A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where it was actually Saturday because the team plays Saturday night in Denver against the Broncos:
Ben Obomanu. The versatile wide receiver and special teams standout has spent his first five summers with the Seahawks “on the bubble,” as one of the players fighting for one of the final spots on the 53-man roster.
Not this summer. Despite getting a late and slow start because of a sore shoulder, Obomanu looms large in the team’s plans – and he’ll get to show why against the Broncos after sitting out the first two preseason games.
“He’ll play a regular role,” coach Pete Carroll said when asked about Obomanu’s preseason debut, 2011 edition. “We’ll have him in and out the whole first half and into the second half.
“Ben has looked great. We’ve had him out here (in practice) quite a bit, but just not steady with going full speed with everybody. So you can of get glimpses of him.”
And what Obomanu has shown has been worth the wait, and not just this summer.
Because of injuries to other wide receivers, he started six games last season and responded with a career-high 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average and four touchdowns, which tied Deon Butler for the team lead. Obomanu added nine more catches in the two playoffs games, which tied for second most on the team.
“Ben started half the season last year and really made a difference for us, and he’s picked up right where he left off,” Carroll said.
There’s still a battle for roster spots among the wide receivers. Mike Williams and Sidney Rice are the starters, and the coaches want Golden Tate to develop into the slot receiver. Rookie Doug Baldwin has actually outperformed Tate working in the slot. There’s also fourth-round draft choice Kris Durham, a big target (6-6) with speed; rookie free agent Ricardo Lockette, a raw target with ridiculous speed; Butler, a third-round draft choice in 2009 who could start the season on the physically unable to perform list while completing his rehabbing from the severely broken leg that ended his 2010 season; versatile veteran Isaiah Stanback; and the hopeful trio of Patrick Williams, Chris Carter and just-signed Brandon Smith.
The Seahawks could carry as many as seven receivers, or as few as five – depending on the need to keep extra players at other positions. But it sounds like Obomanu’s days of counting bodies and matching them to roster spots are in the past tense.
“We’re really excited about him being a part of it,” Carroll said. “In and out of the lineup, doing all of the special team things. So it’s good.”
ON THE FIELD
The players had a short walk-thru this morning before the team flew to Denver for Saturday night’s game.
The players will be off on Sunday, and then face a short week to prepare for next Friday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
The 90-man roster must be trimmed to 80 players by Tuesday, with the cut to 53 set for next Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Just move the ball. We want to move the ball and put some points on the board. We want to show improvement. We want to be better than we were last week. We want to cut the penalties down to zero, if possible. Execute the passing game, the running game. Just make sure we’re hitting on all cylinders because this will be probably our last test of the preseason before the regular season starts.” – QB Tarvaris Jackson, on what he hopes to accomplish against the Broncos after two scoreless outings by the No. 1 offense to start the preseason