File this under “Good problems to have” for the Seahawks going into the 2012 season:
So many players are performing at such a high level, that it’ll be hard for Pete Carroll, John Schneider and the rest of the team’s brass to decide who to keep.
With the first round of cuts already happening, giving us the unfortunate news that Deuce Lutui and Terrell Owens would be cleaning out their lockers, we were all reminded of the “always compete” philosophy and how it applies to everyone who joins this team — no matter how prolific or obscure.
Speaking of obscure, names like Jeron Johnson and Vai Taua are all words that were but a blip on the radar last season. Taua spent time on and off the team’s practice squad in 2011, and Johnson had a diminished role behind the Pro Bowl play of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Now, these names are among the three that are likely making final cuts an arduous process for Pete Carroll. Taua has been a solid blocker in the preseason, and Johnson’s contributions are making us worry less about depth at safety.
This a good problem to have. It’s also further reinforced my belief that the Seahawks front office has an uncanny eye for snagging talented undrafted free agents (see “Baldwin, Doug”). And there’s definitely no shortage of depth on the field at several positions for this team so far. That’s obvious to anyone who’s watched the preseason games. That said, here’s a brief list of fringe players I think have made a great case to stick around.
Charly Martin, WR
With two TD grabs in both of the past two preseason games, the former West Texas A&M standout has consistently impressed and showed very good chemistry with starting QB Russell Wilson. He only has one career catch with the Panthers in 2010, but his ceiling seems to have been lifted considerably in recent weeks. Watch for his name to be kept on the final 53 next week.
Cordarro Law, DE
Signed as a rookie free agent in April, Law has been quite the enforcer (sorry) all throughout OTAs and training camp. He had another great play in Friday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium when his sack of QB Matt Cassel forced a fumble, recovered by Jeron Johnson. If he makes the cut, he could be a valued depth addition behind Chris Clemons or Bruce Irvin.
Anthony McCoy, TE
Many fans have called for the dishonorable discharge of Stone Hands McCoy over the past two seasons, but he’s managed to stick around thanks in large part to solid blocking. This year, the pass-catching part of the tight end’s job has seemed to finally catch on with McCoy, as he had two impressive grabs amidst tight coverage for 47 yards on Friday, leading the team in receiving. If he keeps it up, the Seahawks won’t just have two excellent TEs on the roster.
Rishaw Johnson, G
The fact that the front office let go of both Deuce Lutui and Alex Barron suggests that they have more confidence in this undrafted free agent than we had previously suspected. Pete Carroll raved about his ability a few months ago, but that was in OTAs — long before the live bullets began firing. Johnson could add quality depth to an offensive line that’s looking more cohesive by the day.