Thoughts on the Raiders game, Brandon Coleman impresses

August 30th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Terrelle Pryor had a chance to take on Seattle's defense

Seahawks beat Raiders, go 4-0 in pre-season

Oakland are a mess. Years of mismanagement are coming back to haunt them in a big way. Seattle’s backups never got out of second gear and still managed a relatively comfortable 22-6 victory.

They need a spark and at least they have a quarterback capable of providing it. Terrelle Pryor didn’t do anything terrible on the night and should earn a start over Matt Flynn. The Raiders need something to believe in. Pryor is capable of being a playmaker.

So who impressed for Seattle ahead of the final cuts?

Michael Brooks will be one of the players making life difficult for Seattle’s front office. Once again he flashed in this game. You temper the excitement slightly with it being Oakland’s second unit (and the first unit’s bad enough as it is). Yet with the Seahawks struggling for healthy bodies at tackle and needing some interior pass rush, I’m rooting for this guy to make the team. I doubt he’d make the practise squad. He’s consistently made plays in pre-season.

Jaye Howard also showed up and probably secured his place on the roster with a solid performance. Benson Mayowa is an absolute lock given the injuries at defensive end. He even pulled a Chris Clemons pose after a sack/fumble. He’s raw, but could be Seattle’s next big find. Let’s see what he brings in Carolina.

Winston Guy had a nice game overall. Will it be enough? I’m not sure. Chris Maragos also had a good night and Jeron Johnson has been consistent. Guy won’t have any trouble finding a roster elsewhere (eg the Jacksonville branch of the Seattle Seahawks).

Bruce Irvin looked fluid and comfortable in his new hybrid SAM/LEO position. Why did you have to go and get yourself suspended, Bruce? His return can’t come soon enough.

Luke Willson gives me every confidence he can feature quite prominently as a pass-catching #2 tight end. Time has been a great healer, and as pre-season progressed Willson just got better and better.

Seattle’s depth at corner is insane, but you knew that already. Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond and Jeremy Lane all looked assured. None of these guys will be making the trip to Jacksonville.

Stephen Williams had one big play before leaving with a concussion. Russell Wilson, who had issues with overthrows against Denver, actually undersold the pass to Williams. If he throws it out in front of the receiver, it’s a long touchdown. Williams had created acres of separation on the play.

Who faces a nervous wait?

I’ve been Chris Harper’s biggest defender at times, but this wasn’t a good night. He had a bad drop in the end zone, looked lethargic overall and a little out of his depth. I still believe we need to be patient with the rookies. Not everyone can be Russell Wilson. Some are going to take time — just like Kam Chancellor, Jaye Howard and even Richard Sherman (who didn’t start immediately). Throw in the complexity of the receiver position and this was always going to be a big ask for Harper.

He’s a fourth round pick and they clearly believed he could grow into an Anquan Boldin-type figure with his sturdy frame. You have to consider they expected to have Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin as locks. They were always going to carry Jermaine Kearse and probably planned all along for Harper to be a ‘red shirt’ player. Yes, we’ve seen Stephen Williams emerge. But Harvin’s now on the PUP. So they can still carry six as they probably planned all along.

Adjusting that position and carrying five receivers isn’t out of the question either. I’m not sure I’m ready to write off Harper yet, and the team may share that sentiment. I doubt he makes the practise squad, someone will stash him on their roster. But if it means carrying an extra offensive lineman or a guy like Michael Brooks, they might have to bite the bullet.

The reason they might want to carry an extra lineman? For the first time I had a few doubts about Michael Bowie’s ability to start in relief. Plus he picked up a shoulder injury. He won’t make the practise squad, so it might be worth keeping a Mike Person or Rishaw Johnson. I’d still take Brooks over both.

Not for the first time, I thought John Lotulelei struggled a bit. He developed a bit of a cult following after the Chargers game, but I think too many people were quick to anoint him a star of the future. I think he’ll struggle to make the cut and may even make it to the practise squad.

The offensive line play across the board was poor tonight. Far too often Oakland found interior pressure, even with the #1′s on the field. On one play Max Unger was well beaten by Pat Sims, which is a rarity.

