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Seahawks camp review: Downer or success?

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The close of NFL training camps provides an opportunity to revisit NFC West camp previews. The previews set criteria by which each team's training camp would qualify as a "downer" or a "success" -- although the criteria wasn't necessarily exclusive. I'll republish the criteria and follow it with a verdict, concluding with a look at the Seahawks.

Camp will be a downer if ... quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's back injury flares up at any point along the way. Hasselbeck and the Seahawks say the quarterback has long since overcome the problems that helped limit him to seven starts last season. They didn't know the extent of the problem a year ago when they assured fans that Hasselbeck would be fine for the regular season. The issue is under control now, they say, but the very nature of back injuries should raise at least some concern heading into a pivotal season for the organization.

Camp will be a success if ... Hasselbeck, left tackle Walter Jones and defensive end Patrick Kerney put to rest concerns about their long-term health. Beyond the obvious injury storylines, this camp becomes a success for Seattle if Curry validates coach Jim Mora's opinion that the linebacker's pass-rushing abilities are indeed far stronger than anticipated on draft day. Seattle badly needs to restore its pass rush to better compete against the Cardinals' passing game in a broader effort to overtake Arizona in the division. Kerney is the key, but the Seahawks are also counting on pressure from other sources: Brandon Mebane, Cory Redding, Lawrence Jackson, Darryl Tapp and possibly Leroy Hill. Significant pass-rush help from Curry would offset Julian Peterson's departure while making it easier for the Seahawks to justify having drafted a linebacker fourth overall.

The verdict: The Seahawks ran more efficient practices with less time between plays, forcing Hasselbeck and the other quarterbacks to take more reps than in past seasons. The back problems Hasselbeck suffered last season never became a factor. Kerney also practiced quite a bit and played for extended stretches during the exhibition season without reporting shoulder trouble. That makes training camp largely successful, although Jones struggled to stay on the field before undergoing a follow-up knee surgery. The Seahawks will know more about Jones this week. Initial signs suggest the surgery was successful in relieving the pain.