Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 2:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at the bubble players as the Seahawks prepare to play their preseason finale tonight against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field and then cut their 80-man roster to 53 players on Saturday. Offers O’Neil: “Safety Jeron Johnson packed for an entire season. Receiver Doug Baldwin brought enough clothes for about three days. Johnson has at least 20 pairs of sneakers in his hotel room. Baldwin has all of one jacket. While they packed differently, the two undrafted rookies share an objective: earning one of the 53 roster spots available when the Seahawks’ season opens. Friday’s exhibition game against Oakland at 7:30 p.m. is their chance to make a closing statement.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribune checks in with second-year wide receiver Golden Tate, who has been outplayed by Baldwin in the preseason. Says Williams: “Tate, a second-year receiver out of Notre Dame, certainly has had his share of struggles during exhibition play, including a pair of costly drops – one that turned into an interception return for a touchdown against Minnesota. But coach Pete Carroll lauded Tate before training camp started as one of the players he had high expectations for this season, and he doesn’t appear ready to give up on the team’s second-round pick from last year. Carroll expects Tate to play a lot in the league’s final exhibition game tonight against Oakland.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune has a blog item asking about the Seahawks’ best catch ever, and prompted by the one rookie free agent Ricardo Lockette made in practice on Wednesday. Says Boling: “Ricardo Lockette may not even make this team or ever play in an NFL game. He has some amazing physical talents, though. But for one afternoon, the guy made some jaws drop with the best catch I’ve ever seen.”

Christian Caple at PI.com offers five things to watch in tonight’s game, including right tackle – where first-round draft choice James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini have been splitting time practice this week and likely will share the duties tonight. Says Caple: “James Carpenter has nothing to worry about when it comes to making the team. That’s obvious. But what the rookie right tackle still must prove is that he belongs in the starting lineup, as well. Carpenter, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, was dubbed the starting right tackle the day he was selected. But poor play against Denver last week and some struggles in practice have led to some questions about whether he’s ready to battle first-team defenses in the NFL just yet. That’s why Breno Giacomini has been splitting reps with the first-team offense at right tackle.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has five things to know about the Seahawks, including this one: “4. Leroy Hill lives: A year or two ago, it would have been unthinkable to hold up Hill as the Seattle linebacker whose future with the team appeared brighter than the futures of (Lofa) Tatupu or Aaron Curry. Tatupu had been to three Pro Bowls. Curry was the fourth player chosen in the 2009 draft. Hill was coming off a serious injury and multiple off-field incidents. Tatupu is gone. A restructuring for Curry chopped off two years from his rookie deal and made 2011 quite possibly his final one with the team. Hill, meanwhile, has recaptured the aggressive, borderline violent form that made him a potential rising star a few years ago.”

Pat Kirwan at NFL.com takes a look at the NFC West, including the tough schedule awaiting each of the four teams: “All four teams have to face the NFC East and the AFC North. Of the eight teams in those two stacked divisions, the only one that had a losing record in non-conference games last season was the Bengals. Every NFC West team will now face the Steelers, Ravens, Eagles and Giants, who had a combined record of 44-20 last year.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the rookie free agent class that had GM John Schneider excited from the day the team signed them and those left who continue to impress coach Pete Carroll. Says Carroll: “It has been a really good group of guys. We’ve been excited about the quarterback, for sure, in Josh; and Baldwin’s had a great camp; Ricardo Lockette’s done stuff consistently for us; Mike Morgan has played well for us on the defensive side. There have been a number of guys. It’s really added to the draft class and made it a very competitive group. And it’s been exciting from the beginning.”

There’s a look at Thursday’s practice in words and video, as well, and Tony Ventrella also has his video preview of tonight’s game.


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