Seahawks-Chargers Preseason Preview

NorthwestFootball.net takes a look at what to expect as the 2009 Seattle Seahawks take their first step towards bouncing back from a disappointing 4-12 season in 2008.

Seattle Seahawks (0-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-0)

Preseason Series: Saturday night will mark the tenth time the Seahawks and Chargers have squared off in the preseason, with the Seahawks holding a 5-4 edge in the series. It will be the seventh time they've played in the preseason since the Seahawks were realigned to the NFC West in 2002, with six of the seven meetings taking place in Qualcomm Stadium, including the Chargers' 18-17 win over the ‘Hawks on ESPN in week 3 of the 2008 preseason.

Notable Newcomers
San Diego Chargers
Kevin Burnett, LB (UFA, Dallas)

Seattle
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR (UFA, Cincinnati)
Colin Cole, DT (UFA, Green Bay)
John Owens, TE (UFA, Detroit)
Ken Lucas, CB (UFA, Carolina)

2009 Draft Class
San Diego
Larry English, LB, Northern Illinois (1st round, 16th overall)
Louis Vazquez, G, Texas Tech (3rd round, 78th overall)
Vaughn Martin, DE, Western Ontario (4th round, 113th overall)
Tyronne Greene, G, Auburn (4th round, 133rd overall)
Gartrell Johnson, RB, Colorado State (4th round, 134th overall)
Brandon Hughes, CB, Oregon State (5th round, 148th overall)
Kevin Ellison, S, USC (6th round, 189th overall)
Demetrius Byrd, WR, LSU (7th round, 224th overall)*

Seattle
Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest (1st round, 4th overall)
Max Unger, C/G, Oregon (2nd round, 49th overall)
Deon Butler, WR, Penn State (3rd round, 91st overall)
Mike Teel, QB, Rutgers (6th round, 178th overall)
Courtney Greene, S, Rutgers (7th round, 245th overall)
Nick Reed, DE, Oregon (7th round, 247th overall)
Cameron Morrah, TE, California (7th round, 248th overall)
*unsigned

Stats & Rankings (2008 regular season rankings)

San Diego Chargers

Offense
Total: 11th (349.0 yards per game)
Passing: 7th (241.1 yards per game)
Rushing: 20th (107.9 yards per game)
Scoring: 2nd (27.4 points per game)

Defense
Total: 25th (349.9 yards per game)
Passing: 31st (247.4 yards per game)
Rushing: 11th (102.6 yards per game)
Scoring: 15th (21.7 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: 11th (+4)

Seattle Seahawks



Offense
Total: 28th (274.0 yards per game)
Passing: 29th (163.6 yards per game)
Rushing: 19th (110.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 25th (18.4 points per game)

Defense
Total: 30th (378.0 yards per game)
Passing: 32nd (259.3 yards per game)
Rushing: 18th (118.7 yards per game)
Scoring: 25th (24.5 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: 25th (-7)

Injury Report

There are no official injury reports in the preseason, but LT Walter Jones (back), CB Marcus Trufant (back), G Mansfield Wrotto (leg), and G Grey Ruegamer (undisclosed) won't play, with C Chris Spencer (ankle) and DE Patrick Kerney (shoulder) expected to be game-time decisions.

For the Chargers, RB LaDainian Tomlinson is "95% certain" that he'll take his first preseason snaps since the 2005, perhaps in the "The Frog", the Chargers' version of the "Wildcat".

The Line

It's the preseason, but for you compulsive types, the Chargers are 3 ½ point favorites. (O/U is 36)

TV/Radio

KING 5 has the telecast, with Curt Menefee calling the play-by-play and Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon handling the analysis. 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN Seattle continue their radio broadcasts, with Steve Raible on play-by-play and former Seahawks quarterback Sam Adkins replacing Moon in the radio booth, and Jen Mueller reporting from the sidelines. The NFL Network will be showing the game live, though if you live in the San Diego area, you're out of luck. The Chargers did not sell enough tickets and the game will be blacked out locally.

‘Hawks to Watch

Ten Seahawks to watch on Saturday night:

Matt Hasselbeck – All reports out of the VMAC are that Hasselbeck is healthy and ready to go in 2009. Seahawks fans would like that status to continue, so while it'll be good to see him hand the ball off to Julius Jones, complete some passes to John Carlson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, expect #8 to make a quick exit.

Aaron Curry – Signed last Saturday, Curry is expected to play various roles on the defense into the 3rd quarter of his NFL debut. It sounds like a lot to put on his plate so early in his career, but he needs the experience and Jim Mora, Gus Bradley, and Zerick Rollins wouldn't do it if they didn't think he was incapable of handling it.

Rob SimsAfter missing nearly all of last season after tearing a pectoral muscle in the season-opener, Sims has been a mainstay at left guard in training camp and thus far has drawn rave reviews for his strength and athleticism.

Colin Cole & Brandon Mebane – The Seahawks new starting defensive tackles face a difficult first test, as the Chargers have a tough, physical interior offensive line. Left guard Kris Dielman (2x) and center Nick Hardick (1x) have Pro Bowls on their resume, while right guard Kynan Forney was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2005.

Ken Lucas – Seattle paid $2.3M to get Lucas, a bigger (6-0, 206) cornerback to match up against some of the bigger, more physical receivers in the NFL. Receivers don't come much bigger or more physical than the 6-5, 241-pound Vincent Jackson, who is making the leap towards becoming one of the best in the league.

Joe Newton & Cameron Morrah – All apologies to John Tereshinski, but the #3 tight end roster spot will likely come down to Newton or Morrah. The Chargers defense struggled to defend opposing tight ends last season—a trend that has reportedly continued this summer—so Saturday night could be a chance for Newton and Morrah (and Tereshinski) to display their pass-catching ability.

Olindo Mare & Brandon Coutu – Only one will make the 53-man roster, so every kick figures to be heavily scrutinized.

In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre maintains his own blog and writes for FalconInsider.com on the Scout network. If you'd like to e-mail Brian, you may do so by clicking here.

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