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Wednesday cyber surfing: Obomanu, Butler battling roster bubble; Sweezy excelling

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 29.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at veteran wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who finds himself in a familiar position as the team nears it’s 53-man roster cut Friday, “Obomanu used to be one of those young guys taking aim at a veteran’s gig as he came to a team with established receivers like Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram. ‘First couple of years, that was the obstacle,’ Obomanu said. ‘Trying to compete as a low pick against guys that had big contracts that were new to the team. I had a lot of big guys in front of me the first couple of years.’ He outlasted big-ticket additions like Nate Burleson and Deion Branch. He made the team in 2010, a year the Seahawks paid T.J. Houshmandzadeh more than $6 million to go away. But this week he is once again one of the guys who’s playing for a job, not taking anything for granted while doing everything he can so he can buy his folks plane tickets for the first home game. Of course, that won’t happen until after Friday.”

O’Neil also catches up with wide receiver Deon Butler, who he thinks many have overlooked in the wide receiver competition for a roster spot, “Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are locks to make this team. Braylon Edwards is almost certainly going to get an opportunity as he’s built for the jump-ball sideline routes that have been a stale of the exhibition gameplans. But when the Seahawks roster is finalized this week, Butler and Obomanu are very strong candidates to round out the receivers. But nothing is given so is Butler feeling comfortable? ‘I’ve been comfortable for a long time,’ Butler said. ‘I’ve been just confident in my abilities and myself. I just feel like there’s a place for me in this league. Hopefully it’s here.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune speaks to the learning curve and adversity that rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin is facing this preseason, “Two rookie pass rushers drafted after Irvin, the Jets’ Quinton Coples (three sacks) and the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram (two sacks) have been more productive statistically. Todd Wash, Seahawks defensive line coach, is not worried over Irvin’s progress at this point. ‘We’ve seen so much development,’ Wash said. ‘The first couple (games) we were seeing some apprehension with his get-off, (being) unsure of things; I think there was a lot of thinking going on.’ Wash said that in the third exhibition game, against Kansas City, Irvin had several quarterback pressures and near sacks. ‘We saw him starting to threaten guys on the edge, and he’s using his hands better every day,’ he said. ‘(At practice) today he had three of the best rushes he’s had so far.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that rookie offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy – who played defensive line in college -  is exceeding expectations thus far, “When offensive line coach Tom Cable went to work Sweezy out before the draft, he asked a defensive player, one who had not played offensive line since he was eight years old, how he felt about changing positions. Cable liked what he saw of Sweezy in that workout, and just importantly, what he heard, and that was enough for the Seahawks to take a flier in the seventh round on a defensive lineman who they thought might just be able to make a successful transition to the other side of the ball. ‘He answered the question right,’ Cable said. ‘When I asked, ‘I’m here to work you as an offensive lineman, not a defensive lineman, are you all right with that?’ His answer was, ‘Yeah, I’ll do whatever it takes.’ That’s the right answer. It’s not, ‘Well, does this mean I don’t get to play D-line?’ You don’t want to hear that crap. You just want to know, ‘Hey, do you want to go for this or not?’ And right from the beginning, he did, and that made it easy.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press also comments on Sweezy’s contributions, “Clearly, the Seahawks underestimated just how fast Sweezy could make the change. He’s already started a pair of preseason games – two weeks ago in Denver and last week at Kansas City. Sweezy could get a third start on Thursday night when the Seahawks close out the preseason hosting Oakland. Sweezy has taken advantage of starting right guard John Moffitt missing time during training camp after requiring elbow surgery. Moffitt returned to practice this week and may play against the Raiders, but it’s Sweezy who has continued to get work with the No. 1 offense. Seattle (No. 22 in the APPro32) was so impressed with Sweezy’s improvement the team felt comfortable releasing experienced veteran guard Deuce Lutui during the first round of cuts last weekend. ‘We thought maybe he’ll make the practice squad and develop later on in the season,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ‘Well, that development came within the first four to five days of camp.’ “

