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

June 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

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Role call: Winston Guy, rookie safety

Safety Winston Guy has stood out during the offseason practices, and not just because he's wearing a red jersey to denote that he's still recovering from a shoulder injury.

The rookie Seattle chose in the sixth round out of Kentucky is someone coach Pete Carroll singled out after Tuesday's practice as being a player who will figure into this team's plans right away.

"I really like this player," Carroll said. "I think he brings more than we had hoped at this early time. His speed is very good, instincts are excellent, he's got a lot to learn to not make the boneheaded mistakes and things, but he's going to play for us and be a part of what we're doing."

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being Carroll's normal level of positivity, I think that just might be pushing toward a six. Now, Guy is not going to crack the starting lineup right away. Not with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor holding down the back end of that secondary, but the fact he played both safety positions at Kentucky and the departure of Atari Bigby to San Diego in free agency opens up a role as the third safety to be used in nickel and dime packages.

Guy was working with the second-unit defense at Tuesday's practice, and his partner in the back end with that group was an interesting one: Roy Lewis. He's been a cornerback in Seattle, used extensively in nickel packages, and Carroll said the idea of putting him at safety is to expand his versatility.

"The old NFL motto, 'The more you can do,' Carroll said. "And Roy is a great competitor and he knows it just makes him more valuable to us, and he's doing a nice job with that stuff. He already plays nickel and he can play corner if we need him and in the safety work he's getting he's done a very good job of that."

Of course, there's a trickle-down effect here. Jeron Johnson made the team last year as an undrafted free agent out of Boise State, coming in and simply outplaying Mark Legree -- the team's fifth-round pick -- in training camp. Johnson was a special-teams mainstay as a rookie and a big hitter. We'll have to see where he stands with respect to playing time in the secondary once training camp begins.

• There has never been any questions about the tools that LB Malcolm Smith has. It's staying healthy. The Seahawks' seventh-round pick in 2011 appears to be banged up again as he was watching Tuesday's workout.

• Defensive lineman Jason Jones entered the league as a tackle and played end last season in Tennessee out of necessity. He's seeing time at the defensive end position referred to as the five-technique, which is where Red Bryant starts. Since Bryant comes out of the game in passing situations, expect to see Jones line up there when Seattle switches to a nickel defense.

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