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What to watch in Seahawks' exhibition game

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Among the things I'll watch when the Seahawks face the Chiefs in their exhibition game Saturday night:

  • Deion Branch. The coaching staff wants to feature him this week. Branch needs to carve out a role and prove he belongs in the receiving rotation. Adding T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deon Butler this offseason put Branch on notice.

  • Julius Jones and the run game. Coordinator Greg Knapp says the Seahawks might need five, six or seven regular-season games to grasp zone-blocking concepts. Seattle doesn't need to see machine-like efficiency. The team does need to see signs of improvement. Let's see how Jones responds to Edgerrin James' signing.

  • Overall defensive desire. The Seattle defense wasn't particularly active in its last exhibition game. The coaching staff will want to see Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu and Aaron Curry hit people. It's the third exhibition game and time to show a little swagger.

  • Sean Locklear. His transition to left tackle is important for the Seahawks as they prepare to possibly play without Walter Jones. Locklear had some problems against the Broncos last week. A little more consistency in pass protection would help.

  • Bobby Engram. Seeing him in a Chiefs jersey -- against the Seahawks -- will seem strange. Engram brought so much to Seattle during the team's finest seasons.

  • Patrick Kerney and pass rush. The former Pro Bowl defensive end hasn't opened it up this summer. I don't know how he'll approach this game, but a sack or two would certainly leave a favorable impression heading toward the regular season. The team's other pass-rushers are also in focus. Curry figures to get more chances in that role, while some younger defensive linemen are fighting for roster spots.

There are other things to watch, including the kicking battle, but those are a few of the things on which I'll focus.