Cortez Kennedy Jersey

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Thursday is perhaps a somber one for the Seattle Seahawks as Aug. 23, 2018, would have been Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy’s 50th birthday.

The Seahawks legend passed away unexpectedly in May of 2017 due to complications from heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes.

It is inarguable that Kennedy was not just one of the greatest Seahawks of all time, but one of the best athletes in all of Seattle sports history. Kennedy was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the summer of 2012 and had his jersey retired by the Seahawks during a 24-23 upset victory over the New England Patriots.

Kennedy is only the second Seahawk to ever win Defensive Player of the Year, following fellow Hall of Fame defender Kenny Easley. During Kennedy’s 1992 campaign of terror, he logged 14 sacks and 92 tackles. Kennedy was the only bright spot on a 2-14 Seattle team that season.

Kennedy finished his career with 58 sacks, 568 solo tackles, 11 forced fumbles and three interceptions in his 11-years in the Pacific Northwest. He is joined by Kenny Easley, Walter Jones and Steve Largent as the only Seahawks to have their jersey retired as Hall of Fame Players.

Steve Largent Jersey

Former Seahawk Steve Largent greets Concrete students

CONCRETE — Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Steve Largent recalled Friday a 1986 game against the Denver Broncos in which he thought he had recovered a fumble — only to learn the ball he recovered was actually a stray let loose from the sidelines.

That was the play he wanted Concrete High School students to remember during his visit to the school.

“Aim your life in such a direction that you don’t fall on the wrong ball,” he told the students.

Largent was in Concrete to celebrate the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County’s new club, which opened thanks to a $1.6 million federal grant.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer told the students that when he was in eighth grade, he joined what was then the Boys Club in Albany, Georgia.

“I loved it,” Largent said. “It really meant a lot to me. That was one of the things that was a real positive in my life.”

Especially in his early teens, Largent said, he needed something positive.

“It was a formative age for me,” he said. “I don’t know how things would have turned out if I had not had a positive organization like the Boys & Girls Clubs.”

Largent said his parents divorced when he was 6, and his mother later married a man who was an alcoholic. Largent’s tumultuous home life left him searching for a place where he felt he belonged.

That’s what he found at the club, he said.

“The sense of belonging there was really helpful to me,” Largent said. “Some of these kids are just looking for some friends and someone to hang out with, and to do it in a constructive way. That’s where the Boys & Girls Clubs come in.”

Since the Concrete club opened Oct. 1, at least 110 kids have enrolled, said Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County Executive Director Ron McHenry.

That’s about 20 percent of the school district’s enrollment, Concrete School District Superintendent Wayne Barrett said.

“I’d still like that to be higher,” Barrett said. “It’s just a great opportunity for us to have positive adults with our students.”

The school district’s partnership with the club will hopefully allow all the involved parties to better serve kids, he said.

“We provide additional support in the school district’s strategic plan to be able to create positive change in the lives of youth,” McHenry said.

Kids who attend the Boys & Girls club receive free dinner and are taken home by bus.

While the district already supports a free community meal once a month, the club intends to also host one, as well as a monthly family day for members, McHenry said.

Before assisting in cutting the ribbon to the new club, Largent took questions from students, including one about preparing for their upcoming football game.

“If you have an aggressive defensive front seven, you can win the game,” Largent said. “You need to get a lot of turnovers and not give them up.”

He also talked about teamwork, camaraderie and selflessness.

“All those things are absolutely vital to everything they’re going to do in life,” Largent said.

At the elementary school, club members surprised Largent, a former congressman from Oklahoma, by making their own campaign slogans.

“Let’s bring our country together,” was sixth-grader Hunter Throssel’s slogan.

“Right now, our country’s kind of spread apart,” Hunter said. “(Being together) makes us a better country.”

Largent said it’s never too soon to incorporate civics into everyday life.

“To me, the greatest civics lesson is, ‘Do unto others what you would have them do to you,’” he said.

Shaun Alexander Jersey

Round-Up_4.25.19

Good afternoon, 12s.

Here’s a look at what’s ‘out there’ for today – Thursday, April 25 – about your Seattle Seahawks:
Eat. Drink. Change Lives.

