Quickhits: Seahawks Scrimmage

Here's the quickhits, as I've only 15 minutes from some God forsaken  Hotwire internet café:

Logan Payne does hit the soft spot well and breaks out of his route quickly, flashing open. He doesn't play well in traffic, and shows shaky poise when defenders are narrowing in on him. That, plus just adequate overall quickness is a marginal package. Ideally, like Bobby Engram, he could develop into a solid slot receiver, dicing up the middle zone and converting third downs. But with little in the way of RAC or deep threat ability Payne must be a bulldog, every-target, every-catch receiver. He's someone to watch during the preseason, because should Engram miss time, Payne could develop into an Engram-like third down machine. Could.

Ben Obomanu, remember him? Remember him. I've always liked Obo's long speed, length and potential, but he's a shaky route-runner and unsteady as a receiver. Today, he showed me something very promising: An ability to play underneath, in the scrum, the garbage, the fracas among the big hitters. He turned a quick hitch into a nice sweep into a touchdown. After a shaky first season, Obomanu has become a dark horse, forgotten by fans, but he's got the talent and ethic to make a jump. His zone awareness already has.

Owen Schmitt will need to refine his chops for at least one season on special teams. He's surprisingly rough, and suffers lapses in concentration-as a rusher and receiver. His blocking, how the man makes his cash, looks intact. I'm excited to see him and Justin Forsett tandem in the preseason.

I'm calling my shot here: I think Forsett excels in the preseason and makes Morris expendable. I love Force's second gear and how it combines with his toughness/elusiveness/resilience to turn his every rush into pocket dynamite. The cool thing about Forsett is he's surprisingly adept at shedding contact and breaking tackles. And when the shackles come off he burns into his second gear like a factory tuned S2000. That second gear turns ordinary and broken rushes into 5-25 yard gashes.

I really like Jamar Adams' length. He's long, agile and surprisingly adept at Cover 1. He made a nice break on a ball in the end zone, displaying nice read, nice quickness but only so-so hands. Those hands are what separates him from being a viable free safety. But those hands aren't a mortal deficit, they can be improved. He's also a little chippy; plays with cockiness, a little aggression, meanness. After bottling up Julius Jones-Jones churning his legs, fighting for extra yardage-the undrafted rookie planted the veteran millionaire Adams swaggers, shirt untucked, with a lot of ego. Take that for what you will.

Carlson's there. His spacing, route running, zone awareness and hands are all above pro caliber. Plus, it was very nice to see him twice take a reception and quickly redirect for some run after the catch.

Laury isn't there as a coverage backer, but that takes time.

Despite expectations, Duckett isn't a true knock`em sock`em power back. Not in the Marion Barber vein, anyhow. He's more of a picker. What makes him intriguing is that tackles just bounce off him. He doesn't bowl defenders over, but when defenders attempt to bowl him over he's steadfast and gets back to speed immediately. I hope Seattle sees Duckett as a complete back and doesn't pigeon hole him as a short yardage back. It's a waste.

Frye makes terrible reads, consistently throwing to covered receivers or into traffic. The result: lots of tight windows and quick tackles. Not impressed.

Nice long reception by Bumpus. If you combine his poise with Payne's awareness you'd have something.

Kent is still a real work in progress. He loses nerve when covered, but will make the team as a deep threat. Kent tracked the ball over his shoulder without breaking stride on a nice touch-bomb by Frye.

I didn't pay much attention to the line play because the 1st v. 2nd and 2nd v. 1st team format made for a lot of funky matchups. What I can say, joyfully, is this: Baraka Atkins has made progress to an adequate first step and for a player so athletic, strong and talented, that's a small but decisive step to an exciting future.

Coutu ended the scrimmage with a 56 yard kick. Coutu and Mare stand at a stalemate-equally bad. Neither kicked the ball with much authority, and though neither kicked off, they were clearing the cross beam by the narrowest of margins. I watched the two pre-practice as people filed in, and I would say Mare is narrowly in the lead. He started the kicking drills, was in pads when Coutu was sans pads, and looks just a hair stronger on kicks. But someone is going to need to show me something more because I was not impressed.

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