Twenty-one of the players left after the Seahawks cut their roster to 53 on Saturday are rookies and first- or second-year players, and only 10 remain from the team coach Pete Carroll inherited 19 months ago.
Eleven rookies, including undrafted free agents Josh Portis, Doug Baldwin and Jeron Johnson. Nine second-year players, including three starters – left tackle Russell Okung, free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor.
Twenty-three players who are in their first season with the Seahawks, including seven or eight starters – quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, wide receiver Sidney Rice, tight end Zach Miller, left guard Robert Gallery, right guard John Moffitt, defensive tackle Alan Branch, cornerback Brandon Browner and possibly right tackle James Carpenter. Only 10 players left from the team coach Pete Carroll inherited in January of 2010.
That’s what the Seahawks were left with Saturday after making 27 roster moves to reach the NFL-mandated limit of 53 players. While it is a 53-man roster, just don’t call it the final 53-man roster. Not with ever-active general manager John Schneider in the building.
Telling players who have been with you through training camp and the preseason that their time has ended is not fun, especially for someone like Carroll who has been there.
“I remember getting cut back in the World League a million years ago,” Carroll said before making his latest rounds of moves. “And I still remember everything the guy said to me – every word of it.
“So we treat that with high regard. For the most part, the guys that have lasted this long for us, we trust and we could play with them on our football team. They’ve worked hard enough and learned enough to last this long and those guys could have a spot under some circumstances.”
With the remaining 53, youth isn’t just being served, Carroll and his coaching staff are counting on the young players to make plays – starting with next Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“We have some big personnel decision to make this weekend,” Carroll said after Friday night’s preseason finale – a 20-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
“Then we’ll (come) back on Monday, take advantage of the (extra) day and get a little bit of practice … and get ready for a big week to start off the season. I’m excited for that.”
Just as many of the players who survived Saturday’s cut were.
Jeron Johnson, a rookie free agent safety from Boise State, wasn’t sure what to expect after Friday night’s game. But he’s still around.
“I have no regrets over what I did,” Johnson said. “I feel I put everything out on the table. Everything I had to offer. Now it’s up to Mr. Schneider and coach Carroll. It’s out of my control.”
And here he is. It’s a similar story with Lemuel Jeanpierre, a second-year player who was on the practice squad last year; and Browner, who played the past four seasons in the CFL but likely will start at right cornerback against the 49ers; and Doug Baldwin, a rookie free agent receiver/returner from Stanford who was one of the stars of training camp and the preseason, but still wasn’t sure he’d make it past the cut to 53.
via Youth movement marches on.