BUMP AND STACY

Rost: Seahawks overreactions that are and aren’t worthy of your time

Aug 15, 2023, 9:11 AM

Seattle Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...

Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III runs against the Jets on Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

Preseason football and training camp is, if nothing else, a time for massive overreactions. That’s true for the Seattle Seahawks and the rest of the NFL’s teams.

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OK, yes, it’s also a time for coaches to gain a bit more insight into their players and for players, particularly rookies, to gain invaluable reps.

But because some preseason moments and trends have brought their own reaction, some of which I’ve been tracking from our own station texters, here’s a quick glance at which information has been truly insightful – and which events aren’t worth your time when it comes to the Seahawks.

“Great… the Seahawks running back room already has injury concerns”

Most of the actual reaction I’ve seen is “the Seahawks are cursed with injury luck,” so I’ll wrap it up into this one.

The Seahawks began camp with both presumed starters – Ken Walker and Zach Charbonnet – dealing with injury. Meanwhile, seventh-round pick Kenny McIntosh, who’d been seeing the bulk of reps in their absence, suffered a sprained knee in an Aug. 4 mock game.

The verdict: An understandable, if way too early, concern.

Charbonnet and Walker are back at practice. McIntosh’s injury isn’t believed to be serious. But Seattle’s running back room has been snakebitten before and hasn’t seen the same leading rusher for more than three years since Marshawn Lynch (2010-2014), so any fears about sustaining a mostly healthy rotation is understandable.

But the nature of the position and the hits halfbacks take means few teams have been able to successfully field the one-two punch Pete Carroll wants (Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in Cleveland is the most recent example, as both flourished behind a top offensive line).

If you’re worried about any injuries to young players right now, running back or not, don’t panic just yet.

“The Seahawks made a mistake not drafting Jalen Carter”

Anything about a 2023 pick being a bust one month before the start of the season is a massive overreaction.

That said, with Devon Witherspoon banged up and Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter absolutely wrecking the Raiders offensive line in his first-ever NFL snap, the fear that Seattle made a mistake is going to linger. It’s a minority of fans, but some sentiment that took a small spike following Carter’s viral quarterback hit.

A top-five, much less top-10 pick is new-ish territory for a lot of Seahawks fans. And while plenty of folks hear that take and think “what an idiot, Witherspoon will be just fine,” what I hear is an understandable – if way too premature – fear that Seattle won’t fix its long-term problems on defense.

So, I’ll add this: Seattle absolutely could’ve use defensive line help, but Carter ultimately wasn’t selected. And that was a choice that Seahawks brass felt was right for Seattle.

Instead, they padded an already good secondary with the most physical corner in the draft. It’s still vital that Seattle take a step forward on its defensive line, but on the backend, Witherspoon is going to bring a hard-hitting style Seahawks fans should love – regardless of what Carter does in Philadelphia.

“Jaxon Smith-Njigba is going to be a superstar”

I’ve got to fit some positive reactions in here, and this one is deserved.

It normally feels ill-advised to predict a rookie receiver will surpass 1,000 yards in an offense with two well-established pass catchers, on a team with a head coach who wants to establish the run. And I’m not going to. But by eye test alone, Smith-Njigba looks stellar. It’s no overreaction to watch him and wonder whether Seattle once again tapped into a gem of a rookie.

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Rost: Seahawks overreactions that are and aren’t worthy of your time