Clayton’s Observations: Seahawks might have answers at DE
Less than a week away from the Seahawks’ first preseason game, more things are taking shape for the team.
Previously from John Clayton: The good and bad from Seahawks camp
Like in most camps, injuries are starting to settle in. Players are also getting more irritable practicing in the heat so fights are starting to emerge. It’s interesting to see how each coach handles players who get into physical squabbles.
Let’s check in with some observations as the Seahawks head toward their Aug. 8 preseason game against the Broncos.
• Perhaps the most encouraging words came from coach Pete Carroll, who said defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) should be ready for the regular season opener against Cincinnati.
Ansah is one of the keys to the season. If he can come close to having the production of Frank Clark last season, the Seahawks could do better than a nine- or 10-win season. Clark had 13 sacks last year, so if Ansah can get 10 the team would be in good shape, and he has the ability to maybe get more if he’s around for all 16 games.
• The injury that required top draft pick L.J. Collier to be carted off the field Tuesday luckily isn’t a high-ankle sprain, but the rookie defensive end came up with a sprain different than any the Seahawks have seen, according to Carroll. You would have to figure he’s going to miss the rest of training camp and maybe the start of the regular season.
With Collier out, one person to watch now is second-year DE Rasheem Green, who is off to a good start in camp.
• Carroll is a coach who doesn’t want players to fight in practice. After defensive tackle Jarran Reed and guard Ethan Pocic got into a fight, Carroll kicked both players off the field and hinted that they might get fined. Throughout the years, there have been coaches who like players fighting, however.
Jerry Glanville used to have his teams constantly battling on the field, but that comes with a price – players get hurt. Some coaches make the team run gassers if a fight breaks out. Carroll’s philosophy is simple. You fight, you sit. Teams are trying to practice for football games, not get into heated battles that waste time and risk injury.
• Bobby Wagner’s new contract is quite interesting. Like Russell Wilson’s extension, this deal was fair for both sides. Wagner got what he wanted by becoming the highest-paid middle linebacker in football at $18 million a year. The Seahawks traded off the average and got him to sign a deal that had $15 million of guarantees upon signing.
Wagner was able to get incentives that could add up to $42.5 million if he’s on Seattle’s roster five days after the Super Bowl on each of the next couple years. The Seahawks were able to hold down the bonuses by getting him to a three-year deal instead of a four.
Win-win for both sides.
• The signing of long snapper Tyler Ott to a multi-year contract extension may seem minor, but it was quite important. On special teams, the Seahawks have their kicker (Jason Myers), their punter (Michael Dickson) and now their long snapper all under contract for multiple years. Myers and Dickson are Pro Bowlers, and Ott is consistent. That’s great for special teams.