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

August 30, 2012 at 8:44 AM

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A Guy to know: That would be Winston Guy, rookie safety

It's that time of year when we perform the unique mathematical exercise of calculating who will be on the 53-man roster.

Will the Seahawks go with three quarterbacks on the roster as usual or could they trim it to two? How about defensive line? Nine or 10 players? We'll have a more thorough accounting and projection on Friday morning, the day cuts are made, but for now, we'll give you one name to write in pen: Winston Guy, safety from Kentucky drafted in the sixth round.

"He's a very natural football player," coach Pete Carroll said. "In his days at Kentucky, they moved him around quite a bit, and we were able to see him do things like what we do."

Specifically, he is playing what is the sixth defensive back in what Seattle calls its Bandit package. Now, that group is configured a little differently this year. In exhibition games, Seattle had been going with three down linemen, two linebackers and then deploying Guy as a mad-dog blitzer.

"It was Lawyer Milloy's spot," Carroll said, "a guy we used because of years of savvy and understanding."

And that's what makes Guy so intriguing. He's a rookie though he played a different position in each of his four seasons at Kentucky, going through both safety spots some cornerback and spending a season as a fourth linebacker in the team's configuration.

And while Guy is a rookie, Carroll said he's fit perfectly in that Bandit package.

"He just gets it," Carroll said. "He's a hitter. He plays the ball well. He's really fast. He's 216 pounds. Big kid. He's got a real knack for rushing the pass. He looks like a pass rusher when he's coming. He's really been a pleasant surprise."

Guy is a sixth-round choice, which means nothing is guaranteed in terms of a roster spot, and after he was conspicuously near the two punts that were deflected in Denver in the second exhibition game, I wondered if that would affect his chances of making the team.

Nope. He's going to be part of the Bandit package from the get go.

"He's in the starting group in Game 1, maybe the first third down of the season," Carroll said. "That's an amazing accomplishment for him, but he's got all of the right stuff, but he's still a pup."

So what does that mean at safety? After all, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are the established starters, returning Pro Bowlers in fact, Jeron Johnson is a lock and Chris Maragos is a likely consideration, too, given his speed and special-teams play. It's hardly unprecedented for the team to keep five safeties, though. Carroll did it his first year as coach. Mike Holmgren did it. Twice in fact. Here's the history of the number of safeties the team has kept on the 53-man roster to start the season over the past 10 years:


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