The Seattle Seahawks‘ introduction to the preseason was certainly one filled with intrigue. From the start of the game, it was clear the Denver Broncos were not taking things lightly. They played like a team that had just been embarrassed 43-8 on the NFL’s biggest stage six short months ago.
By the time the game was over, officials had thrown 25 penalty flags for an astounding 226 total yards. Obviously, flags were thrown for various infractions, including a personal foul which resulted in the in-game ejection of Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon for throwing what could only be described as an open hand slap to the facemask of a member of the Broncos offense.
While overall, it was a game marred by misconduct and poor discipline on both sidelines. However, there were some high points for Seahawk fans amongst the chaos of their team’s first exhibition game of the preseason. For example, several young players showed poise and potential throughout the game.
Rookie defensive end Cassius Marsh seemed to be all over the field in the second half for Seattle. He finished the game with three tackles as well as the Seahawks’ only sack of the game against Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Marsh plays like a man on fire, and his non-stop motor was evident throughout his debut. Of course, he will still need some refining as a defensive end, but this kid looks legit. It’s still mind-blowing how he was overlooked in the 2014 NFL Draft, regardless of playing opposite first-round draft pick Anthony Barr at UCLA.
Luckily for Seattle, Marsh wasn’t the only rookie who showed up against Denver. Despite the loss, Seahawks’ rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson led the team with four receptions for 37 yards in limited opportunities. His speed and explosiveness was abundantly evident from the moment he stepped on the field. Richardson seems to explode off the line with a suddenness that will likely force defensive backs to jam him at the line of scrimmage. It remains to be seen whether Seattle’s second-round draft pick will be able to beat press-coverage with consistency in the NFL, but so far, so good.
Additionally, undrafted rookie free agent signee Brock Coyle had himself a heck of a game as well. Coyle led Seattle in tackles with four while also hitting Denver running back C.J. Anderson so hard he gave him a concussion. While no one is condoning head injuries of any kind, the hit was legal and further displayed Coyle’s ability to play sideline to sideline. It’s quite possible the relatively unknown – and undrafted – linebacker from the University of Montana could displace Seahawks’ special teams ace Heath Farwell on the depth chart.
Overall, it would be a mistake to read too far into the first game of the preseason. Yet, no one will argue that there will be a plethora of storylines heading into Week 3 of the regular season when Denver travels deep into the Boogie Man’s lair; and unfortunately for the Broncos, The Clink is far less forgiving than New York City.