Seattle Seahawks

Gameday matchup: Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers

Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead catches a pass during a team practice in June. Shead will be a player to watch in Saturday’s exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers.
Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead catches a pass during a team practice in June. Shead will be a player to watch in Saturday’s exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers. Staff photographer

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

SATURDAY, 5 P.M., QUALCOMM STADIUM, SAN DIEGO

TV: Ch. 7. Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.

The series: This is the 10th time in 14 summers these former AFC West rivals have met in an exhibition. The Seahawks lead the preseason series overall 9-4. That includes their 41-14 win in Seattle last August.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Block somebody: Pete Carroll will be focused first on his re-made offensive line. This is the second game of Drew Nowak starting at center, Justin Britt at left guard and Garry Gilliam at right tackle. Entering last weekend the issue was pass blocking. But this time expect Seattle to run Robert Turbin and Christine Michael early and often, to see if this new line can run block with any consistency. Seattle is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry in the preseason, almost 2 full yards below the Seahawks’ average when they had the league’s top rushing offense in the 2014 regular season.

Find Kam’s fill-in: Friday was the 29th day of Kam Chancellor’s holdout that has no foreseeable end. Carroll said the team is moving on to find out whether Dion Bailey or DeShawn Shead will be Chancellor’s replacement at strong safety. Bailey has been the bigger hitter, Shead the versatile playmaker on the ball at both safety and cornerback. Whoever plays better here might just start the opener — unless Chancellor suddenly stops digging in his “pay me” stance.

Corner competition: Tharold Simon says there is a competition at cornerback and he will play for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery. Seattle signed Cary Williams to be the starter opposite Richard Sherman. Simon has Saturday and Thursday’s exhibition games to challenge for the job.

PRIME NUMBERS

With number, player’s name, position, height, weight and season in the NFL:

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

62 Drew Nowak, C, 6-3, 292, fourth

One more game like last week and the college defensive tackle and 2014 practice squad guard becomes Max Unger’s unlikely replacement.

37 Dion Bailey, SS, 6-0, 211, second

Undrafted, injured, on his way to the practice squad this time last year, he now has a golden chance to start in opener.

35 DeShawn Shead, SS, 6-2, 220, fourth

Previously valued for versatility, now in showdown with Bailey to win Chancellor’s job. This is the final main test.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

56 Donald Butler, ILB, 6-1, 242, sixth

Former UW Husky returns from injury reserve last season as starter in middle of Chargers’ defense.

77 King Dunlap, LT, 6-9, 330, eighth

Absolutely mammoth. If Seattle’s new defensive end, Frank Clark, can get around him, rookie can get around anybody.

33 Greg Ducre, CB, 5-10, 183, second

Former Washington speedster trying to stick on special teams in second San Diego stint after tries in Kansas City, Washington.

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