All eyes on Thompson, Flowers in Seahawks' preseason opener
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks are all set for their preseason opener.
Seattle will take on the Indianapolis Colts at 7 p.m. Thursday night at CenturyLink Field to kick off the exhibition schedule. On Wednesday, Day 11 of training camp, the team held a a short practice ahead of its first game action.
There wasn't much to take in during the 45-minute walk through at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, but here's what to look out for when the Seahawks take their home field for the first time of 2018 Thursday:
SPOTLIGHT ON TEDRIC THOMPSON
As Earl Thomas' contract holdout continues, second-year man Tedric Thompson appears to be the Seahawks starter at free safety.
And the team will get its first, hard look at him Thursday.
Thompson and Bradley McDougald have gotten most of the first-team reps at free and strong safety, respectively, in practice. And if the former crushes it in preseason and Thomas remains absent from the team, Thompson-McDougald could be the Week 1 safety combination.
Thompson, who played in just nine games last season as a rookie, all of a sudden is in a position to be a major contributor in the Seahawks' secondary. The team has raved about his development and performance all camp, and is hoping it will translate to game action.
Thompson has noticed a huge jump in himself from year one to two, as he's continued to see snaps with the 1s in team scrimmaging.
"I felt good, I felt more comfortable," Thompson said at training camp Tuesday. "I feel a lot more prepared because I know the defense a lot now."
Carroll hopes that Thompson will be tested on deep-ball throws by opposing teams in the preseason.
"I want him to feel comfortable and supported," Carroll said Tuesday. "We believe that the guy is a really good player and we just want him to let it go and cut it loose, and not hold back (by) playing cautious or anything. I think he's got a lot of plays in him, which he's shown and he's given us the confidence to support him in that manner."
TRE FLOWERS TO START AT RIGHT CORNERBACK TO OPEN PRESEASON?
Yes, there's a good chance.
Flowers, the Seahawks' fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma State, ran with the 1s at team scrimmaging for the first time Tuesday and continued in the preseason walk-through Wednesday. Byron Maxwell, Neiko Thorpe and Trovon Reed -- all projected to compete at the left cornerback spot -- have all missed time in camp recently with injuries.
Much like Thompson, the team will be playing close attention to Flowers in Thursday's preseason opener against the Colts. It will be his first major test of his transition from safety to cornerback; the first time he'll be using the "kick-step" technique, a trademark of the Seahawks, in game action.
The team been impressed with Flowers in camp. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said last week that he has "no limit to how good he can be."
SIX TAILBACKS NOW ON SEAHAWKS' ROSTER
The team announced Wednesday that it signed running back Gerald Holmes (listed at 6-feet-1, 231 pounds), an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State. Wide receiver Marvin Bracy, a former Olympic sprinter, was waived to make room on the 90-man roster.
The move means the Seahawks have six tailbacks heading into the preseason -- a position already, arguably, the most competitive on the team. Chris Carson, 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny, Mike Davis, J.D. McKissic and C.J. Prosise are the five who've been at training camp since Day 1.
Considering all the issues Seattle has had establishing a run game in recent years -- injuries playing no minor part -- the move for a running back isn't all that surprising. They need depth at the position to avoid future shortcomings. The more competition, the merrier (in the Seahawks' eyes).
Expect every back to see snaps on the field Thursday. How much for each? That remains to be seen. But Carson and Penny will likely split first-team duties. It wouldn't be shocking to see five of the tailbacks make the 53-man roster, to have an insurance policy at the position.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll joked last week that "just to have the running backs there when (they) play will be really nice."
"We've had it pretty difficult the past couple of years and this is a really exciting group because there's depth and there's competition and there's youth and there's power and strength and speed all that stuff," Carroll said. "It's a good group, but it's always a big asset when you have versatility and you can do things with your guys."
"He's going to get a chance to play a lot of ball," Carroll said. "He just needs to be out there and play. He just needs to see what it's like and see what it feels like and come back play after play and series after series."