Let it be known now, before camp begins firing on all cylinders:
Tim Ruskell has said the Seahawks will not carry two kickers this year.
Kicker Olindo Mare did a fine job on kickoffs and field goals last year for the Seahawks, who replaced former franchise player and winner of the Lifetime Assclown Achievement award, Josh Brown. Mare went 24-for-27 on FG attempts and had excellent range and accuracy on kickoffs -- something that challenger Brandon Coutu will be hard-pressed to match in camp.
Ruskell then went on to explain the reasoning behind why the team carried both Mare and Coutu last year.
"We like Brandon and think he can kick in the National Football League," Ruskell said. "That won't happen this year. We'll go with one guy. And it'll be a nice battle to watch. They've both done well so far.
"Part of the reason for holding on to him last year was we were getting interest from other teams. So we thought maybe at some point prior to the trade deadline (they'd make a deal), but it just didn't happen. And with the injuries we had enough room to keep him and it didn't hurt us. So we just kept him and said we'll have this competition go for another year."
The only knock on Mare's continued tenure with the team that I can think of would be age. Coutu is much younger and would offer more longevity to the Seahawks' kicking game. Offseason workouts with Morten Anderson can't hurt, either. Hopefully Mort worked on kickoff power, which is an area that makes the incumbent Mare a little more favorable then Coutu.
Camp this year will offer no shortage of position battles, and this is one we haven't really thought about much until now. I wouldn't see a problem with keeping either, but right now I'd say the edge goes to Mare just on the basis of his solid performance last year. Coutu will have to put in everything he's got to oust him.