The Seahawks, who launch the 2011 season in a week, have established their 53-man roster, but given recent history it might as well be written in invisible ink.
After making 27 more roster moves, the Seahawks have settled — at least for this nanosecond in time — on the 53 players who will allegedly begin the 2011 season sporting Seattle togs. The latest round of roster roulette involved no surprises (well, perhaps a minor one), except maybe for the fact that the “Final 53” includes 10 players who wore a Seattle uniform prior to the arrival of head coach Pete Carroll in January of 2010.
How come so many?
Surely among the 300-plus roster moves made by Carroll and GM John Schneider over the past 19 months, they could have found a way to weed out the 10 stragglers who predate the Carroll-Schneider regime. Of course, in the midst of an unprecedented transaction blizzard like this one it is possible the 10 simply represent a collective oversight. Even if the 10 don’t, all could be gone by tomorrow. At the very least, each has a looming expiration date.
Carroll and Schneider have been so pit-bull aggressive at revamping Seattle’s roster that one has to wonder, given their mission of eradicating his legacy, how Tim Ruskell ever got a top job in the National Football League. Schneider’s predecessor, Ruskell had four opportunities to select a No. 1 draft choice during his tenure (2005-09) in Seattle.
Without a whit of sentiment, and nary an explanation, Carroll-Schneider have already disposed of three of them — Chris Spencer (2005), Kelly Jennings (2006) and Lawrence Jackson (2008) leaving only LB Aaron Curry to provide any evidence that Ruskell was ever allowed to botch the team’s building blocks.
And even though Curry will be in the starting lineup when the Seahawks open their season at San Francisco on Sept. 11, many already consider the Wake Forest stud a dud tilting toward bust, considering he was the fourth player overall taken in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Carroll-Schneider have not only targeted Ruskell’s first-round picks for mass extinction, they have rooted through the weeds of all of his drafts. Of the 17 players that Ruskell selected in the first three rounds during his tenure, just seven remain in these parts.
Of those, five (Curry, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Max Unger, Leroy Hill) will start against the 49ers. Two others, TE John Carlson and WR Deon Butler, are injured and out either for the year (Carlson) or for at least the first six weeks of the season (Butler).
Carroll-Schneider have slashed their scythes at more than Ruskell’s drafts. Sixteen players received the majority of offensive plays in 2009, the season before Carroll escaped impending doom at USC, and the only season for Jim Mora Jr. Just one, Unger, is still on the roster. Fourteen players formed the core of Seattle’s 2009 defense. Just four remain.
One of those core players departed Saturday with the release of DT Colin Cole, whose jettisoning is surprising only to the extent that he started 26 games over the past two seasons. But given the Carroll-Schneider propensity for roster churn and expunging Ruskell’s misdeeds, Cole’s tenure here practically makes him the “Iron Man” of the franchise, and worthy of an invitation to hoist the 12th Man Flag.
Future Seahawk Ring of Honor nominees might be judged exclusively on how many games they played — perhaps even how many snaps they experienced — rather than on how well they performed, or on their statistical achievements, since it appears that no player is going to last long enough in Seattle to enjoy more than two helpings of salmon.
Seattle’s 53-man roster — at least for the moment — features 23 players who will mark their first seasons with the club. It has 11 rookies, including a pair of undrafted free agents. It has nine second-year players, three of whom will start. Can any current player correctly identify all 52 of his teammates by name? And do incoming players rent hotel/motel rooms by the hour?
The quarterback (Tarvaris Jackson) will be new. So will one wide receiver (Sidney Rice) and the tight end (Zach Miller). Except for Russell Okung’s chronically bad ankles (now almost as infamous as Erik Bedard’s bad shoulder), the offensive line is virtually unrecognizable, which may be of some benefit to its occupants given the number of preseason sacks collectively allowed.
In any event, next Sunday, Seahawks fans will have the opportunity to root for an unprecedented amount of unfamiliar laundry.
Seattle’s 53-Man Roster, By Position
— Offensive line: OT Russell Okung, OG Robert Gallery, C Max Unger, OG John Moffitt, OT James Carpenter/OT Breno Giacomini (starters); OT-OG Tyler Polumbus, OG-OT Paul McQuistan, C-OG Lemuel Jeanpierre.
Final Cuts To 53 Players
— Placed on injured reserve: TE John Carlson, WR Isaiah Stanback, DL Jimmy Wilkerson.
— Physically Unable To Perform: WR Deon Butler, CB Roy Lewis, TE Cameron Morrah.
— Waived/injured: DE Pierre Allen (hamstring).
— Released: FB Dorson Boyce, WR Chris Carter, RB Thomas Clayton, DT Colin Cole, CB Kennard Cox, OG Paul Fanaika, DL Maurice Fountain, OL Mike Gibson, DE David Howard, LB Michael Johnson, LB/DE Jameson Konz, FS Mark LeGree, WR Ricardo Lockette, LB Mike Morgan, S Josh Pinkard, OT William Robinson, DE A.J. Schable, WR Owen Spencer, RB Vai Taua, WR Patrick Williams.
SEAHAWKS 2011 SCHEDULE / RESULTS
|Date||Opponent||Line||Result / Last Time||Rec.|
|Sept. 11||at San Francisco||TBA||49ers 40-21, 2010||0-0|
|Sept. 18||at Pittsburgh||TBA||Steelers 21-0, 2007||0-0|
|Sept. 25||vs. Arizona||TBA||Sea 36-18, 2010||0-0|
|Oct. 2||vs. Atlanta||TBA||Falcons 34-18, 2010||0-0|
|Oct. 9||at N.Y. Giants||TBA||Giants 41-7, 2010||0-0|
|Oct. 16||BYE WEEK|
|Oct. 23||at Cleveland||TBA||Browns 33-30, 2007||0-0|
|Oct. 30||vs. Cincinnati||TBA||Sea 24-21, 2007||0-0|
|Nov. 6||at Dallas||TBA||Cowboys 38-17, 2009||0-0|
|Nov. 13||vs. Baltimore||TBA||Sea 27-6, 2007||0-0|
|Nov. 20||at St. Louis||TBA||Seattle 16-6, 2010||0-0|
|Nov. 27||vs. Washington||TBA||Redskins 20-17, 2008||0-0|
|Dec. 1||vs. Philadelphia||TBA||Eagles 26-7, 2008||0-0|
|Dec. 12||vs. St. Louis||TBA||Sea 16-6, 2010||0-0|
|Dec. 18||at Chicago||TBA||Bears 35-18, 2011 (P)||0-0|
|Dec. 24||vs. San Francisco||TBA||49ers 40-21, 2010||0-0|
|Jan. 1||at Arizona||TBA||Sea 36-18, 2010||0-0|