I wouldn’t make too many adjustments to my 53-man roster projection. I’m less confident about Harper making it as the #6 receiver. He’s on the bubble, with Brooks or Person seemingly the most likely beneficiary. Michael Robinson’s illness increases the possibility they keep Derrick Coleman as a fill-in full back. Do they risk keeping him over Spencer Ware? Or do you game-plan without an orthodox full back for the first week or two?

Brandon Coleman stands out

One of my favourite 2014 prospects is Rutgers receiver Brandon Coleman. We’ve talked about him several times on the blog, but having opted not to declare for this years draft he needed to make that extra season count.

It’s not an easy challenge given Rutgers are more of a run-first team without an established passing quarterback. Yet last nights season opener was a promising start for Coleman’s stock.

He managed nine catches for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rutgers took a chance in overtime on a two-point conversion to lose 52-51 to Fresno State. It’s an ugly loss for the Scarlet Knights, but it’s the kind of production Coleman needs. He has all the physical talent you look for (6-6, 220lbs, speed despite the size) but needs the stats to back it up. Coleman also needs to make more of his size, high pointing the ball and making the kind of 50-50 grabs we’ve seen Stephen Williams make in pre-season for the Seahawks.

Another talented wide out, USC’s Marqise Lee, also had a decent start. He had eight catches for 104 yards in a 30-13 win over Hawaii. The Trojans split snaps between Cody Kessler and Max Wittek at quarterback. Lee is an incredible talent worthy of a top-ten draft grade. The lack of an established quarterback at USC might hamper his production this year.

If you missed it, yesterday I wrote a piece on Jadeveon Clowney’s season opener vs North Carolina.

60 Responses to “Thoughts on the Raiders game, Brandon Coleman impresses”

  1. Trudy Beekman says:

    Jordan Matthews also looked great tonight. He, Coleman, and maybe Cody Hoffman are going to be a big WR trio to watch this draft.

  2. CC says:

    The depth on this team is crazy! I’m hoping Harper can make it to the practice squad at this point. I’m also very impressed what Bradford has done – I’m wondering if he takes Farwell’s spot this year. Winston Guy is another guy – at time great flashes, at other times so so. Walter Thurmond looks great – I really think we have the best DBs/Safeties in the league. Thanks for the great articles Rob!

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think people hugely underestimate the role of Farwell. It’s assumed a young guy will just take his position, yet there’s a reason a 31-year-old LB is on the roster at all at this stage.

      • Darnell says:

        He is here because he is great at special teams.

        But ideally from week 5 on Wagner,Wright,Irvin,Smith,Schofield and Bradford are the active LBers. Do you activate a 7th (Farwell) just because he is great on special teams if it means dressing shorthanded at another position group? If he was the backup Mike it would be different.

        • Rob Staton says:

          The issue is the cloudy way we now describe linebackers and defensive lineman. Yes, we can list Irvin and Schofield as SAM’s. They’re also LEO’s. Schofield in particular is going to be used more as an edge rusher than a SAM. So if we put Schofield in the DL group, then you’re carrying six linebackers with Farwell.

          • Miles says:

            I’ve constantly had the thought this preseason that Farwell can go. He’s a good special teamer but look what Allen Bradford and John Lotulelei have contributed on special teams this preseason. Bradford could more than capably do what Farwell does for this team, at a smaller price. And oh yeah he plays linebacker at a very high level.

  3. Aaron says:

    I’ve had the same impression about Michael Brooks. He’s flashed a few different times in preseason, but my thought last night was that I’m disappointed he wasn’t given more of a chance to play against the “varsity” throughout preseason. That’s going to make the evaluation and decision that much more difficult. I guess that’s just one of the problems you have to deal with when you have so many talented players and prospects to evaluate.

    Similarly, I’m disappointed that Tony McDaniel wasn’t able to play last night. With his groin injury, it’s very hard to make a solid evaluation of his potential at three-tech. Just when I was getting excited about him after the Green Bay game, he’s out with injury again. I’m not sure what to make of it. Given the injuries to Williams and Hill, it could be that they’ve already got McDaniel listed at three tech, and didn’t see a need to aggravate his groin in a meaningless game. But it would also seem if they take on Brooks, it might be at McDaniel’s expense.