On the eve of the 2019 NFL Draft, Seahawks Legend Shaun Alexander co-hosted a pop-up dinner event in Nashville, Tennessee. Alexander joined forces with Café Momentum, a Dallas non-profit restaurant and culinary training program that provides opportunities for young men and women in the juvenile system to start fresh and learn new skills.

The event hosted other NFL Legends and local Nashville influencers to come together in order to raise awareness and advocate for juvenile offenders. The guests were treated with a three-course dinner from Café Momentum’s team of award-winning chefs. A group of young men currently in the Nashville juvenile justice system trained with Café Momentum and NFL Legends a few days prior to the event to help prepare and serve dinner.

Alexander also made a point to educate the youths of his time with the Seattle Seahawks. He elaborated on his NFL career and even noted that he was on the cover of Madden 2007.

19 years ago, Alexander was selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft at pick no. 19 overall. This year the Seahawks Legend will be announcing the Seahawks’ pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor will also be announcing the team’s pick in the third round.
Social Post Of The Day

Today’s ‘Social Post of the Day’ comes from the official Twitter account of the University of Texas Football Team, as they highlight Texas alumnus and Seahawks punter Michael Dickson getting drafted in 2018.

Marshawn Lynch Jersey

Amid the hype and fanfare of the NFL draft, football folk hero Marshawn Lynch did the most Marshawn Lynch thing of all: slipped out the back door when no one was looking.

Lynch announced his retirement last week, at exactly the time when the NFL world was least equipped to deal with it … which almost surely wasn’t a coincidence. Lynch was always the NFL’s equivalent of a pop-up storm, materializing and then vaporizing before you’d even realized he was there.

Lynch is a key figure in two of the most famous plays in NFL history, plays we’ll be discussing 50 years from now. So with that in mind, it’s time to start talking legacy. A simple question: Does Marshawn Lynch’s story end in the Hall of Fame?
Marshawn by the numbers

Let’s break this down. Lynch’s 10,379 career rushing yards rank 29th all-time, and his 2,441 attempts rank 26th. There are 32 running backs already in the Hall of Fame. But career numbers don’t tell the whole story; retired players on the career yardage list ahead of Lynch include Edgerrin James, Fred Taylor, Steven Jackson, Corey Dillon, Warrick Dunn, Ricky Watters, Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Tiki Barber and Eddie George. Star-level backs, all of them, some among the best of their era … but will they all end up in the Hall? Unlikely.

Breaking in Lynch’s favor is the fact that his 2011-14 seasons rank among the best quartet any running back has ever produced. He was a Pro Bowler all four years and a first-team All-Pro in 2012. He led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014. His Seahawks went to the playoffs in three of those four years, won a ring in 2013, and came this close in 2014. (More on that debacle later.)

The knock on Lynch, of course, is that those four years comprise pretty much the entirety of his star-level output. He was reasonably productive in Buffalo — Marshawn Lynch once played for the Bills, remember that? — and less so in chunks of two seasons with Oakland. He walked away from the game entirely in 2016, leaving his age-30 year on the table. He still gobbled up yards like Skittles every time he touched the ball, averaging more than four yards a carry right on into retirement, but those carries shrunk every game.

Let the record show that Lynch’s final game came against, of all teams, Seattle. The Raiders lost in a blowout, 27-3, and Lynch’s final play was a five-yard run right up the middle. Of course.

K. J. Wright Jersey

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April 19, 2019 at 6:05 pm
Seahawks LB K.J. Wright will return to Seattle in 2019. (AP)

Seahawks’ linebacker K.J. Wright entered free agency for the first time in his eight year career in March — but fortunately for both Wright and the Seahawks, that trip didn’t last long. Wright joined Danny, Dave and Moore on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday to talk about what it felt like to be a free agent, his decision to re-sign with Seattle, and what it was like to have his best performance of an injury-plagued season in the playoffs.

Clayton: What we learned about the Seahawks this week

“It did feel like I left, and that whole stretch from January to March, I kind of separated myself, because I was like, ‘It may not happen,’” Wright said of free agency. “But I’m back in the building and they found a way to make me happy…

The linebacker signed a two-year, $15.5 million deal with Seattle one day day after the start of free agency. Wright was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, making him one of Seattle’s longest-tenured players (in addition to wide receiver Doug Baldwin).

