Seahawks Training Camp Report: 8/4 (AM)

Seahawks Insider is first in with, uh, well...

There is another new player on the field, though this one is an old player. With Chris Gray announcing his retirement (officially he was placed on the IR) -- which must make Ben Claxton feel a bit more secure...

Chris Gray: Ben Claxton, come over here man. Doctors told me I have to retire. Said I have a spine injury; that if I play any more it could lead to paralysis. When they told me Saturday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Playing football has been my life. Anyway, kid, sounds like you've got a good chance to make the club. That's my spot you're taking. Do me proud.

Ben Claxton: You're debilitating injury makes me feel a bit more secure about my job.

Gray:

Claxton: Sorry about the spine.

Howard Green had another nice play, slipping a block and getting into the backfield to stop Maurice Morris.

I'm not wild about Green, but without Red Bryant, he's the team's best backup 1 tech tackle. That is, assuming nothing from Marcus Tubbs. At 29, and with better quicks than strength, for a right DT anyway, Green could enjoy a late career peak as his strength and speed hit an optimum equilibrium: being strong enough to make his speed count and not having lost enough speed to suffer.

D. D. Lewis quickly showed why Justin Forsett’s size is a liability: After Forsett caught a pass and tried to sprint away from Lewis, Lewis took his jersey with just one arm and flung him to the ground with a look of disdain.

Being tackled by the jersey, even decisively, does not make a player a liability.

I have to say, Jason Babin is having a pretty good training camp. Babin bullrushed Joe Newton on one play and pushed him into the backfield, right into Owen Schmitt, who was coming up to the line for a block. The play fell apart. It is the one concern with Newton: he is a very good receiver but his lower body is too small to sustain blocks. Later, Babin beat Kyle Williams to the quarterback.

In other words, Babin schooled a tight end that can't block and a developmental tackle that's hanging on by his fingernails. As much as I want Babin to produce, this is all but meaningless. Good God I can't wait for Friday.

Talkin Hawks

WORD OF THE DAY
Defense. As in, the pads came back on, and the defense came out pounding.

After two practices in shells and shorts Sunday, the players worked this morning for 1 hour, 45 minutes in full pads – and defensive players were popping theirs, and then popping off.

"Guys were just making plays," Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu said. "And you get to jawing a little more when you're making plays."

That the defense was doing, to the rumbling displeasure of coach Mike Holmgren – whose practice barometer is an indication of well the offense performs.

Seattle's defense is clearly more talented than its offense. Especially the offense it assembles for practice. Full of holes on the line and largely without its top quarterback. So, though the story has been about how the defense has dominated the offense throughout training camp, it's really no reason to panic. The defense is playing at or near full strength. It should be dominating Seattle's patchwork offense.

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