    I’m prejudiced against Winston Guy because he doesn’t come off well in the Real Rob Report. He’s also on my s#@* list for needlessly upending Stephen Williams in training camp and causing him to land on his head, and hurt his neck. He made the big play against Green Bay to cause the fumble that gave us the win, but hitting only with your shoulder like that can just as often allow the guy to bounce away and escape being tackled. In this game I thought he was doing more posing and preening than anything else. To me the fact that he nicknamed himself “the Predator” and has a Predator action figure in his locker tells you all you need to know about “the guy”. But, if we’re talking about back-up safety as being an area of need, I guess we’re in pretty good shape. Btw, I think back-up safety is an area of need for this team. I’m not a big fan of Jeron Johnson either.

    • CC says:

      I agree with you on Jeron – he seems out of position more than he should be. I’m no expert, but there does seem to be a drop off at safety. Margos isn’t spectacular, but solid.

    • James says:

      I know that Winston Guy is desperately trying to make the team, but his showboating after every tackle is not necessary. PCJS will watch the tape and grade it from there, he doesn’t need to shout. And you’re right, his outrageous hit on Williams a couple of weeks ago led to the concussion last night.

      • CC says:

        You’re so right! He looks the part, but there is something missing – maybe maturity. I’m sure he’ll do fine as a Jag or a Jet!

      • Rob Staton says:

        I’m not sure that hit led to the concussion last night. Williams really thumped his head on the turf.

  4. James says:

    Rob….I completely agree with you about Howard, Brooks and Irvin. I would add Bradford to the list of those emerging guys. Harper looked so out of it that I now believe he can slip through to the practice squad. The DL situation precludes keeping six WRs. Big concern about Real Rob….if he can’t go against the Panthers, yet another roster spot will have to be used up at RB/FB. As I read it, they can only keep one of Mike Morgan, O’Brien Schofield or John Lotulelei; and just one of Michael Brooks or Sealver Siliga. Brooks has the upside, but if Mebane can’t go, it might have to be Siliga. Clinton McDonald is the only DT who can play a full season without getting hurt (knock wood) (I wish he would share his secret with Mebane, Bryant, McDaniel, Howard and Hill) so they might have to keep him. Williams at WR would be inactive for the Panthers anyway, so let’s hope he fully recovers soon. Might they go with 8 OL, and put Bowie on the PUP? McQuistan and Bailey give them guys who can swing T or G, once Carpenter takes over LOG.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think they have to carry at least 9 OL — Bowie going on the PUP or IR (possible) probably makes it more likely Rishaw or Person sticks around. O’Brien Schofield is a lock IMO and it’s a decent point on Clinton McDonald who started against Oakland. He might have the edge over Brooks and Siliga. If Mike Rob can’t go vs Carolina then I suspect they just do more read option and H-back, one back stuff.

  5. Colin says:

    I have a sneaky suspicion that Antoine Winfield may be cut…

    • John_S says:

      I think he makes it. As impressive as Walter Thurmond has looked in the last couple games, you still have to wonder if/when he gets hurt.

      Also I think PC likes to have that smart, veteran guy in the slot who’s comfortable and excelled playing there in the past. Plus he’s only making $1 million for the year.

    • shamus mcgee says:

      No way

      • John_S says:

        Why do you say that? What are the reasons why you think he gets cut?

        • Colin says:

          I think he could get cut if Pete and John view some of the younger players as potential long term steals. We’d roll $1 million over to next year also, which is would be vital towards trying to get Earl signed and having enough to do Richard as well. I’m not saying he should be cut, I just think it’s a possibility. I tend to look at slot corner in the same light as WLB- it’s not that tough of a position to fill and was highly, HIGHLY exaggerated here on this board by some commenters.

    • James says:

      The Seahawks can make the playoffs with the game one roster, but to advance through the playoffs, in addition to what they have now, they will really need Percy Harvina and Antoine Winfield. Harvin to help score enough points to get past the Packers and the Falcons, and Winfield to stop that key thrid down underneath pass that might otherwise cost us a trip to the Super Bowl.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think he’ll be safe, I think they can carry him this year. But he’ll have to compete for playing time.

