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

August 19, 2012 at 2:13 PM

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Three things we don't know: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10

1) How worried we should be about Seattle's starting offense?
The team ranked No. 28 in total yardage last season, and so far in two exhibition games, Seattle's first-string defense has scored more touchdowns than Seattle's starting offense. Well, make that one more touchdown, singular, as Brandon Browner returned an interception to the end zone against Tennessee and Seattle's starting offense has yet to reach the end zone. Now, deep breath everyone. The Seahawks aren't quite at full strength. Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin have yet to appear in an exhibition game, and tight ends Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow have not been on the field at the same time. Still, that offense has a ways to go before it's considered regular-season ready.

2) Can we really call this a quarterback competition if Russell Wilson doesn't start this week?
This is not to say Wilson should start only that if this was an honest to goodness, heads-up competition, he probably would start given his second-half performance the past two weeks. Carroll stated as clearly as he has last week that Matt Flynn is ahead of Wilson in terms of his ability to understand defenses. Fine. Then why the talk about a quarterback competition, still? Tarvaris Jackson has yet to appear in an exhibition game, and while Wilson has played well in the second half of both exhibition games, if he doesn't get a chance to play against an opponent's first-string defense before Seattle names a starter for the regular-season opener, was this really even a competition or more a confirmation that Flynn was going to start.

3) Is special teams a concern?
The August difficulties are a surprise because not only have special teams been a strength under Carroll and his special teams coach Brian Schneider, but the improved depth of Seattle should provide a better pool of talent for the coverage and kick units. Well, after allowing the Titans to return a punt for a touchdown last week, the Seahawks had two punts deflected by Denver's David Bruton on Friday. Rookie safety Winston Guy was attempting to block Bruton as he got his hand on each punt, but Carroll said specifically afterward that two different players made errors, leading to the two blocks. You don't have to look any farther than last year's season-opening loss at San Francisco to know how critical special teams can be, especially early in the season.

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I suppose Carroll and Co's strategy might be just to get Russell enough reps to get him... MORE
Pete Carroll is smarter than you are! MORE
Guys, take it easy on holy rollers--he's just doing his usual thing of being miserable... MORE

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