In the week leading up to training camp we featured some position battles, and I thought it might be time to check up on those:
Right Cornerback (original article)
As we said in the write-up, the position is entirely Ken Lucas' to lose, but Josh Wilson has looked very good in camp. It seems that more than anything, Josh Wilson is pushing for more nickel packages to be used with his solid play. Still, Lucas has looked somewhat questionable both times I saw him, so this quietest of battle might not be over yet. With Trufant sitting out, both are having ample time to show their stuff. Hopefully there won't be a need for this, but if Trufant does miss any playing time, Kelly Jennings has outplayed Kevin Hobbs for the next depth spot and would presumably be the nickel back if needed.
Guard (original article)
Mike Wahle's retirement both simplified and muddled the water. The simplicity comes from the fact that there is one less man competing for the spot, but the fact that it was the one who should have had the spot locked up (if healthy) makes things a bit confusing. It appears almost certain that Rob Sims will be moving back into the starting position at Left Guard as he did in 2007. Beyond that, however, it's pretty much anyone's guess.
If Walter Jones is healthy, the non-starting right tackle (be it Ray Willis or Sean Locklear) will likely get the starting job. Manny Wrotto and Max Unger are both having solid camps, however, so look for them to push for the RG spot, though Wrotto would appear to have the edge at right guard.
Center (original article)
Chris Spencer will be the starter if he can start. That remains to be seen. Steve Vallos is working with the first team and has looked a bit better than expected. I know there are a lot of Vallos fans out there, I'm one of them in fact, but I am not certain he is the answer. Unger has looked very good by most accounts, but he's been going against the second or third team guys, so it is difficult to really ascertain where he's at. It doesn't look like either of them have done enough to push Spencer if he's healthy, but if he misses much more than a week or two, don't be shocked to see the Hawks prepare one of the other two to start. At this point I still lean more towards Unger than Vallos, but that might just be my long-term outlook sneaking in.
Defensive End (original article)
This has ended up being less of a competition than we original thought. Cory Redding will start at LDE, Patrick Kerney at RDE. Tapp will backup Kerney, LoJack will backup Redding. Baraka Atkins and perhaps Nick Reed will end up making the team. Snooze alert!
Wide Receiver (original article)
Alright! The fun one. Courtney Taylor has been the surprise of the first week of camp, and we can finally see why the Seahawks believed in this kid. He looks fantastic, finds a way to get open, and his hands appear to be magical. Ben Obamanu has also impressed thoroughly. Perhaps the biggest surprise has been the drop-off by Logan Payne. He looks very average thus far. As of today, which is still very early, here are the WRs who make the cut:
T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Nate Burleson - Deion Branch - Deon Butler - Ben Obamanu - Courtney Taylor - (Mike Hass)
What do you guys think of these position battles? What do you think the biggest battle in camp is now?