DANNY ONEIL

What We Learned: Jermaine Kearse’s grip on Seahawks roster spot secure

Aug 28, 2017, 6:28 AM
Jermaine Kearse provided a reminder of his value to the Seahawks in Friday's preseason win. (AP)...
Jermaine Kearse provided a reminder of his value to the Seahawks in Friday's preseason win. (AP)
(AP)

Kasen Williams is making this Seahawks team.

But we already knew that.

And if there were any questions about what Williams’ ascension might mean for Jermaine Kearse, there aren’t anymore. Not after he caught three passes in Friday’s exhibition game, including a 39-yarder in the first quarter that showed his penchant for the big play.

Preparing for his sixth season in Seattle, Kearse leads off the list of what we learned in Friday’s exhibition victory over the Kansas City Chiefs:

What we learned

1. Jermaine Kearse is going to be on this team.

Remember the plays this guy can make? Because if you don’t, Kearse provided a reminder with a first-quarter catch in which he was hand-fighting with Steven Nelson, the Chiefs cornerback who had great coverage. Somehow, Kearse created the space to make a difficult, twisting catch on his back shoulder for a 39-yard gain. If Williams’ aforementioned emergence the first two weeks made some people question Kearse’s spot on the team – and by “some people” we mean the author of this post specifically – Friday’s game provided a definitive answer. There’s no financial incentive to cutting Kearse, who’s only responsible for at least three and maybe four of the biggest catches in franchise history. Not only that, but Tyler Lockett is coming off an injury while Paul Richardson has been placed on injured reserve in two of his first three NFL seasons. Factor in that neither third-round pick Amarah Darboh nor sixth-round choice David Moore has made a climb on the depth chart, and any doubts about Kearse’s inclusion on the 53-man roster are hereby squashed.

2. Seattle’s place-kicking is going to be improved in 2017.

The Blair Walsh Project has gotten off to a great start. He’s looked way more like the guy who was named All-Pro as a rookie in 2012 than the one who missed eight kicks with the Vikings last season, four of them on extra-point tries. Funny, that’s exactly the same number of kicks Stephen Hauschka missed for Seattle last year, missing four field-goal attempts and four point-after tries. But Walsh’s kicks have come out at a steeper angle, and he is officially 8 for 9 on field-goal attempts this preseason with his only miss being from 53 yards out. Sure, he got bailed out when a missed field-goal attempt was nullified by a defensive penalty on Friday night, but so far he has been a clear improvement.

3. Richard Sherman is the best tackling cornerback in the league.

Sherman may not be the heaviest hitter in the Seahawks’ lineup, but he makes consistent contact and has gap-to-gap power. He showed that with his first-quarter stop of Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson on Friday. Wilson caught the ball near the line of scrimmage and didn’t even have time to get to full speed before he was squared up by Sherman, who then put his shoulder into Wilson and drove right through to keep the Chiefs short of the first down.

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What We Learned: Jermaine Kearse’s grip on Seahawks roster spot secure