By Liz Mathews
The Seahawks face the Raiders Friday night at CenturyLink Field to officially wrap the 2011 preseason.
"This is it, this is the end of camp," head coach Pete Carroll said Thursday afternoon following practice. "It seems crucial to us to see a lot of stuff to make the evaluations we need to make in a number of areas, not just the ones that you’re going to put on the roster and not put on the roster, but also schematically we’ve got things that we’re still growing and learning about.
"It’s a really important event for us and hopefully we’ll find out a bunch of stuff that’ll help go into next week.”
Heading into the Friday night game with a squad of 80 players, the Seahawks must comply with the initial 53-man roster requirement by 3 p.m Saturday afternoon. The eight-man practice squad will be named on Sunday.
For 27 players, this final preseason game means everything.
“There’s a number of guys it’s really crucial for," Carroll said. "There’s guys that are fighting for the roster spots, there’s guys that are fighting for practice squad spots as well. It’s deep. The competition has been stepped up in practice this week. Guys realize their window of opportunity is closing, so we’ve had a very good week of preparation.
"Hopefully there will be some exciting stories for some of the new kids and they’ll make their opportunities happen by the way they perform.”
The starters are also expected to see some action on Friday night. Besides the plan to play all three quarterbacks, Carroll wouldn't speak specifically to the other positions but noted that there may be some surprises.
"Everybody will play in this game, which is good for us," he said. "We need to see everybody. These guys have worked really hard in this camp and they deserve to get out there and show it and show where they fit. So it’s an exciting last day of the early season, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Regarding transactions, the Seahawks added their third wide receiver in two days on Thursday, signing free agent Owen Spencer. Both Chris Carter and Patrick Williams were re-signed to the roster on Wednesday.
“Well, going into this game we were saying that we were going to hold some guys out in this game," Carroll explained. "It was important just to have the guys to run and fortunately we had a couple guys that stayed local that we had released off the roster that could jump right back in."
Mike Williams is still suffering from the toe injury he sustained at the start of training camp and Sidney Rice has rested out this week with a sore shoulder. Ben Obomanu has also been under careful watch after hitting his head on the ground during Tuesday's practice. All three starters are not expected to play Friday night.
"For the most part, the guys that have lasted this long for us, we trust and we could play with them on our football team," Carroll said of the players who are fighting for a spot on Saturday's roster. "They’ve worked hard enough and learned enough to last this long and those guys could have a spot under some circumstances. Basically, that’s the message that I convey, that we’re grateful for the time they’ve spent and what they’ve accomplished to be here and that they have become valuable to us.
"Yeah, they’re going to be mad at me one way or another – can’t do anything about that, that’s the truth. So we just tell them really straight up what’s happened and wish them the best and hope we can make something happen for them."