PITTSBURGH — Editor's note: The above video featuring an exclusive KING 5 interview with Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs originally aired August 1, 2022. This story is part of KING 5's Seahawks season preview series.
After an offseason that featured a lot of turnover at key positions, the Seahawks returned to the field Saturday for their first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, all of which will be broadcast live locally on KING 5.
The first of the three preseason games often offers a limited look at projected starters, as many teams choose to rest their top players and allow younger players and rookies competing for roster spots to eat up most of the playing time.
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Here are five takeaways from the Seahawks' last-second 32-25 loss at Acrisure Field in Pittsburgh:
Little insight into quarterback position
Geno Smith, who has been at the top of the depth chart throughout training camp, got the start and played a pretty conservative but efficient two quarters of football. He completed 10-of-15 passes for 101 yards, and showed off some mobility on the final drive of the first half, scoring the team's first touchdown of the game on a scramble run. Of Smith's five possessions, three ended in punts and two resulted in scores.
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Drew Lock got the second half and started off with a bang, marching Seattle down the field and punctuating the drive with a short touchdown pass to rookie Dareke Young. Lock finished with 11-of-15 passes completed for 102 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Lock had a chance at a potential game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, but was strip-sacked from behind and the Steelers recovered the fumble.
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With the Seahawks' starting running back and two top wide receivers not suiting up, this wasn't a very viable chance to determine whether Smith or Lock might be the better option under center. The Seahawks' second preseason game likely will feature more starters and could be a more legitimate game to evaluate the two.
Rough start on special teams
The Seahawks' special teams got off to a slow start, as Aaron Fuller nearly gifted the Steelers six points by trying to pick up and struggling to secure a punt before regaining possession.
The Steelers also had a 38-yard punt return on the Seahawks, with rookie Boye Mafe being able to save a potential touchdown by chasing Steven Sims out of bounds.
Even the team's first field goal attempt of the season came within inches of being wide left, with Jason Myers' kick hitting the crossbar before angling between the uprights.
Rookie offensive linemen make solid debut
First-round pick Charles Cross got the start at left tackle, and showed some really positive signs, moving his feet well and covering Smith's blindside well.
Abe Lucas, the Washington State product who was selected in the third round, saw extensive time at right tackle and showed some proficiency in run-blocking.
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Both Cross and Lucas played in pass-heavy offenses during their college careers, and will need to continue to hone their skills opening up holes for the Seahawks' running game. In their first live NFL competition, the two certainly held their own.
Tariq Woolen, Coby Bryant targeted early
The talk of training camp so far has been the play of the Seahawks' young cornerbacks, as rookies Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant have made life difficult for their offensive counterparts at the VMAC.
However, the Steelers took shots against both early on in Saturday night's game, with some tough results. Woolen got lost on the Steelers' first touchdown of the game, as Gunner Olszewski was left wide open in the end zone.
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On Pittsburgh's next drive, George Pickens beat Bryant on a go route and made a remarkable toe-tap catch in the back corner. Bryant's coverage was solid, but both he and Woolen now have some film to learn from before Seattle's second preseason game.