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” in which quarterback Russell Wilson joined the program, “Russell Wilson’s mobility helped him lead Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl during his final collegiate season, it added to his appeal when the Seahawks took him in the third round of April’s NFL draft, and it’s been evident in three preseason game in which Wilson has been good enough to win a job as a starter. But never has his mobility been the main reason for Wilson’s success. While it’s part of his game, it doesn’t define him as a quarterback. Wilson often finds ways to subtly mention that when the topic comes up, as if to dispel any notion that he’s a run-first quarterback. The latest reminder – as if we needed one – came Tuesday when Wilson joined ‘Brock and Salk’ and was asked about what goes through his head when he decides to tuck the ball and run. ‘I never, ever think about running the football. I’m always wanting to throw the ball and if something closes, if I go through my progression and it closes, it’s like, ‘Bam.’ It happens so fast and you’re out. You’re just trying to get something positive,’ he said.”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his report from Tuesday’s practice session, including a note on running back Marshawn Lynch, “Running back Marshawn Lynch watched practice wearing sweats. He has been receiving treatment for a sore, tight back. According to coach Pete Carroll, Lynch will not play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Oakland.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his notes from Tuesday’s practice, and catches up with rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “Wagner has taken over as the starting middle linebacker replacing LB David Hawthorne. Head coach Pete Carroll said at the end of last season they would be looking to get faster on defense. Linebacker appared to be the primary focus of where the team was looking to add that speed. Wagner fills that role. He’s a rangy, albeit somewhat small at just 6-feet tall but has come along way in taking over the defensive calls and making sure the defensive line is aligned properly. ‘I took a lot of pride in that because a lot of middle linebackers do that,’ Wagner said. ‘…I was going to mess up, but make sure I got it right the next time.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at eight ‘elite’ 2011 NFC West draft choices who enter their second year having secured starting positions. For Seattle, that includes linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Richard Sherman, “Linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Richard Sherman became starters as rookies. Both appear to be ascending rapidly. Wright impressed during camp with physical play. He stays on the field in nickel situations. Sherman was arguably the Seahawks’ best corner by season’s end, no small feat. Wright is 6-foot-4. Sherman is 6-3. These are rangy defenders with bright futures. Seattle would ideally have four projected starters from this class, but it’s looking like offensive linemen James Carpenter (first) and John Moffitt (third) will enter the season as backups. Rookie seventh-rounder J.R. Sweezy has played very well since replacing an injured Moffitt. Breno Giacomini won the job at right tackle after Carpenter suffered a season-ending knee injury last year. Carpenter could start at some point this season, probably at left guard. Moffitt could back up the three inside spots if Sweezy sticks in the lineup.”

Sando also has his updated outlook for Seahawks 2011 first-round draft pick James Carpenter, “There were even rumblings Carpenter, a first-round draft choice in 2011, would miss the season entirely after suffering a severe knee injury during a November practice.  The outlook has changed. While teams around the league have begun placing players on their physically unable to perform lists, Carpenter stayed on the roster at the reduction to 75 players. If he remains active at the reduction to 53 on Friday, which now seems likely, Carpenter could factor into Seattle’s plans much earlier than once anticipated. Players on the PUP list must miss the first six weeks.”

Michael Lombardi of NFL.com has his list of “blue chip” and “red chip” players on offense and defense. Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger, and Red Bryant make his list as “blue chip” players, while Earl Thomas makes the list as a “red chip” player.

Don Banks of SI.com labels the Seahawks quarterback depth as one of the League’s “winners” of Week 3 of the preseason, “We just found out Pete Carroll will ride the hot hand of rookie Russell Wilson, rather than go with the slightly more experienced free-agent signee Matt Flynn, but that’s the two best choices the Seahawks have had at quarterback in quite some time. No offense to Charlie Whitehurst, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace, but no offense pretty much summed up the state of things in Seattle before this preseason. Wilson, the “short” quarterback who some said wouldn’t even get drafted, is the clear-cut story of the 2012 preseason. Score yet another one for the science that is NFL draft scouting.”

Starting quarterback Russell Wilson appeared on NFL Total Access yesterday. You can watch the video here.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his notes from Tuesday in ‘Hawkville‘, and says that backup quarterback Matt Flynn was a full participant in practice, “The backup quarterback was able to throw more in today’s practice than he has since an inflamed muscle in the right elbow started acting up last week. Flynn took part in all phases of practice, a good sign that he’ll be able to play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. It also was Flynn’s longest on-field stint since coach Pete Carroll announced on Sunday that rookie Russell Wilson had won the starting job. So Flynn needs to begin taking advantage of whatever opportunities come his way.”