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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 2, 2009 at 10:42 AM

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Michael Bennett's move inside says something about Seattle's ends

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Michael Bennett came to Seattle as a defensive end, the position he played in college at Texas A&M. He's pushing for a roster spot largely because of his play inside at the defensive tackle position called the three technique.

  • Michael Bennett shows size isn't everything inside
    By Danny O'Neil, The Seattle Times

    But let's back up for a moment. There's a reason the Seahawks tried Bennett inside, and it's in part because of the stockpile of defensive ends. There are four players who are locks to make the roster: starters Patrick Kerney and Cory Redding along with Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson.

    Baraka Atkins and Nick Reed are competing to be the No. 5 defensive end, and given Reed's productivity in the exhibition games, there has been some discussion if he isn't more deserving of a roster spot than Jackson.

    But hold on there, just a second. Comparing Reed's production from the fourth quarter of exhibition games -- when he's going up against practice fodder along the lines -- is not the same as the level of competition Jackson has been facing.

    Not only that, but Jackson was limited by a strained groin the first game, sat out the second game and just came back in the third game.

    It's easy to look at the scoresheet from the game, see Jackson's one penalty and no tackles and draw conclusions. I know because I did that, but I think it's pointed toward premature conclusions about Jackson's readiness to contribute this season.

    He's not that fast-twitch, speed pass-rusher off the edge, and he's at a position where players need some time to grow into. Look at Kentwan Balmer, the player chosen one pick after Seattle picked Jackson in 2008. He didn't have a sack last season.

    Jackson played last season with a bad foot, he had an offseason the coaching staff was very pleased with so one exhibition game is entirely too soon to start reaching conclusions about his trajectory.

    Namely, that the Seahawks are pretty happy with the players they're preparing to rotate

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