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Russell Wilson, Eddie Lacy give Seahawks intriguing backfield

Training camp preview: The NFC West

Seattle’s Russell Wilson is still the best quarterback in the NFC West — by far.

The three-time Pro Bowler has never won fewer than 10 games in the regular season, is 56-23-1 overall and 8-4 in the playoffs with a Super Bowl championship. Last season, Wilson passed for a personal-best 4,219 yards.

He’s also married to Ciara, so Wilson is winning off the field too.

We look at the NFC West heading into training camp, in order of predicted finish in the regular season.

Seattle Seahawks

Training camp location: Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Renton, Washington

Report dates: Rookies and veterans, July 29

Look out for this guy: Running back Eddie Lacy got paid: He recently received a $55,000 bonus for weighing 250 pounds or less. Considering Lacy’s weight was such a big problem while he was still with the Green Bay Packers last season, the Seahawks should be encouraged. Lacy has been a big-time runner — when he’s in shape.

Camp watch: It’ll be interesting to see how much the Seahawks put on Lacy’s shoulders. Despite Lacy’s improved physique, the Seahawks have other options at running back. Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise could team with Lacy to form a strong backfield by committee. Coach Pete Carroll has to get it all figured out.

Arizona Cardinals

Training camp location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

Report dates: Rookies and veterans, July 21

Look out for this guy: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald just keeps on going. Entering his 14th season, the 33-year-old Fitzgerald is coming off another 1,000-yard receiving season, his eighth overall. After years of lining up at an outside receiver spot, Fitzgerald made a successful transition to the slot. It seems he still has a lot left.

Camp watch: Defensive end Calais Campbell moved to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. The Arizona Cardinals need someone to replace his production and leadership. Is second-year defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche ready to go there?

San Francisco 49ers

Training camp location: SAP Performance Facility, Santa Clara, California

Report dates: Rookies, July 26; veterans, July 27

Look out for this guy: Wide receiver Pierre Garcon is reunited with San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, whom he worked under when Shanahan was the Washington Redskins’ playcaller. There’s no tougher wideout in the game. Garcon should help Shanahan jump-start the 49ers’ rebuilding program.

Camp watch: The 49ers were only 2-14 last season. When you’re that bad, no one’s roster spot is safe. Look for rookie defensive end Solomon Thomas to fill one big hole. The first-rounder from Stanford looks like a building block.

Los Angeles Rams

Training camp location: University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Report dates: Rookies, July 26; veterans, July 28

Look out for this guy: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the type of player teams build around. And for the Los Angeles Rams, Donald is also an incredible bargain because he’s still on his rookie contract. It’s in the Rams’ long-term plan to keep Donald happy.

Camp watch: Donald hasn’t ruled out skipping camp until he gets a deal worthy of his performance. The Rams have enough problems. If Donald misses practice because of a contract dispute, there would be no bigger story on the team. Believe that.


Jason Reid is the senior NFL writer at Andscape. He enjoys watching sports, especially any games involving his son and daughter.