  6. AlaskaHawk says:

    Considering where we are with talent and injuries, it seems likely that PC will continue to look for wide receivers and defensive line. I didn’t see a clear 6th wide receiver. Harper disappointed me, he should know how to catch the ball by now.

    Our 4 tight ends all looked good. I am rooting for 280 pound Fells. He looked good catching the ball without pressure.

    I’m not that worried about other teams taking our cut players. The only ones I would worry ab

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      About our second string corners and some of the multiple position linemen. The rest of the second string are good but not great.

    • shamus mcgee says:

      Fells easily makes the practice squad which I would be stoked about. McGrath should be a good #3.

      • Miles says:

        What about Cooper Helfet? He was here last preseason and played really well, but got beat out by Sean McGrath for a PS spot. I think he’s played well enough for a PS spot this year. He had two pretty bone-headed drops last night but made up for it with a fifteen yard catch-and-run that ended when he leapt over two defenders and crashed on the turf. That’s the sign of a guy who really, really wants to be on this team. I think we should PS him. Though if I had to pick between Fells and Helfet for a PS spot, I’d go Fells.

        • shamus mcgee says:

          Wouldn’t mind Helfet either on the PS if they want him

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            It is fun watching him hurdle tacklers. He is a decent tight end- we just have too many.

            Has Fells progressed in blocking ability?

            • Miles says:

              Speaking of tight ends, Patriots released Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells today. Are either of these guys worth looking into, or are we happy with Luke Willson as the second tight end and Sean McGrath as the third?

  7. adog says:

    Harper caught my eye on the one catch he made. It was an offensive rebound he went up and snagged. While he’s still has some jitters to work out, i think he sticks. Receivers with his body type and fluidity are are rare. This is an undersized receiving corp, so by size alone he makes the team.

    • shamus mcgee says:

      size doesn’t matter if he can’t catch the ball I say.

      • sdcoug says:

        Jermaine Kearse might suggest that patience can pay off

        • shamus mcgee says:

          perhaps but look at Chris Durham or whoever that showed promise but isn’t even playing anymore i dont think. I would hate to lose someone else that has actually already flashed potential just because Harper “might” pan out or chop someone like Mike Rob or Farwell who are very valuable in their own rights.

  8. shamus mcgee says:

    I thought Ware would be a lock to make the team but more and more I’m thinking they go with Coleman as insurance for Mike Rob or neither Ware or Coleman and roll the dice as some have suggested. What are everyones thoughts on Ware – can he make the practice squad? Person would be great if Bowie goes on PUP as he can line up as a TE also…you know how much PC likes versatility…

  9. MJ says:

    Good stuff Rob.

    I’m most curious about Ware and Brooks. I really like these guys and don’t think it’s possible they make the practice squad. I think they are both ready to contribute, it’s just a matter of working the roster #s to make it happen.

    I have to make a bold statement…but Allen Bradford…WOW. It’s not like he had any jaw dropping play last night, but his transition to LBer has been scary good. I sincerely think he could be a Pro Bowl caliber MLB in 2014. His physicality and closing speed are at an elite level, and the violence he plays with is just a joy to watch.

    Additionally, Bruce Irvin looked awesome and has me drooling over the possibilities of him at LBer. His speed is scary and it translates 100%. He’s the definitive running QB stopper and I think we may have a complete HR on our hands with the entire LB corps and it’s depth.

    I couldn’t be more stoked about the season…I actually like the fact that the offense looked like crap in game #3, because I think it’s good to have a sobering moment before the big dance. It gives you a sense of added urgency, that isn’t there when everything is going smooth. I think the Dan Quinn defense is going to ramp up this unit to an even higher level and that in itself, is a scary thought.

    Keep up the great work Rob. You really do awesome work.

    • A. Simmons says:

      Pete in his post-game press conference indicated Bruce didn’t play well. That carries a lot of weight and means he’s missing things we don’t know about.

