Seattle Seahawks

3 training camp battles to watch for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy carries the ball during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/AP photo

The Seattle Seahawks have some questions that need to be answered in training camp before the 2017 season. Seattle has a ton of upside and still has the talent to be a Super Bowl contender, assuming it can address a few areas of need. While training camp will be about addressing issues, it’s also about position battles, and they have a few worth monitoring. Let’s check out three with plenty of intrigue surrounding them.

Thomas Rawls vs. Eddie Lacy vs. C.J. Prosise

Prosise is likely to be the third-down running back, which is probably a perfect role, but he could push his way up in this competition. Regardless, the battle among Rawls, Lacy and Prosise has the potential to be one of the best and most anticipated of any training camp.

The question might really come down to what type of shape Lacy is in. If he can revert to his form of 2013-14, when he tallied 2,317 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns total, then it’d be hard to bet against him. Plus, Rawls looked pretty mediocre in nine games last season, averaging 3.2 yards per carry with just 349 rushing yards and three scores. Calling this one could be tough, but you’d have to imagine that a faster and equally as powerful Lacy has the edge.

Luke Willson vs. Nick Vannett

While the Seahawks opted to bring back tight end Willson on a one-year deal, it almost seemed to be insurance to make sure that Vannett is ready. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported, Vannett is going to get “a lot more playing time” than last year. He played just 84 snaps last season, so that’s not surprising.

Willson might hold onto the No. 2 tight end job behind Jimmy Graham during training camp, but don’t be surprised to see Vannett, the second-year player and former third-round draft pick, to really push him. There’s a very strong reason to believe that Vannett could be the tight end of the future in Seattle, and this offseason and the upcoming regular season will be his opportunity to prove that he’s ready to handle that role.

Tyler Lockett vs. Jermaine Kearse

It’s easy to make the argument that Lockett is better served as a slot receiver, but he has proven capable of producing in many ways. I’m not sure that it would make sense just yet for Lockett to take over as the No. 2 wide receiver, but the third-year pro will keep pushing. He saw a decline in production last season, catching 10 fewer passes for almost 70 fewer yards, but the biggest dropoff was his five touchdown decrease.

Neither Lockett nor Kearse could find the end zone last season, though, as both caught just one touchdown. If Lockett can revert to his touchdown-scoring ways, one could easily argue that he should see more offensive snaps than he did in 2016. According to Football Outsiders, Kearse played 78.2 percent of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps and Lockett played 52.7 percent. Expect those numbers to get quite a bit closer depending on how training camp plays out.


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