Seahawks-Broncos Preseason Preview

Brian McIntyre of NorthwestFootball.net previews Saturday night's Seattle Seahawks-Denver Broncos preseason game at Qwest Field.

Denver Broncos (0-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Time & Place: 7:30pm PT, Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington

Preseason Series: Saturday night will be the eighth preseason meeting between the Seahawks and Broncos, with Denver holding a 7-0 edge in the series. This will be the first preseason meeting at Qwest Field and the fourth time in preseason play where the Seahawks are the home team. (The Seahawks were the "home team" when these former AFC West rivals met in the American Bowl in Tokyo, Japan in 1990.)

Notable Newcomers

Denver
Josh McDaniels, head coach (New England)
Kyle Orton, QB (Trade, Chicago)
Correll Buckhalter, RB (UFA, Philadelphia)
Andra Davis, LB (UFA, Cleveland)
Brian Dawkins, S (UFA, Philadelphia)
Ronald Fields, NT (UFA, San Francisco)
Jabar Gaffney, WR (UFA, New England)
Andre Goodman, CB (UFA, Miami)
Renaldo Hill, S (UFA, Miami)
LaMont Jordan, RB (UFA, New England)
Brandon Lloyd, WR (UFA, Chicago)
Lonnie Paxton, LS (UFA, New England)
Darrell Reid, LB (UFA, Indianapolis)
Chris Simms, QB (UFA, Tennessee)
Le Kevin Smith, DE (Trade, New England)

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

Denver
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia (1st round, 12th overall)
Robert Ayers, DE/LB, Tennessee (1st round, 18th overall)
Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest (2nd round, 37th overall)
Darcel McBath, S, Texas Tech (2nd round, 48th overall)
Richard Quinn, TE, North Carolina (2nd round, 64th overall)
David Bruton, S, Notre Dame (4th round, 114th overall)
Seth Olsen, G, Iowa (4th round, 132nd overall)
Kenny McKinley, WR, South Carolina (5th round, 141st overall)
Tom Brandstater, QB, Fresno State (6th round, 174th overall)
Blake Schlueter, C, TCU (7th round, 225th 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)

Stats & Rankings

Denver

Offense
Total: 2nd (395.8 yards per game)
Passing: 3rd (279.4 yards per game)
Rushing: 12th (116.4 yards per game)
Scoring: 16th (23.1 points per game)

Defense
Total: 29th (374.6 yards per game)
Passing: 26th (228.5 yards per game)
Rushing: 27th (146.1 yards per game)
Scoring: 30th (28.0 points per game)

Turnover Ratio: t-32nd (-17)

Seattle  (2008 regular season rankings)

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)

TV/Radio

KING-5 TV / 710 ESPN Seattle. Saturday night's game will also be shown live nationally on the NFL Network.

‘Hawks to Watch

Seahawks to keep an eye on when the Broncos come to town on Saturday night:

Sean LocklearWalter Jones is on the mend from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, so Sean Locklear is the Seahawks' left tackle of the foreseeable future. In his limited action against the Chargers, Locklear blew one block that led to a hurry on Hasselbeck, who threw the ball away to avoid a sack. It would be unfair to expect Locklear to be "Walter Jones in his prime" good, but Saturday will provide an extended glimpse of the future, with the ‘Hawks first-team offense expected to play the entire first-half against the Broncos.

Mansfield Wrotto – After missing the preseason opener with a leg injury, Wrotto will get the start at right guard after second-round pick Max Unger handled the duties—and handled them well--against San Diego. Wrotto was the player used on the draft pick acquired from San Francisco in exchange for Darrell Jackson, and he enters his third NFL season with a real chance to start.

Deon Butler – The third-rounder wasn't used as a return man while at Penn State, so he's still learning. Last week, he fair-caught punt at his own six-yard line and came to a nearly complete stop while returning a kickoff, no doubt providing special teams coach Bruce DeHaven with some teachable moments this week. Butler's speed can be a game-changer, though, which is why the 'Hawks want to use him on special teams. He's just got to cut down on the mental mistakes.  

Justin Forsett –NFL.com reported this week that the ‘Hawks have had contact with veteran free agent Warrick Dunn, which is sort of surprising as reports out of the VMAC are that Forsett has had a good camp and played very well against the Chargers last week. Another good game by Forsett could slam the door on the Dunn talk.

Kelly Jennings & Kevin HobbsMarcus Trufant's back could keep him on the PUP list into October, which would allow the ‘Hawks to keep both of these corners on the 53-man roster in September. Neither is guaranteed a roster spot, though, and after last week, both need to step up their games against a Broncos offense that figures to throw the ball a lot on Saturday.

Nick Reed & Michael Bennett – The rookie defensive ends, one drafted (Reed) and one undrafted (Bennett), had monster performances in the preseason opener. Reed had a sack and a pick, while Bennett had a sack, a hurry that forced an incompletion, and was in the process of having his mail forwarded to the Chargers' backfield before the final whistle blew. To earn a spot on the 53-man roster, both will have to show that last week was no fluke.

In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football 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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