Today's practice viewing was canceled to the public and though the Seahawks have promptly offered me other dates to attend, I think I will head home and await the preseason. Camp is fun. The journey is fun. Sometime in the next few days I'll publish a notes piece about all the stuff that surrounds camp and creates the atmosphere and journey, but for now what matters: football.
Deon Butler deserved a chance to redeem himself after yesterday. I hope he is privately doing so today, because yesterday was a live-action confirmation of my fears.
It was a wet day and even Seattle's best set of hands, Deion Branch, dropped an easy pass. Branch's drop was preceded by an effortless behind the back snag. Butler's set of drops was preceded by a pass that ate him up, got in his body and was caught because a defender wasn't around to bump Butler or swat the ball away.
Butler looked smooth and showed a good redirect on a later pass. I like the idea of "smooth" when it comes to receivers, because to me it represents a lack of wasted motion. Butler is smooth, not as smooth as Branch, but pretty clean about his lines and clearly an athlete.
On the next pass I saw Butler attempt to receive, the ball soared a bit and crossed him a little above his shoulder height. It was easy to notice. Butler outstretched his hands and then comically whiffed as the pass spiraled through his arms and towards the turf ten yards behind him. Butler mis-tracked another ball, but managed to drop it.
Butler slipped on a route and then later missed a pass that was a little underthrown on a route he was a little slow to come out of his break. I split the blame.
Butler fell again. Before that he was matched against C.J. Wallace on a deep route. Wallace recorded a 4.83 forty at University of Washington's pro day, but Butler couldn't overtake him and didn't make the reception.
You never know if you're seeing a player's best day or their worst day. You can guess it's in between, but not where in between. I wouldn't lower expectations because of his Monday performance, but take it as a progress report. Butler has a lot of potential, but still a long ways to go.