By John Boyle
Terrell Owens was the center of attention when he arrived in Seattle last week, but because he was just returning to action after a year off, he did not suit up for last weekend’s preseason opener. This weekend, however, Owens will play against Denver, which will add an interesting subplot to the game. Owens has looked good so far in practice, but he is 37 and missed an entire season, so he still has plenty of questions to answer, and he’ll get a chance to start doing that Saturday night in Denver.
“Yeah, he’s going to play this weekend, he’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “He had two good weeks of work and he came in in great shape, so he’s ready to go. I’m not going to tell you how many plays it’ll be, we’ll see how it goes, but he’s going to play early in the game.”
As for why Owens didn’t play last week, Carroll explained, “I didn’t think it was fair for a guy to come in and play after one week, especially after sitting out a whole year. I’ve watched him and talked to him some about it, he feels great, he wants to play and I see that he looks very competitive on the field, he didn’t fatigue at all in any of the days, so he’s ready to go.”
When the Seahawks signed Braylon Edwards, then Owens (remember they also had Antonio Bryant for a bit) a lot of folks figured they were desperate at receiver and could be in trouble at that position, but Carroll said again Thursday that he doesn’t see it that way.
“I like our group a lot, and we’ve become even more competitive and more experienced with the guys who have come in to add to it,” he said. “We’ve just got to wait, we don’t have to do anything right now. We’ll just keep giving these guys turns at practice and get familiar and comfortable with them, and also see them in the games and add it all up together in the end. But it’s a really good position group for us right now, and I think John (Schneider) has done a great job to get guys to make it more competitive and feel like that.”
Sidney Rice, who finally got out of the red (no-contact) jersey this week, still isn’t ready for game action. Carroll won’t say who all won’t play Saturday, but one person you may not see again is Marshawn Lynch. It isn’t that Lynch is injured, but rather that there is little value in getting your star running back beat up in meaningless games. The Seahawks know what they have in Lynch, and he knows the offense, so he likely won’t see much action this preseason.
Carroll was asked if he has a plan for how they want to use Lynch in the preseason, and if he is willing to share it, and responded, “he answer is yes and no… You’ll have to wait and see.”
One other note, the Seahawks added center Kris O’Dowd, who played for Carroll at USC. O’Dowd went undrafted in 2011 and has bounced around with a couple of teams. He gives Seattle depth at center behind Max Unger with backup Lemuel Jeanpierre sidelined with a groin injury, and John Moffitt (a guard who can slide over to center) recovering from elbow surgery. Kicker Carson Wiggs was released to make room on the roster.