Seahawks training camp position preview: Specialists
The Seahawks kick off training camp on July 25 and there’s plenty to sort out in the weeks leading up to the August 31 roster cutdown deadline. Today’s position preview focuses on the specialist, a group that enters with an All-Pro punter and a potential long-term answer at kicker.
Kicker Jason Myers is the team’s newest specialist and – Seattle is surely hoping – the answer to a years long question at kicker. The 28-year-old was actually part of Seattle’s 2018 training camp roster, though he was ultimately beat out by 40-year-old Sebastian Janikowski. Myers was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets and went on to earn his first ever Pro Bowl nod after finishing the year 33-for-36 on field goal attempts (including going 7-for-7 against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6 and 5-for-5 against the Tennessee Titans in Week 12). In March, the Seahawks welcomed him back with a four-year worth a reported $15.4 million.
The Seahawks’ decision to trade up in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Texas punter Michael Dickson ultimately paid off for Seattle: Dickson was one of just two Seahawks to be named an All-Pro last year (along with linebacker Bobby Wagner) and trailed only Arizona’s Andy Lee in average yards per punt (48.2). The expectation is that he’ll once again be a consistent strength on special teams this season.
Myers is the only new addition for 2019, though as noted earlier, he’s not unfamiliar with this team. There are a few rookies who may contribute as returners including 2019 sixth-round pick Travis Homer.
Throw this one in with top storyline as well: Since parting ways with Stephen Hauschka, the Seahawks have faced two years of questions at the kicking position. There was Blair Walsh in 2017, who went on to post a career-low 72.4 field goal percentage, and Janikowski in 2018 who, while serviceable, was clearly not a longterm solution. The Seahawks may have found their answer with Myers, but the signing isn’t without its questions. Seattle is betting that the version of Myers they’ve brought in will look a lot more like the one the Jets saw in 2018 and less like the one the Jaguars saw the year prior, when he posted a 73.3 field goal percentage and was later released. As a personal observation, Myers has been accurate through OTAs and minicamp – so far, so good if you’re Seattle.
The full group:
K Jason Myers (age: 28; 5-10/190)
LS Tyler Ott (age: 27; 6-3/253)
P Michael Dickson (age: 23; 6-2/208)
J.D. McKissic (age: 25; 5-10/195)
Tyler Lockett (age: 26; 5-10/182)
Rashaad Penny (age: 23; 5-11/220)