Receivers Looking to Gain Separation

In a search for their third and fourth receivers behind Bobby Engram and Nate Burleson, the Seahawks are trying every different combination during training camp to see which ones work.

The process has been stunted somewhat by a hamstring injury to Courtney Taylor, the player most project as the third wide receiver. However, he regularly gets nicked up, adding an element of concern.

With Taylor on the sideline, Logan Payne got a lot of work as the third wide receiver early in camp, but that has since switched to Ben Obomanu. Both players thrived with the first team, though Obomanu probably has looked stronger in part because he has a year more of experience and is the only player with game experience.

In reality, in a three-receiver set, Engram slides to the slot and Burleson and Obomanu are the outside receivers. Very often in camp so far, the four-receiver set has included a running back -- usually Maurice Morris -- being the fourth receiver.

Though he may not be ready yet, Jordan Kent also has had an impressive camp, and his 53-yard reception behind the defense in Saturday's scrimmage showed why the coaches are so enamored of his potential. He did not start playing until his junior season in college and has improved exponentially.

The Seahawks have an interesting decision to make with Kent because if they try to place him on the practice squad, he is likely to be snapped up. But they don't really have a roster spot for him, especially if they decide not to place Deion Branch on the PUP because they think he may be ready sooner rather than later.

Another wide receiver who has emerged is Washington State alum Michael Bumpus, who practices hard -- which Mike Holmgren loves -- and who continues to make impressive catches, including a 23-yard touchdown reception in the scrimmage after getting hit hard while he was catching the ball.

Bumpus is a good candidate for the practice squad, and he and Kent could have a future with the team if Engram is not re-signed after the season.

CAMP CALENDAR: Camp closes Aug. 21. Team moves to its new facility in Renton on Aug. 18.

NOTES, QUOTES

-- Second-year wide receiver Jordan Kent, who ran track at Oregon, said he is not wistful about the Olympics, which begin this Friday, the same day as Seattle's first preseason game. He said he is concentrating on his new career and has no time to reflect on what-ifs. Plus, he said, while he ran against some of the athletes competing in the Olympics, he never really threatened to beat them. "One or two seconds can separate an Olympic athlete and the rest of the world," Kent said. "There is not really a middle class in track."

-- Backup center Chris Gray, who wrenched his back on the second day of training camp, flew home to Alabama to see his family and recover. The team is hoping he can come back this week.

-- Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu does not want to wear the speaker in the helmet that defensive players are permitted to have this season. Same goes for safety Brian Russell. Which means that safety Deon Grant is the most likely candidate. "I don't know if it will be an advantage or a disadvantage," Grant said. "We haven't even talked about it yet, to be honest. I don't think I am going to be able to hear anything anyway with all the noise at Qwest Field. But if they pumped music into that thing, the other team might be in trouble."

-- The littlest man on the field made some of the biggest plays in Saturday's scrimmage. Justin Forsett, who is listed as 5-8, 194 pounds but is closer to 5-5 and 175 pounds, broke off a 33-yard run on a draw play and led the team with 51 yards on nine carries, plus added two receptions. "He's a great little guy, a tough guy, and I'm pulling for him," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "We'll see how it goes."

QUOTABLE: "We were traveling one time, I get all the way to my hotel room. I find I have a 10-pound weight in my book bag. I thought my book bag was kind of heavy. And I was like, 'What is this weight doing in here?' They made me carry it all the way back to the weight room. I was going to get fined if I didn't bring it back." Second-year cornerback Josh Wilson, recalling what it was like to get hazed as a rookie.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

-- CB DeMichael Dizer was placed on injured reserve after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Dizer was not likely to make the 53-man roster.

-- C Ben Claxton was signed to a contract because the Seahawks' first two centers, Chris Spencer and Chris Gray, are injured and two guards have been used as emergency backups.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Ben Obomanu vs. Logan Payne for third WR -- With Courtney Taylor nursing a hamstring injury, Obomanu has been working with the first team in the three wide receiver set. He has done well, catching a 13-yard pass for a TD in Saturday's scrimmage. Payne continues to catch everything thrown to him, but he cracked a rib in Saturday's scrimmage and will be sitting out for a few days at least.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Howard Green moved into the second unit along the defensive line after Red Bryant was lost of the preseason. ... Josh Wilson and Kevin Hobbs are fighting for the fifth cornerback spot, though Wilson appears to have the upper hand. ... T.J. Duckett has been impressive in camp so far, warranting more carries in the backfield. It appears he may get the bulk of the carries late in the game.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: RB Justin Forsett - Listed at 5-8, 194 pounds, Forsett has forced coaches to take notice because of his willingness to stick his head in against blitzing linebackers. He even knocked a few backward last week. His offense was on display in the team's scrimmage, when he took a draw play, ran into a defender, bounced off and broke it to the outside for 33 yards. He had 51 yards on nine carries and two receptions in the scrimmage, leading all backs. He still is a long shot to make a team keeping five running backs, but he is likely to be chosen for the practice squad if it gets to that point.

ROOKIE REPORT: First-round pick Lawrence Jackson continues to battle for a starting spot with Darryl Tapp. ... Second-round pick John Carlson is being ridden hard by the coaching staff, but it is because they have big expectations from him as a starter. ... Fourth-round pick Red Bryant tore cartilage in his knee and is out for at least a month. ... Fifth-round pick Owen Schmitt is a solid blocker and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He is the second fullback on the depth chart. ... PK Brandon Coutu is holding his own against veteran Olindo Mare, making a 56-yarder to end Saturday's scrimmage. However, he missed a 48-yarder and a 51-yarder, and he is outdistanced by Mare's kickoff distance.

INJURY REPORT:

-- WR Deion Branch is out with a knee injury. The team says he could be back the first week of the season. Common sense says not until October.
-- P Ryan Plackemeier is out with a pectoral injury. He may start punting this week.
-- DT Marcus Tubbs (knee) could begin doing drills this week.
-- LB Will Herring has an undetermined illness that makes his joints swell. He is out for the foreseeable future.
-- C Chris Spencer (back) could begin practicing this week or next week.
-- C Chris Gray (back) could begin practicing this week.
-- T Floyd Womack (knee) may miss three or four days.
-- DE Patrick Kerney (calf) may begin practicing lightly this week.
-- DT Larry Tripplett suffered a leg injury and is likely to miss up to a week.
-- TE Jeb Putzier (hip) has missed a week and could be out for another week.
-- LB Eric Wicks suffered an ankle injury and it likely out for 3-4 days.
-- LB Matt Castelo (knee) is likely to miss 3-4 days.
-- WR Logan Payne broke a rib and is out until it heals with rest.
-- DT Nu'u Tafisi has a knee injury and is out for up to a week.
-- T Kyle Williams injured his knee and is out for 3-4 days.
-- DT Red Bryant tore cartilage in his knee and will miss 4-5 weeks.

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