Defensive end Cassius Marsh #91 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes the line of scrimmage against offensive tackle Vinston Painter #70 of the Denver Broncos during preseason action at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 7, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 21-16. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - Prior to last season, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said it would inevitably take some time to figure out how to best use his new acquisitions on defense.
Defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were new additions. Bruce Irvin was being moved to a new position as a linebacker instead of a defensive end. Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel left Miami to sign with Seattle.
Quinn knew the players were talented. However, finding the best roles for the players and catering to their abilities was going to be a more tedious task.
As Seattle looks to repeat it's magical Super Bowl season, Quinn has fewer questions to answer this preseason. Bennett, Avril, McDaniel and Irvin (though still injured) are all back with the Seahawks and the learning curve for Quinn isn't as steep.
“I think we’re farther to a certain extent because Michael [Bennett] and Cliff [Avril] have logged so many reps together. We’re missing one piece now with Bruce [Irvin] not being out here. I’m anxious to put him into that rotation," Quinn said.
However, Quinn still has answers he needs to find before the end of the preseason.
Some of those answers involve the depth along the defensive line and at linebacker, and the rotation at defensive tackle, primarily in passing situations.
"We still haven't all the way figured out our depth at defensive line, at linebacker. How fast can the new players get acclimated into it?" Quinn said.
"It takes time to learn the guys to say, alright, this guy can really press, he can really play off. He's really a good rusher. That's one of the things we learn."
The position that may be seeing the most competition right now is the second interior pass rush spot alongside Kevin Williams.
"The other inside spot is still a little bit of a work-in-progress," Quinn said. "We’re looking at a number of guys, [Jordan] Hill and [Greg] Scruggs and [Cassius] Marsh and that, so it’s a fun part of it because it’s such an important part. They are going to play a lot of snaps. Last year, I think it was over 600 snaps of nickel (defense).”
Williams has fit in easily with Seattle's defense. Quinn said Williams has quick hands and has the experience to understand his position well.
Quinn also mentioned linebackers Brock Coyle and Mike Morgan as making strong impressions with so many linebackers sidelined due to injury. Quinn also said that defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has improved his play as well.
Cassius Marsh to have MRI on knee:
Defensive end Cassius Marsh is set to have an MRI on his knee after leaving practice early on Wednesday.
Marsh slowly walked to the locker room accompanied by members of the training staff before returning later in street clothes.
Marsh apparently had a collision that led to the injury.
Marsh had a strong debut in his preseason debut against the Denver Broncos last week, recording four tackles and a sack.
Training Camp officially wraps up:
With the conclusion of practice on Wednesday, training camp is officially in the books for the Seattle Seahawks.
The players and coaches celebrated the occasion with their family barbeque held after practice. Families of team personnel were invited to watch practice with a large cookout on the perimeter of the practice fields.
The players, who have been sequestered in a hotel for the duration of camp, are now free to return to their homes and normal lives. The team will begin to shift to more of a regular season mode now over the remainder of the preseason.
"It feels like camp is breaking because we get out of the hotel and can get back home and relax," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "At the end of the day, you're never really out of it. You're always working. You're always training. You're always watching tons of film. We look forward to coming to work every day. That's the great part."