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Hawk Talk highlights: Defensive-line rotation

By Brady Henderson

Highlights from the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny O'Neil:

Nate asked how Seattle's defensive-line rotation will look with starters Chris Clemons and Red Bryant moving on along with Clinton McDonald.

O'Neil: Well, Chris Clemons started last year at LEO, and that's the spot everyone presumes Cliff Avril slides up to. The other defensive end spot – the one Red Bryant played – likely will be Michael Bennett. At least that's our assumption. In the nickel pass rush package, I think the projection is that Bennett moves inside to defensive tackle (paired with perhaps Jordan Hill?) with Avril and then another pass rusher on the outside. Could be Bruce Irvin. Could be Benson Mayowa. Could be Jackson Jeffcoat even.

Austin asked which players have been the standouts of organized team activities (OTAs).

O'Neil: I do have some good information regarding people that have stood out. Linebacker Korey Toomey has really stepped up to the point he's working with first-unit special teams, probably the best indicator of his fast track toward a roster spot. Cornerback Tharold Simon has looked good, too. Dangerous to type his name too much, though, as Tharold gets spell-corrected to Thyroid on my computer. Not quite as funny as the fact that Klinsmann – as in U.S. men's national team coach – gets corrected to Klansman. Two other safeties to watch: Dion Bailey and Terrance Parks.

Donkey Hotay believes that running back Christine Michael is insurance for starter Marshawn Lynch and not necessarily a threat to take carries from last year's backup, Robert Turbin.

O'Neil: I disagree with that. Seattle is about putting together the best combination, and I think if the past four years has shown us anything it's that the Seahawks don't try to pigeon-hole a player into a specific role. They don't have a specific blueprint/specs for the backup running back, at least not in terms of size and speed. There are certain things the back must be able to do – pass protect, catch the ball out of the backfield. But it's not like they've got schematics for a specific type of player.

Hawks Dad asked how wide receiver Sidney Rice has looked as he makes his way back from reconstructive knee surgery and whether there's a chance he doesn't make the team.

O'Neil: He hasn't done much as he's still rehabbing. Not participating in team drills yet. There's a chance he doesn't make the team, but way too soon to be drawing any conclusions in that regard.

An anonymous guest asked if the Seahawks will "pull the plug" on Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and use him at another position.

O'Neil: I would cool the jets on the whole Terrelle Pryor is struggling. I have not thought he looks particularly good. However, that's a pretty layman's observation from just a few workouts. Talking to someone who'd know yesterday, I heard the Seahawks believe he's made as much progress as anyone over the past month. In fact, they feel there's been a breakthrough of sorts for him.

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