4 Players Turning Heads at Seattle Seahawks Training Camp
The Seattle Seahawks were already a talented team entering the offseason, but they've found themselves some new pieces that will definitely be contributors in 2014. The draft was very kind to them, and they found quite a gem in Cassius Marsh.
Drafted in the fourth round, Marsh brings a well-rounded skill set to the table and fits in great with the rest of Seattle's vaunted defense. He's displayed a whole lot of promise throughout training camp thus far, but he's not the only one turning heads on the 'Hawks.
Backup safety Jeron Johnson has been a nice bandage in the absence of Kam Chancellor, and he is likely playing his way into a bigger role defensively. He's not just playing with the Legion of Boom, he's performing at their level.
Marsh and Johnson aren't the end of the book when it comes to players impressing in camp, but they are definitely worth noting.
Percy Harvin, WR
Percy Harvin is making up for lost time. He's been tagged as looking the best he's been in "a long, long time," via Stephen Cohen, SeattlePi.com, and logic points to him picking up where he left off last season.
Harvin has had to briefly sit out in camp, per Terry Blount, ESPN.com, but it's no cause for concern, and he seems pretty confident that he'll be back to form in 2014.
"After doing some things that I haven’t able to do in a while, just getting my whole hip back strong, I got a lot motion that I haven’t had in a while," said Harvin, "so I'm feeling tremendously confident and I know I’ll put it together."
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times described Harvin as being "lightning fast" at Friday's practice, furthering the belief that he will be as explosive as he can be in 2014. Harvin opens up a whole lot of things for Seattle offensively, and it will be nothing but beneficial.
Cassius Marsh, DL
Fourth-round picks aren't normally supposed to be starting their rookie year, but Cassius Marsh clearly didn't get that memo.
Marsh's versatility that he displayed in college seems to be translating to the NFL quite nicely, and it has not gone unnoticed. "We're real happy with Cassius Marsh and what he's shown in the first three days that he has a variety of things that we think he can help us with," said head coach Pete Carroll, via Bob Condotta, Seattle Times.
The 22-year-old Southern California native has seen a healthy amount of reps at defensive end and defensive tackle, working in with the No. 1 unit at times in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Travis Jones' heavy D-line rotation.
He's been great so far, and it's likely that he'll start out as a rotational player at first, but he should gradually see his role increase. Marsh is a perfect fit in one of the league's best defenses, and he makes a stout defensive line even stiffer.
Jeron Johnson, S
Jeron Johnson has never held a huge role in the Seahawks' defense, but he is currently running with the first team defense while All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor finishes up rehabbing from hip surgery.
It's unlikely he supplants Chancellor as the team's starter, but he's doing a pretty good job of filling in for him. He ripped a pass away from Robert Turbin on Saturday, which received a rating of "awesome" from defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, per Clare Farnsworth, Seahawks.com.
Seattle's star cornerback Richard Sherman also shared some kind words about Johnson's play:
Jeron is always disciplined. He's always technically sound. He's right where he needs to be. He's always in the right spot doing the right thing. Calling out the plays. He's a very sound player. He's going to make the open-field tackle. We don't miss a beat when he's out there.
Though he's not considered an official member of the Legion of Boom, he's certainly playing like it. Johnson may not end up starting (unless Chancellor suffers a setback with rehab), but at the very least he's playing his way into being a reliable rotational player, which a team can never have too many of.
Jermaine Kearse, WR
Jermaine Kearse performed well when called upon last season, and he will undoubtedly see a bigger role in the offense going forward. Especially with Sidney Rice's retirement, Kearse's services will definitely be needed.
Fortunately for Seattle, he already has the trust of its quarterback. "To have a tall receiver like Sidney definitely does help," said Russell Wilson, "but I definitely believe Jermaine Kearse is going to be able to replace that ... and be able to make that step," via OregonLive.com.
He's being worked in as a starting receiver in three-receiver sets, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. With Percy Harvin working as the slot receiver, Kearse can remain outside with Doug Baldwin where he can stretch the field and work the sideline.
Kearse was a big help down the stretch for the team last season, and he is entering a make-or-break, contract year. They just rewarded his fellow former undrafted free agent Baldwin with a nice new deal, so there's a good chance he gets the money he deserves if he can build off of what he did in 2013.