By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
RENTON — Braylon Edwards made an early statement for earning a roster spot with the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason opener against Tennessee, hauling in a 39-yard touchdown pass.
But the 29-year-old veteran receiver understands that’s just the beginning; he has to put together another strong performance this Saturday in Denver.
A late addition to the Seattle’s roster four days into training camp, the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Edwards has the size and speed to develop into a power receiver for the Seahawks. And two weeks into training camp, Edwards has showed that he has fully recovered from offseason knee surgery, consistently creating explosive plays in practice and games.
But with Seattle recently signing 38-year-old veteran Terrell Owens, and with young players like second-year pros Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham battling to earn their time on the field, Edwards knows he has to take advantage of every rep.
“It definitely drives me,” Edwards said. “We definitely have some guys that are notable, as well as guys that are out here working hard and making plays. So you definitely want to be at the top of your game every practice because you don’t get many opportunities. So when you get them you’ve got to make them count.”
Currently, Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu are the starting receivers on the team’s official depth chart released for the first time this week. Sidney Rice is not listed as a starter because he will not play against Denver, after being allowed to participate in contact practices for the first time in practice this week.
Edwards is listed as the team’s third-team split end behind Tate and Durham.
With 13 receivers on the roster, Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown is in charge of getting each a fair look, rotating receivers through a scripted session for each practice, with specific plays in mind for each player.
“Like any good player, he just has to get comfortable with the offense,” Brown said about Edwards. “But that will come with time. And he’s already shown good play-making ability, and we’re pleased with that.”
One player that Edwards has developed a nice rapport with is starting quarterback Matt Flynn. The duo has connected on several deep plays and touchdowns in the red zone during training camp, and Edwards appears to be a target that Flynn seeks out under duress.
“He’s a big receiver, good hands, good route runner — so there’s not much to not like there,” Edwards said. “He’s done a very nice job. He’s making a lot of plays for us and especially down the field. He’s a big threat because he’s a big, athletic kind of guy. And he has great concentration.”
Flynn says QB job still up for grabs
Matt Flynn found he would start at quarterback this week in Denver not unlike others who follow the Seahawks — during a radio interview.
“I’m finding out along with you guys,” joked Flynn. “I found out from you guys before I found out from anybody else yesterday (Tuesday). I’m just going where they tell me to go and doing the best I can.”
Flynn said he talked with Pete Carroll after the interview to get the official word from the head coach. And even though he’s starting a second straight exhibition game, Flynn said he doesn’t assume he’ll be the starter for the team’s season opener in Arizona.
“I don’t feel like I have an inside track or anything like that,” he said. “I’m just going out there, putting my hard hat on every day and working.”
One thing Flynn will look to improve on is creating some explosive plays down the field. Although Flynn was an efficient 11-of-13 for 71 yards against the Tennessee, his longest completion was for 14 yards to tight end Zach Miller.
“We’ll see what they do,” Flynn said of the Broncos in Saturday’s preseason game. “We’ll see what kind of defense they are giving us. It’s not like we didn’t have anything down the field called. You can’t force it down the field.
“Sometimes they call the right defense at the right time. If it’s not there, check it down and go to the next play.”
Fullback Michael Robinson and safety Jeron Johnson returned to practice after sitting out for unspecified injuries on Tuesday. … Linebackers Matt McCoy (knee) and Malcolm Smith (hamstring), defensive ends Cordarro Law (ankle) and Pierre Allen (unknown), cornerback Ron Parker, tight end Zach Miller (concussion) and offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) remained sidelined on Wednesday. They were joined by center Lemuel Jeanpierre (groin) wide receiver Golden Tate, tight ends Anthony McCoy and Cameron Morrah and linebacker Mike Morgan. Cornerback Walter Thurmond (leg) and offensive lineman James Carpenter (knee) remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.