“It was interesting. I believe it’s good for each player to have an opportunity to just test it (free agency) and see what’s out there,” he said. “It didn’t let me down; it would have been great if I wasn’t coming off of injury, but things happen and it is what it is.”

April 19, 2019 at 6:05 pm
Seahawks LB K.J. Wright will return to Seattle in 2019. (AP)

Seahawks’ linebacker K.J. Wright entered free agency for the first time in his eight year career in March — but fortunately for both Wright and the Seahawks, that trip didn’t last long. Wright joined Danny, Dave and Moore on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday to talk about what it felt like to be a free agent, his decision to re-sign with Seattle, and what it was like to have his best performance of an injury-plagued season in the playoffs.

Clayton: What we learned about the Seahawks this week

“It did feel like I left, and that whole stretch from January to March, I kind of separated myself, because I was like, ‘It may not happen,’” Wright said of free agency. “But I’m back in the building and they found a way to make me happy…

The linebacker signed a two-year, $15.5 million deal with Seattle one day day after the start of free agency. Wright was originally drafted by the Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, making him one of Seattle’s longest-tenured players (in addition to wide receiver Doug Baldwin).

“It was interesting. I believe it’s good for each player to have an opportunity to just test it (free agency) and see what’s out there,” he said. “It didn’t let me down; it would have been great if I wasn’t coming off of injury, but things happen and it is what it is.”

A knee injury sidelined the 29-year-old Wright for a large part of the season. He appeared in just five games in 2018 (after missing a total of five starts over the previous seven years) but told Danny, Dave and Moore he felt good about ending the season with a strong performance against the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round of the playoffs. Wright had eight tackles and his first interception of the season in that contest.

“To play in that type of game, with the season that I had just battling injuries, that was really good for me personally,” Wright said. “I’m thankful that I could end the season on a good note.”

Listen to Wright’s full interview in the audio clip embedded above or on Danny, Dave and Moore’s podcast page.

Justin Britt Jersey

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The Seahawks went 10-6 last season and made the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years with Russell Wilson under center. And now that Wilson is under contract for four more years (and with $107 million guaranteed), this team is poised to do more than qualify for the postseason but become regulars in the Super Bowl.

This certainly seemed like Seattle’s destiny as recently as 2014, but an ill-timed play call and the subsequent dissolution of the Legion of Boom saw other NFC teams represent the conference in the sport’s biggest game. The Seahawks have had a good offseason but with a few key moves could catapult themselves from playoff team to likely Super Bowl representative.

Here’s how:

  1. Sign an edge rusher

A week before the draft the Seahawks traded Frank Clark and his 13 sacks in ’18 to the Chiefs for Kansas City’s 2019 first-rounder and its 2020 second-rounder. And while the team drafted TCU’s L.J. Collier in Round 1, he’s not a like-for-like replacement for Clark. Collier, who did had 11.5 sacks as a senior, isn’t a pure pass rusher. In fact, his heavy hands make him much better at setting the edge and he’s already drawing comparisons to Michael Bennett.

In fact, coach Pete Carroll says Collier will play in Bennett’s role at defensive end in the base defense and move inside on passing downs.

“I think that’s a great comparison (to Bennett) because he can play outside and he can play in,” Collier said during the team’s rookie minicamp, via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta. “He’s a tough, hard-nosed guy. He loves to hit people. I like his style of play and his flexibility of going in and out. Obviously I can do that, too. That’s where I see the comparison.”

Carroll added: “He has a style of his play that I was attracted to right off the bat. He plays with really good leverage and really long arms and he uses his hands really well. And you could see it in the walk through even, just in his position and he has a sense for that. That’s a special characteristic that he already has. So technique-wise, he’s been coached very well also, and there’s stuff that we can do with him. I think he’s going to be a really exciting guy for us to fit into the scheme.”

Put another way, Collier isn’t Clark.

