Seahawks players to watch in preseason opener against Chargers

Here are some players to watch when the Seahawks take on the Chargers in their preseason opener Sunday at 5 p.m.

If you like omens, here’s one to hearten Seahawks fans — the last time Seattle opened the preseason against the Chargers on the road the Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl.

Of course, the Chargers were in San Diego in 2013. This year’s preseason opener, which kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m., will instead be at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., the Chargers’ home for the next three years until they move into a new stadium in Inglewood.

While the game will mark the beginning of a new era for the Chargers it will also mark a shifting in the player evaluation for the Seahawks coaches and general manager John Schneider, who by the end of the month will have to pare the 90-man training camp roster down to the regular season limit of 53.

Coach Pete Carroll said this week he expects that job to be harder this year than it has been the last few seasons thanks to a roster that he thinks is better from top to bottom than the last few seasons.

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“John and I have been looking at it for a long time as we’re coming into camp and thinking we have a chance to have one of the best we’ve had indicated by the competition of the spots,” Carroll said. “You can see it. There’s a number of guys that have playability that we’re going to have to sort out. There’s competitive opportunities for guys to make space for themselves, too, and all that adds to making us better and so we’re really fired up about that.”

While there are any number of players who will be intriguing to watch, here are some I’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on:

Shaquill Griffin, CB

The third-round pick has been a camp standout the past week as he has filled in as the starting right cornerback with veteran Jeremy Lane out with an injury. And with Lane still out against the Chargers, Griffin will get the start. Carroll had portrayed Lane as the leader for that job prior to his injury. But if Griffin can translate his play into practice onto the field the team could have a tough decision on its hands. It’s worth remembering that Lane at the least will be the starting nickelback, so in a way the decision is mostly about who gets the 30 percent additional snaps or so at cornerback when the Seahawks are in their base defense — Lane, Griffin and Richard Sherman are…

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