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

August 29, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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Seahawks receivers and the battle to hang on to a roster spot

Seahawks' Ben Obomanu once again on the bubble
By Danny O'Neil | The Seattle Times

RENTON -- Have you overlooked Deon Butler in this year's competition to make Seattle's team at wide receiver?

Plenty of people have heading into this year.

"It's nothing new to me to kind of be the underdog," Butler said.

You don't go from beginning your college career as a walk-on as Butler did at Penn State to becoming the school's all-time leading receiver by getting handed anything.

He is 5 feet 10, and he plays on a team that has shown a clear preference for taller receivers, and entering his fourth season there are plenty of people that have written him off of Seattle's future plans.

That would be a mistake. Same goes for Ben Obomanu.

Yes, every season it's fun to talk about the young players that may emerge, and discount players from the past, but there's something to be said for veterans who know a variety of roles and have experience on special teams.

Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are locks to make this team. Braylon Edwards is almost certainly going to get an opportunity as he's built for the jump-ball sideline routes that have been a stale staple of the exhibition gameplans.

But when the Seahawks roster is finalized this week, Butler and Obomanu are very strong candidates to round out the receivers.

But nothing is given so is Butler feeling comfortable?

"I've been comfortable for a long time," Butler said. "I've been just confident in my abilities and myself. I just feel like there's a place for me in this league. Hopefully it's here."

Well, there was a year when he found himself wondering. That was 2010 after the Seahawks switched general managers and coaches, and suddenly the third-round pick found himself looking up at his competition.

"Everybody was 6-6 and over," Butler said. "And I couldn't find any beans to make me taller. I was kind of nervous that year, but after that and after I saw that, 'Hey, they're really about competition and giving a fair shot.' "

That's what a player ultimately wants. A chance to show he's one of the best 53 options for the roster.

And if you've already written him off the roster, that would be a mistake. All Butler has done in his Seahawks' career is survive a coaching transition and then come back from a career-threatening leg injury last year.

It's more fun to talk about the potential of someone new whether it's a prospect like Kris Durham -- last year's fourth-round pick -- or former track star Ricardo Lockette, whose two catches last season season each exceeded 40 yards. Charly Martin has looked great in the preseason, but there's something to be said for the value of experience and the tenacity to hold onto a roster spot.

That something is exactly what Butler has done his best to show.

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