to expect Russell Wilson-type greatness from Danny, I’ll try to deliver my best Austin Davis impression (5 for 5 for 64 yards and a TD) instead of a Trevone Boykin impression (0 for 6).
Might as well start there…
Competition for the backup QB spot is still open. It’s hard to say it isn’t when you watched Boykin belly flop and Davis excel Friday night. Coach Pete Carroll had positive things to stay about both quarterbacks, basically dismissing Boykin’s off-night and praising Davis for being a savvy veteran. Based on what Carroll said, I think the Seahawks are leaning toward Davis, but I hope they retain Boykin as their main backup; there’s also a chance they’ll keep both. Davis might be fine as a game-managing backup who won’t lose games, but I don’t suspect he’ll win many either. With Boykin, there’s more upside, and he can run the offense the way that Wilson runs it, even if it’s a poor man’s version.
Blair Walsh looks great as the new kicker. After a perfect 6-for-6 night on field goals and 2 for 2 on extra points, Walsh has now gone 10 for 10 on extra points and 8 for 9 on field goals during the preseason. I know my takeaway should be something along the lines of feeling great about Walsh, but keep in mind that these games don’t count. When they counted, the Vikings thought so lowly of Walsh they cut him last year. He’s the guy who blew the chip-shot field goal that allowed the Seahawks to advance in the playoffs two years ago, and I won’t be convinced that Walsh truly is a good replacement for Stephen Hauschka until he hits game-winners here.
Rees Odhiambo had a pretty good debut at left tackle. In his first start replacing the injured George Fant, Odhiambo played reasonably well aside from allowing one third-quarter sack. I don’t know what more he could have done to convince me, but I’m still skeptical that Odhiambo will hold up during the regular season simply because no one talked about him until Fant was hurt. Odhiambo has been a backup since he arrived last year as a third-round choice from Boise State and was destined to be a backup this year. Maybe he’ll step up and be the player the Seahawks expected him to be when he was drafted. But I’ll maintain that the starting left tackle for the season opener at Green Bay on Sept. 10 will not be Odhiambo or the newly acquired Matt Tobin, the current backup. I still think they might move Luke Joeckel from left guard to left tackle (and shift Mark Glowinski back to left guard) or start a player they acquire after other teams make their final cuts later this week.
Amara Darboh will be cut by the Seahawks. Everyone assumes the wide receiver from Michigan will make the team because he was a third-round pick. But what has he done to warrant a spot on the team since he arrived? No catches in the preseason, and I rarely hear his name at practice. Maybe it’s because I rarely go to practice, or maybe it’s because Darboh has not done much to justify his third-round status. At this point if John Schneider asked me which receivers I’d keep, I’d tell him Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kasen Williams and Tanner McEvoy. It would bother me not to have Kenny Lawler on the team because I loved watching him at Cal and thought he had great potential. Here’s the thing – if you can keep and start undrafted players like Thomas Rawls and Baldwin, why can’t you cut a third-round pick in his first year if he simply isn’t what you thought he was going to be? Sometimes you just whiff on picks, and that might be the case with Darboh. Then again, this is a Seahawks Outsider’s takeaway, and considering my track record with predictions, Darboh will not only make the team but enter the Hall of Fame in 2032.
Chris Carson will be the starting running back against the Packers. Full disclosure – this was first suggested by Dave Wyman last Thursday, and I’m just plagiarizing or ripping him off because he won’t read this post anyway. Actually, Wyman said the Seahawks will start Carson or Rawls, and it surprised me that he mentioned Carson as even being a candidate, but the more I thought about it, the more I think he’s right. Rawls has been banged up again, and Carson, the seventh-rounder from Oklahoma State, has looked terrific, punctuating his outstanding preseason with two 15-yard runs and a 37-yard reception against the Chiefs. Again, if Schneider asked for my advice, I’d tell him to keep these running backs: Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Eddie Lacy, Carson and J.D. McKissic. With McKissic, I don’t know what J.D. stands for so I’ll go with Junkyard Dawg. I like that kid, and I’m guessing the Seahawks like his versatility. He can run, return and catch, and I want him on my roster as a kickoff and punt returner instead of putting Lockett in harm’s way coming off a broken leg. Lockett’s too valuable as a receiver, and I understand how good he is as a returner, but it’s not as if there’s some huge dropoff to McKissic. I don’t know whether the Junkyard Dawg is considered a running back or receiver. Either way, I’d find a way to keep him.
I have no concerns about the defense. Why the quibbling over the first-team defense allowing a score on the first drive for the third consecutive game? Who cares? It’s the preseason. They will dial it up when the games matter. If Robinson Cano went 0-for-12 in his first 12 at-bats in Peoria in March, would you care? Of course not. So anyone who has concerns about the Seahawks not denying preseason opponents on their first drive, just stop it already.
David Bass will earn a spot on the roster. I don’t know much about this defensive lineman to be honest, but he’s been consistently disruptive throughout the preseason, something that continued with his sack of Kansas City rookie QB Patrick Mahomes. I don’t care if it’s happened against second- and third-teamers, he’s still standing out as a player who should stick in September.