  10. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Very happy to see Carpenter play again, and play as many snaps as he did. He looked pretty much unbeatable in pass protection. He wasn’t quite as good in run blocking, but then OAK consistently loaded the box in an overblown attempt to shut down the run. If that happened in a real game, RW would rip them apart in play action. At the very least, Carp’s showing last night alleviates some concerns about the O-line going into the regular season, particularly at RG (Sweezy has struggled so far, particularly in pass protection). Carp’s return would allow McQ to switch sides, with Sweezy coming off the bench until he gets it together.

    Also, Bailey wasn’t quite as sharp as he’s been in previous games. Nonetheless, he’s easily the best rookie lineman, and probably one of the top 4 on the team. Breno had a rough night, and I can see Bailey giving him some serious competition at RT during the season, especially in light of Bowe’s poor showing and shoulder situation. I can see Bowe being placed on IR after Sept. 4 (if I understand the rules correctly, a player placed on IR after 9/4 may still return to the active roster after 6 weeks). At any rate, Bowe needs to be stashed somewhere because he won’t clear waivers to make the PS.

    Rob put it well when he said time has been a great healer. At the start of camp, many of us were wringing our hands over the situation at TE. But Miller is healthy and ready to start week 1 at Carolina, and Willson has improved every single game so far this preseason (he had a very nice game last night, looking every bit like the H-back/joker we’ve been hoping for). McGrath is a perfectly serviceable back up (decent in blocking and receiving), and even Fells looks promising as a PS prospect.

    A week ago I said I thought Lotulelei would make the team. Now I don’t think he will, and I’m not disappointed (even if he doesn’t make the PS). He has a lot of energy and hustle, but he’s entirely undisciplined and missed some tackles last night because he overpursued, wasn’t in proper position, or flat out misread the play. As bad as Lotulelei was, Bradford looked that good. I’m really liking him a lot. Once he gets better at reading formations and reacting to the play, particularly pass coverage, I think he could give Wagner some real competition at MIKE. I remember there was some talk during the offseason about shifting Wagner to WILL (around the time when Leroy Hill left the team), and I salivate at the prospect of a LB corps with Wright at SAM, Bradford at MIKE and Wagner at WILL. Also, Irvin looks like he’s really taken to playing SAM. He’s still at his best rushing the QB, but I thought he looked pretty good holding against the run and dropping into shallow coverage. Speaking of time being a great healer, many of us were hoping for one of the better LB prospects in this year’s draft (eg, Greene, Moore) to boost what was perceived as a thin position for us. But now our LBs are looking like our DBs – an embarrassment of riches.

    For me, the toughest cuts will come at RB and DT. At RB, I really like Ware and Coleman, but don’t see how we can keep both, or maybe even either. At DT, Brooks has impressed the hell out of me so far. I love his motor and hope there’s some way of retaining him. Jaye Howard looked much improved last night and probably cemented his roster spot with his performance. Also, Siliga has been a pleasant surprise. He’s no pro bowler, but he’s made his presence felt, and could be valuable in rotation. I was disappointed that McDaniel didn’t play. I understand there was no need for him to risk reinjury last night in a meaningless game, but it would’ve been nice to confirm that his play against GB wasn’t a fluke.

    Not a fan of either Guy or Johnson. Guy flashes nicely, but isn’t consistent enough for me, and his showboating is irksome. IMO Johnson just hasn’t played well enough to earn a roster spot.

    • Miles says:

      Great post Chawk Talker. I’m very interested in your idea to re-arrange the LB corps to fit Bradford in the mix. They might talk about doing that very soon.

      I think people are being too harsh on Winston for his celebrations though. He’s a young, exuberant kid. When you watch Real Rob Report you can tell he hasn’t fully matured yet. The other guys seem to look at him like a little brother. Yeah he’s silly at times, but he’s got the right intentions in mind. That’s not to say he’s playing particularly well these days. He flashed some nice tackles last night and had his best game of the preseason, but I thought he played dreadfully in the first three. It will be interesting to see if he makes the roster. But again, i would just say that Winston is a young, fiery guy and sometimes he looks a little silly because of it. Nothing more, nothing less. Besides, I would rather have him be overly excitable than hopelessly lethargic out there.