And while he has the ability to rush the passer, the Seahawks could target a situational player, several of whom remain available free agents. At the top of the list: Ziggy Ansah, who spent his first six NFL seasons with the Lions where he registered 48 sacks, including 12 in 2017 and 14.5 in 2015. Ansah has battled injuries — he played in just seven games last season and managed four sacks — but he’s a terror when he’s healthy. And in Seattle he could be used in passing situations to limit his wear-and-tear and maximize his effectiveness, all while having Collier wreaking havoc from the interior. Ansah probably won’t come cheap but his price will continue to fall as we move away from the draft and training camp approaches. Added bonus: Seattle has $11.5 million in available cap space (10th best in the league), according to Spotrac.

  1. Find a reliable intermediate target

Based on a couple days of rookie minicamp the Seahawks are extremely pleased with their decision to trade up into Round 2 and grab wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who was the No. 1 wideout on our board and a first-round talent who fell all the way to 64 because of concerns about his durability and route-running ability. Metcalf assuaged many of those concerns at minicamp though he was running routes in shorts and a t-shirt — and against air — but if nothing else it was a good start. Carroll couldn’t hide his excitement.

“I mean, he’s big and he’s fast,” the coach told USAToday.com’s Doug Farrar after the first day of rookie minicamp. “He’s got really good feet, you know, and his catching range was exhibited today. And you know, we’ve got to figure it out, figure out where it is, maybe even more unique than we thought coming in. So, we just develop it as we go. But big and really fast and the catching range was really obvious today.”

More good news: Seattle’s offense is built around the run, and that starts with Wilson, Chris Carson and last year’s first-rounder, Rashaad Penny. And that sets up the play-action passing game which, again, starts with Wilson. Tyler Lockett was one of the league’s best deep threats a season ago and now he’ll be joined by Metcalf, who ran a 4.33 40 at the combine and at 6-4 is six inches taller than Lockett.

But there’s also the short and intermediate passing game where Doug Baldwin has long been Wilson’s security blanket. Except that Baldwin, who is 30, could be facing retirement because of the accumulation of surgeries resulting from various football injuries. The Seahawks drafted slot receiver Gary Jennings in the fourth round but he didn’t take part in minicamp because of a hamstring injury. Even still, he’s a rookie who struggled with dropped passes while at West Virginia. It’s unfair to expect him to seamlessly fill in for Baldwin.

Which is why Seattle could sign a veteran possession receiver to patrol those short and intermediate areas. Pierre Garcon is 33 years old and he’s played in just eight games the last two seasons. But in 16 appearances in 2016 he had 79 catches for 1,041 yards. And Michael Crabtree, 31, had 54 receptions for 607 yards in the Ravens’ run-heavy offense last season.

  1. Add depth at right tackle

Germain Ifedi is who he is. And that is a replacement level right tackle. The Seahawks and Wilson have shown that an offense can survive with something less than a Pro Bowl cast of blockers. The unit was 12th in run blocking a season ago, via Football Outsiders’ metrics, but they fell to 30th in pass protection. And with the addition of Metcalf and Jennings, it stands to reason that Seattle could take more shots downfield. This also means keeping Wilson upright. The team added guard Mike Iupati and re-signed guard D.J. Fluker, and they’ll join left tackle Duane Brown, center Justin Britt and the aforementioned right tackle, Ifedi, the team’s 2016 first-rounder.

Ifedi’s 2018 Pro Football Focus grade — 55.6 — ranked 71st among all tackles. The good news: He improved from his first two seasons. The bad news: Those improvements have been incremental; he graded out at 52.0 in ’16 and 51.7 in ’17. This explains in part why the Seahawks declined to exercise Ifedi’s fifth-year option, which would have paid him $10.35 million in 2020.

“Well, there’s there’s a lot of factors,” Carroll told reporters on Friday. “You know, we’re in the midst of trying to continue to fit the roster together and all of that, and the big demands, sometimes we can jump on it, sometimes we can’t. We love Germain. He’s grown with us. He’s become a solid football player and done a great job, starting a ton of games for us and hanging in there and being tough about it, and we’d love to have him. This is not an indication of anything, but we like the guy and we hope he’ll be with us for a long time.”

