Despite failing to live up to his first-round status with the Eagles, Marcus Smith said he generated considerable interest during his brief stay in free agency. Prior to signing with the Seahawks in late July, Smith said he had offers from the Packers, Chiefs and Colts, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. However, this Seahawks regime being interested in the then-Louisville product during the 2014 draft — with Condotta noting the team traded out of the first round after he went off the board to Philly at pick No. 26 — and former college assistant Clint Hurtt now Seattle’s defensive line coach made it a better fit than those other teams would have, Smith said.
Condotta adds Smith will now serve as the Seahawks’ first end off the bench now that Frank Clark will take the injured Cliff Avril‘s place in the starting lineup. Smith finished with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his new team’s Sunday-night win over the Colts.
Here’s more out of the Pacific Northwest and other West locales in advance of Week 5.
- Despite being hospitalized for what was viewed at the time as a scary injury, Rees Odhiambo may return to action without missing a game. Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable expects his starting left tackle to play on Sunday against the Rams, Condotta tweets. Odhiambo was hospitalized for what was called a chest contusion (or bruised heart) Sunday night. He’s the second Seattle left tackle starter to suffer a serious injury, joining George Fant (ACL tear) in that regard. But this serious-sounding setback may not force the Seahawks to make another change on their starting O-line.
- One of the Cardinals‘ fallout solutions for replacing Markus Golden, lost for the season with a torn ACL, will be to experiment with first-round pick Haason Reddick at outside linebacker. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said (via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com) there are packages set to be unveiled Sunday featuring Reddick as an outside linebacker. Bettcher wouldn’t confirm if Reddick is being moved outside full-time, but Weinfuss notes these packages with the rookie on the edge will be part of the solution to replacing Golden. Reddick started Arizona’s first three games at inside linebacker but went to the bench after Deone Bucannon reclaimed his job in Week 4. Bucannon and veteran Karlos Dansby are the Cards’ starting inside ‘backers, and with the team not considering a Dwight Freeney reunion, it’s possible they’re looking at this outside-the-box solution seriously.
- The Chiefs have added interesting wrinkles to their unorthodox offense this season, and while this misidirection-based scheme resulted in some zany college-style plays and has helped the team to 4-0, it’s also probably led Alex Smith being on the injury report with an ankle issue. While Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the fifth-year Chiefs starting quarterback is expected to start Sunday against the Texans, past experience — i.e. playing well prior to a 2012 injury costing him his job once Colin Kaepernick emerged — should accelerate Smith’s drive to stay on the field. That said, the polish gap between Smith and Mahomes is likely considerable at this point. A permanent switch in 2017 — one Kansas City’s brass ruled out before the season — would be considerably different than Tom Savage losing his job to Deshaun Watson, especially considering how well Smith is playing thus far.
- The Seahawks worked out guards Willie Beavers and Cole Toner, along with tackle D.J. Tialavea, Howard Balzer of SportsOnEarth tweets. The Bengals cut Toner from their practice squad late last month. Beavers has been on the workout circuit since the Patriots cut him from theirs in early September.
- Holding an apparent defensive backs-only audition, the Raiders worked out several secondary cogs this week. Cornerback Brian Dixon, Demetrius McCray and Deji Olatoye participated. As did ex-Giants safety Mykkele Thompson, per Balzer (on Twitter). Dixon is the biggest name of this contingent, having spent three seasons with the Saints.
- Linebacker Josh Keyes visited both the Chargers and Colts this week, Balzer tweets. These are the first known workouts for Keyes since the Falcons cut him prior to the season.