Coutu makes Seahawks roster; veteran Mare set to start

Brandon Coutu made Seattle's opening roster, but the former Collins Hill and Georgia standout isn't slated to get a chance to kick Sunday in the Seahawks' first game at Buffalo.

The team picked veteran Olindo Mare over Coutu for those duties.

Both were impressive during the preseason, but Mare will get to kick against the Bills because of his experience and greater distance on kickoffs.

Coutu was 7-for-7 on field goals during the preseason, while Mare was 4-for-5 with his only miss coming from 50 yards out.

"I know that it was good for me to have a guy like Brandon in camp (to push me)," Mare told Seattle reporters.

Mare, entering his 13th NFL season, was signed after Josh Brown left as a free agent to sign with St. Louis. He was the Miami kicker for 10 seasons and played part of last season with New Orleans.

Coutu, drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh round, had two field goals in the final preseason game against Oakland after kicking five - including the game-winner in overtime - earlier against Chicago.

But Mare was picked to kick against the Bills in the opener.

"I'm sure experience had something to do with it, and I'm sure kickoffs had a lot to do with it," Mare said.

Seattle had the flexibility to keep both Mare and Coutu on the 53-man roster because cornerback Jordan Babineaux and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard were suspended by the NFL for one game and won't be eligible to play against the Bills.

The Seahawks aren't expected to be able to carry two kickers when the suspended players return, however.

"I definitely feel like I kicked really well all preseason," Coutu told Seattle reporters after the final exhibition game. "I didn't miss any kicks in the games. It's all out of my hands. I felt like I left it all out there."

The Seahawks would like to have Coutu on their practice squad if not the regular roster. But he would have to clear waivers first before he could be re-signed.