      I’m rooting for him to make the roster. Our depth at safety is a little thin and that’s why he has a chance. But, neither Johnson nor Guy had good preseasons, in my opinion, so the Hawks could cut both of them and retain Chris Maragos to backup Earl Thomas and put Deshawn Shead behind Chancellor. Another guy who could make an easy transition from corner to safety is Ron Parker; he had some Chancellor-esque tackles last night.

  11. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    On Stephen Williams, the guy’s been pretty much the best WR in the League this preseason. His height and speed give SEA a dimension in the passing game they’ve not had until now. Rob pointed out that RW had consistently overthrown his targets against GB, but slightly underthrew to Williams, who had to slow down and turn around completely just to make the catch (futher proving how capable a WR he has become – it was another tremendously difficult reception made to look pretty easy), and if RW had aired out that pass a little more and hit Williams in stride, he would’ve had an easy TD considering how much separation he had on his CB.

    Clearly RW has the arm strength to make that throw, even beyond 50 yds. I think the reason he underthrew that pass was because Williams surprised him with how fast he ran his route. They guy has 4.4 speed, and showed every bit of it on that play. I can only imagine what a thing of beauty it will be when RW and Williams get more familiar with each other and get their timing down. Williams has demonstrated that he is entirely capable of being this team’s deep ball vertical threat, and once RW gets a feel for how to throw to him on the run and lead him with the long ball, SEA will have a game changing offensive weapon.

    I sincerely hope his concussion is a mild one and he returns to the practice field, and game day, as soon as possible.

  12. Miles says:

    Because of the Bills’ QB injuries situation, does anyone think we could nab another 7th from them for Brady Quinn?

  13. Aaron says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Tuel play. It’s a great story. The first undrafted rookie free agent quarterback to start a game since 1967 or something like that. I’m rooting for him, not only because he comes out of the state of Washington, but because I thought he showed a lot last season on a pretty bad WSU team. When I watched the Apple Cup, I remember thinking I would like for the Seahawks to draft him as a potential back-up quarterback. He’s really got a lot of the tools you look for in a quarterback. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  14. Aaron says:

    Hey Rob, I really value this blog as a community for intelligent dialogue among Seahawk fans (my ridiculous puns notwithstanding). I’m wondering if you’ve ever considered hosting a SDB fantasy league. It seems like a natural fit since the blog is focused primarily on player evaluation.

    I’ve never played fantasy football before, but I’ve been thinking it might be fun. Unfortunately, very few of my friends are NFL football fans. I live in Portland, so people are mainly focused on the Trail Blazers here.

    ((I’m kind of a one man wolf-pack when it comes to my NFL fandom. But I would like to add to the wolf-pack. Then it would be me, and more people in the wolf-pack.))

    Probably much too late for this year, but maybe something to consider for next season? I know they do it over at field gulls, but I like the atmosphere a lot more here.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m already in six leagues but if there’s enough interest on here I will consider one more. It would have to be on NFL.com though because I’ve got the max number of teams on Yahoo. Something we can consider if the demand is there.

      • Miles says:

        I’m down.

      • Aaron says:

        Awesome.

        Hopefully my Hangover movie reference didn’t go over the heads of too many people, otherwise they’re just gonna think I’m nuts. :)

        I’ll have to be sure to bring up the idea again next time around when there’s more lead time before the season, unless there’s a sudden groundswell of support in the next week.

        Glad to hear you’re open to it. I think it would be fun.

  15. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Has anyone heard anything about Guy being traded to JAX? I just googled him and Wikipedia has him listed as playing for Jacksonville, but can’t find any news about a trade anywhere else.

  16. A. Simmons says:

    I think we may see a few more surprise cuts. John and Pete are talking. I’m pretty sure John is planning the cap with Pete. They know they’re going to need at least 22 million next year to sign Sherm and Earl. Next year is going to be tough for cap management. We think the cuts are bad this year. Next year the cuts are going to be really harsh.

  17. Jmpasq says:

    The emergence of Leonte Carroo “#11 WR Rivals 2012 class Army All American” who from reports from Rutgers camp this summer has dominated on the other side of Coleman is going to really help. The kid was electric against Fresno State torching them for 5 catches 135 yards and 3 Touchdowns. Carroo is a star in the making and will be the next highly touted Rutgers WR.