The Seahawks drafted offensive guard Phil Haynes in the fourth round but depth remains an issue behind Ifedi. It’s why the team should think about signing Donald Penn. Yes, he’s 36 and missed 12 games last season, but he was a reliable cog in the Raiders’ O-lines that ranked seventh in pass protection and 11th in run blocking in 2017, a was even more dominant during the team’s 12-win 2016 campaign (No. 1 in pass protection, 11th in run blocking).

The Seahawks are better now than they were in the playoff loss to the Cowboys. The question is: Are they good enough, as currently constituted, to match up against the NFC’s top outfits. Addressing the needs mentioned above won’t magically put them in the Super Bowl but it will give them much-needed depth at key positions and could possibly take them from fringe Super Bowl contender to one legit threat to win the conference.

Travis Homer Jersey

The Seahawks selected University of Miami running back Travis Homer in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

The Seahawks’ finally chose a defensive tackle, with their 10th and final choice in the draft.

Seattle used its 209th-overall pick obtained in a trade from Minnesota and selected defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas from Florida State.

Christmas is 6 feet 3 1/2 inches tall and 302 pounds, according to the Seahawks. He was third-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference for the Seminoles last season.

Seattle allowed 4.9 yards per rush last season, the worst of the Pete Carroll coaching era. Stopping the run is the bedrock tenet to Carroll’s system, which is why a run-stopping defensive tackle appeared to be a higher priority in this draft and beyond.

“I’m a run-stuffer,” Christmas said on the telephone from his family’s home in Bradenton, Fla., Saturday afternoon.

And there’s why he’s now a Seahawk.

Christmas said he played mostly three-technique tackle on Florida State’s defensive line, between the offense’s guard and tackle (the so-called “B” gap) and less straight up at nose tackle. Seattle’s base defense is a 4-3 with three-technique tackles.

The Seahawks used their first pick of round six on a running back, Travis Homer from Miami. Homer is 5-10 and 202 pounds.

Perhaps the reason Carroll wanted him. Look how he ran at times for Miami:

Straight ahead. Running over guys. That’s how Chris Carson became Seattle’s seventh-round pick as a part-time rusher at Oklahoma State two years ago. Carson is now the Seahawks’ featured back after his 1,151-yard rushing season in 2018.

Homer said when Carroll called him in Miami to say the Seahawks had drafted him “I really was speechless. When the coach called on the phone all I could say is ‘Yessir. Yessir.’ I couldn’t think of anything else to say…”

As for being a running back coming to the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense from 2018, Homer said: “That’s definitely an amazing thing. It’s definitely an opportunity…”

Then, a pause.

“Sorry,” he said. “I got a little choked up there.”

Homer and Christmas having their dreams comes true were the final two of 10 selections for Seattle in this weekend’s draft. The team began the week with an NFL-low four choices—then made seven trades to get up to 10 picks.

The Seahawks chose a defensive end, two safeties, two linebackers, two wide receivers, one guard, one running back and one defensive tackle.

Next up, an area in which the Seahawks have excelled under Carroll and general manager John Schneider: signing effective undrafted rookie free agents. Teams can sign those immediately after the seven-round draft ends Saturday afternoon.

Seattle has led the league in undrafted free agents on its active roster during recent seasons.

Ben Burr-Kirven Jersey

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The Seattle Seahawks picked up a local product in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft, selecting linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven out of the University of Washington.

“It’s cool because I had some familiarity, I’ve played here at the VMAC every year in camp, and I knew the coaches a little bit better than I probably would have at any other place,” Burr-Kirven told reporters Saturday after rookie practice. “So it has been a good transition. I’m just happy to stay in Seattle.”

But while Burr-Kirven might be familiar with the facilities and staff, his role on the defense is relatively new to him.

“It’s pretty different, honestly,” he explained. “I was playing Mike at UW, I was playing the true middle spot. I’m playing the Will here, which is a little bit different. So I’m doing a little bit more stuff outside of the box, getting out on receivers, that kind of stuff. So there’s definitely difference.”

Seattle selected Cody Barton out of Utah ahead of Burr-Kirven in the draft with the expectation the former Ute will be working into the middle linebacker position. Burr-Kirven is up to the challenge of moving to the outside.

