Competition brewing in Seattle with wide receivers, offensive linemen

Published on May 6, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

deion-butler1Jim Mora was honest. Not every position on the Seattle Seahawks roster will be up for competition throughout the summer.

But some will. And they’ll be very interesting to watch.

“Competition’s healthy. That’s what you want,” Mora said as the Seahawks concluded their post-draft minicamp on Sunday. “Like I said, you want everybody to feel like they’ve got to compete for a spot on the team and compete for a spot as a starter. It’s not reality, but there’ll be some spots that we really got to keep our eye on.”

Among the most interesting spots will be the interior of the offensive line. Guard Rob Sims is returning from a torn pectoral muscle that cost him almost the entire 2008 season, center Chris Spencer missed the latter part of last season with an injured back and guard Mike Wahle was a spectator at minicamp this week while still recovering from shoulder surgery.

Spencer and Sims both participated in this weekend’s practices, but Wahle’s injury allowed second-round pick Max Unger to step in right away. Unger more than held his own, even while his head continued swimming trying to learn the Seahawks’ playbook.

“You could say that,” Unger joked. “It’s a pro-style offense with a big, big playbook.”

Unger, who played both tackle and center at Oregon, was taken in the second round after Seattle traded up to get the versatile lineman. Mora said he wants Unger to learn left guard for now before potentially moving to any other spots on the line.

Along with the potential competition on the offensive line, Mora believes the defensive line and reserve wide receivers will be intriguing to watch as the Seahawks progress through the summer. Seattle added Colin Cole and Cory Redding to its defensive line in the offseason, and drafted Oregon’s Nick Reed to push the likes of Darryl Tapp and 2008 first-round draft pick Lawrence Jackson.

The receiver situation could go until the end of training camp in September. The signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and drafting of Deon Butler only adds to a deep unit that’s full of questions as the likes of Nate Burleson, Deion Brach and Logan Payne come back from injuries.

QUICK HITS: Seattle’s veteran’s will have OTAs — organized team activities — next week, while the rookies will be off for a couple of weeks. Seattle’s next mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 10-12. … Mora said all injured players who didn’t participate in minicamp — including defensive end Patrick Kerney, defensive tackle Cory Redding, defenstive tackle Colin Cole and wide receiver Deion Branch — are all still on schedule to be ready for training camp in late July. “We’re probably playing it safe with some of those guys, but that’s OK. The older a player gets, I think the safer you have to play it.”

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