Huard’s Seahawks Observations: What we learned from preseason

Aug 28, 2023, 1:13 PM

Seattle Seahawks Drew Lock...

Drew Lock of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 26, 2023. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks wrapped up the preseason on Saturday, and attention now turns to their Week 1 regular season matchup against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Lumen Field.

Related: Which Seahawks stand out after preseason and training camp?

Before completely turning the page, though, we caught up with former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, a FOX football analyst and co-host of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk, to get his view on what the Seahawks’ preseason showed us.

Here are our questions about the Hawks with Brock’s answers.

Seattle Seahawks preseason observations

Which players helped their chances of making the roster the most this preseason?

This list starts and ends with undrafted rookie wide receiver Jake Bobo. While coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have empowered low draft picks and given every opportunity to undrafted free agents in their 14 years together, not many have come from as far back in the pack as Bobo. And in this case, it’s not just about making the team but actually carving out a significant role for Week 1 of the regular season.

K.J. Wright: Bobo is ‘the guy I believe Geno can trust’

Beyond Bobo, Levi Bell has likewise done an incredible job making his mark as a defensive lineman/fullback/special teamer and anything else asked of him. Lastly, Jonathan Sutherland has not backed down or shied away from the immense depth and competition at safety, and he will be an intriguing depth player for sure.

Could the play of quarterbacks Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers turn either into a trade chip?

Neither will be a trade chip for this season, but Ahlers will be a valuable practice squad guy with the ability to wear a bunch of hats and give the defense a quality look as a running QB, too. However, there is no question Drew gained more confidence in his own game as well as the confidence of those around him. He’s a tremendous play-action QB, and his numbers even as a rookie starter in Denver speak to that. He was phenomenal this preseason in that play-action phase. Now, he must continue to develop as a rhythm dropback passer.

Was anyone who played this preseason too quiet for their own good?

Injuries unfortunately wiped out so much of the preseason opportunities for this rookie class. More than half the class saw valuable preseason full-contact reps disappear with knee, shoulder, elbow, hamstring and wrist injuries. There will be a lot of ground to make up for the majority of this freshman class, and as a group they didn’t get to make the noise their predecessors did last year. I also have a watchful eye on edge rusher Darrell Taylor, whose shoulder injury lingered far longer than expected and cut away valuable time for him.

What do you take away from the schemes that the Hawks showed in the exhibition games?

The Seahawks were noticeably much more aggressive on defense, and it will be fascinating to see whether the heat stays on in Week 1 against a Super Bowl-winning QB (the Rams’ Matthew Stafford). There is vast depth in the secondary, and this is on paper one of Pete’s fastest collection of defensive players. Their ability to be the hitter and not the hittee like they were in 2022 will be worth tracking.

More from Brock: What Seahawks are showing that’s different on defense

Offensively, Year 3 for QB Geno Smith and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron together will mean more volume, more playbook and most importantly more answers and adjustments in-game. Smith had just two series in the second preseason game, but even in those limited snaps one saw quite a mix of tempo, personnel, formations, movement and the threat of much more ingenuity.

What did this preseason say about the Hawks?

Three things:

1. They are a young core that likes to run and hit.
2. They are as fast or faster than any team built by Pete and John.
3. Strength in numbers reside much more on the perimeter than at the line of scrimmage.

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