“I think it’s just playing in space more,” Burr-Kirven said. “Mike you’re really in the box, you’re sifting through traffic more, and at the Will you’re more in space, playing out on running backs in the flat, covering receivers a little bit more. So it’s just a little more a space-driven game.”

Burr-Kirven and the rest of the Seahawks rookies and tryout players will have one more day to adjust to the NFL before wrapping up minicamp Sunday morning.

Ugochukwu Amadi Jersey

Oregon safety Ugochukwu Amadi (7), runs back a punt return for a touchdown against UCLA in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (AP Photo/Thomas Boyd)

Ugochukwu Amadi is staying in the Pacific Northwest

The former Oregon safety was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 132 overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.

Amadi said the Seahawks want him to play Nickel, corner, safety and contribute on special teams.

“My versatility is my strength,” Amadi said. “I know how to get the ball back to our offense, that’s my strength. I get the ball back. I’m very instinctive, quick, fast, I know how to play the deep ball. I’m your all-around DB.”

Amadi is the first Oregon player chosen in this year’s draft and becomes the highest a Ducks defensive back has been drafted since John Boyett (No. 192 in sixth round of 2013).

The Lombardi award winner as college football’s most versatile player, Amadi had 55 tackles with five for loss including 1.5 sacks, three interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, eight pass breakups and a forced fumble last season. He also averaged 15.93 yards per punt return, which would’ve ranked third nationally if he qualified statistically, with a touchdown.

Amadi was the first FBS player with two interception return touchdowns and a punt return touchdown in the same season since Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2015.

At the NFL Combine, Amadi ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, 12th of the 22 safeties and tied for 28th out of 54 players when including all defensive backs. His 20-yard shuttle time of 4.19 seconds was ninth among 16 safeties and he ran the 3-cone drill in 7.21 seconds, 13th among 14 safeties and 30th among 34 total defensive backs.

Amadi’s vertical jump of 32.5 inches was 21st among 24 safeties and 48th among 51 total defensive backs and his 9-feet-7-inch board jump tied for 21st among 25 safeties and tied for 48th out of 53 defensive backs.

Perhaps most impressive was his 18 reps at the bench press, which tied for seventh out of 21 safeties and tied for eighth out of 51 defensive backs considering his enormous 77-1/8-inch wingspan.

Phil Haynes Jersey

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The 11 players selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2019 NFL draft primarily represent depth additions for a team in need of some reinforcements on the bench and in the special teams.

However, in Pete Carroll’s competition-heavy culture, that means that each of these guys will be competing for starting jobs as well.

One player who has a good shot of winning a starting job is guard Phil Haynes, who was selected in the fourth round out of Wake Forest.

“Phil is a guy that we targeted early because of his makeup and his style of play,” Carroll commented after the draft. “We’re really excited about how our guards have been playing. You saw us go out and get Mike Iupati to go along with what D.J. [Fluker] has done. We thought early on that this is a guy that can fit in the mold of that. He’s going to be 340 pounds. He’s a really strong, really physical guy. He likes to finish blocks and knock guys down. He’s got an attitude about him. He just looked like he would fit the bill to compete with those guys.”

Seattle’s depth chart is pretty loaded at guard however, with Iupati and Fluker pencilled in as the starters and Jordan Simmons, Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt and Jordan Roos all on the roster as well.

It’s clear that Seattle has been targeting big, physical players at the guard position, a change that coincided with Seattle’s decision to bring on Mike Solari as their new offensive line coach.

“We’ve been shifting gears the last couple of years here and this is an indication of that,” Carroll continued. “It was really a guy that we had sighted from early on and John figured out where he would go and we were able to nail it specifically because of his makeup that kind of matched up with the guys that we’ve had some success with and we’re excited about it.”

Haynes will have to beat out Iupati and Simmons to start at left guard, his natural position. Carroll did say that Haynes will be able to play both guard positions in time, so perhaps they are grooming him to take over at right guard if/when Fluker moves on.

Plus, there is a considerable injury history between Fluker, Iupati and Simmons, so it makes sense for Haynes to be ready to play either guard spot.

Whether he starts the season on the bench or in the starting five remains to be seen, but it is clear that Carroll and company like what they have in Haynes.