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2012 training camp preview: Seattle Seahawks

The SportsXchange

More NFC West training camp previews: 49ers | Cardinals | Rams

Training camp goals

1. Find a quarterback. Incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent signee Matt Flynn and third-round draft choice Russell Wilson are competing in a three-way battle for the starting job. Jackson will get the reps with the first unit to begin camp, but don't be surprised if Flynn is ultimately the guy. Jackson finished 7-7 as a starter in his first season in Seattle. Head coach Pete Carroll appreciated Jackson gutting out a torn pectoral injury he suffered in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Jackson also earned respect in the locker room for his toughness, becoming one of the team leaders in short time.

But Jackson struggled in late-game situations, failing to lead his team to just a field goal that would have won games against Atlanta and San Francisco, and extended games against Washington and Arizona. Jackson finished with a 30.7 passer rating in the two-minute drill last year, with no touchdowns, six interceptions and nine sacks. In a much smaller sample size, Flynn posted a 103.5 passer rating in two starts with Green Bay. Although he's only 5-foot-11, Carroll believes Wilson could be the team's quarterback of the future, which is one of the reasons he added the Wisconsin product to the team. Wilson is a perfect fit for Seattle's offense because of his ability to move outside the pocket, arm strength, ability to throw on the run and overall leadership skills.

View photo

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Rookie QB Russell Wilson is turning heads for the Seahawks. (Getty Images)

[Around the NFL: 2012 training camp schedules, key questions, fantasy advice and more]

2. Develop a pass rush: The Seahawks finished tied for 19th with just 33 sacks in 2011. They drafted defensive end Bruce Irvin and signed defensive tackle Jason Jones in free agency to rectify that situation. Along with those two, Seattle drafted defensive tackle Jaye Howard in the fourth round and Greg Scruggs in the seventh to create more options on passing downs.

Player to watch

Sidney Rice says he's finally healthy, coming off two offseason shoulder surgeries. Seattle's high-dollar free-agent signee in 2011 is expected to lead the passing game this season. The 25-year-old said he suffered a labrum tear in his right shoulder during training camp in 2011 that forced him to miss the first two games of the year. Although not fully healthy, Rice came back and gutted it out through nine games. But after suffering two concussions in the span of three games, Carroll decided to shut his star receiver down in December. The South Carolina product put on 11 pounds of muscle this offseason, upping his weight to 209 pounds. Rice said he'd like to arrive at training camp at 215 in order to better handle the pounding of a 16-game season.

On the hot seat

With the release of Mike Williams, the Seahawks expect Golden Tate to finally live up to his potential as an explosive playmaker in his third season. A second-round draft choice out of Notre Dame in the 2010 draft, Tate struggled to grasp the subtle nuisances of his position, like running precise routes, in his rookie season. He showed improvement in his second year, finishing third on the team in receptions with 35 for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

Full Seahawks team report

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