Chris Petersen has churned out NFL talent in his three seasons as the head coach of Washington; players are spread around the league with varying degrees of success and many players are looking to make their mark on the league. There are a couple of stories to follow with these NFL Dawgs:
Will Desmond Trufant return to form?
Desmond Trufant was the start of the new DB U that Washington has become. Before last season he was rewarded for his play as a top cornerback in the league with a $68.75 million, five-year contract. All those dollars went to waste for the Atlanta Falcons halfway through the season when Trufant suffered a pectoral injury and missed most of the season, including the unforgettable comeback staged by the New England Patriots.
The Falcons have to hope that Trufant doesn’t have any lingering issues (he was taken out of the game once during the preseason) and is able to return to his standing as one of the best five cover corners in the NFL.
Does Sidney Jones see the field?
Sidney Jones was projected originally as a top-15 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft until he ruptured his Achilles tendon on the last drill of his pro day. He fell to the second round to the Philadelphia Eagles where fellow Dawg Elijah Qualls made it. Achilles tears are some of the worst injuries a player so reliant on quick-twitch movements to suffer, and it was originally suspected that Jones was going to miss his entire rookie season. He might make it back for the last bit of the season, but as of right now that is still up in the air.
In positive news, Jones is scheduled to start running this week.
Is Kasen Williams finally going stick with a team?
Seahawk fans collectively lost it when Williams wasn’t named to the 53-man roster after a preseason filled with highlight grabs. It didn’t take long for him to get snatched up, as the first team with the opportunity to pick him up did, as Williams is now a Cleveland Brown.
The former state high jump champion has been underwhelming compared to the lofty expectations that were put upon him after his sophomore season at Washington, likely due to the Lisfranc injury he suffered his junior year. He seems to have finally put it behind him, but it still wasn’t enough for him to make the Seahawks roster. He has bounced around on the Seattle roster and practice squad for several seasons - the Browns will give him an opportunity to show what he can do.
Jermaine Kearse leaves Seattle
Kearse has played football in the Seattle area since his high school days at Fort Lewis. He went to UW (obviously) and has been a Seahawk since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent. Kearse has shown up in some big moments for Seattle, but after struggling last season, the Seahawks traded away the receiver to the New York Jets. Kearse has more career catches than the rest of the Jets receivers combined (excluding injured receivers) so he will see the ball thrown his way plenty.
Can Austin Seferian-Jenkins revive his career?
We know the talent that ASJ has. We all have seen the high-point catches in the end zone and the willingness as a blocker he has shown. The problem with Seferian-Jenkins isn’t the on-field ability, but his ability to keep everything together off the field. He was arrested for a DUI while a member of the Huskies and his track record in the NFL isn’t much better, as he is starting the season suspended.
Reportedly, Seferian-Jenkins has quit drinking and lost weight. Kudos to him for starting to sort his life out. That's always priority number one before football. Hopefully it will still translate into success for him on the gridiron.
Every player has their own story to tell. How quickly will Kevin King and Budda Baker start in the secondary for their teams? Will Marcus Peters repeat as an All-Pro cornerback? John Ross is hurt again. Hau’oli Kikaha tore an ACL again last season.
What are you going to be keeping an eye on as the NFL season rolls around?
Bonus: here is a list of Huskies currently on NFL rosters: