I attended practice yesterday and today. I originally intended to hold off on these notes until after tomorrow but apparently they're doing a mock game so I figure tomorrow's practice can have its own post. I don't need to tell you how gawgous the weather has been but I suppose I just did.
- On Friday, JR Sweezy seemingly took every available snap with both the ones and the twos. I watched practice from field level (my view was often obstructed) so I can't tell you much about how he performed. But he definitely saw more plays than any other offensive linemen, by a significant margin. I can speak to his nastiness though as he drew a punch/shove from Pierre Allen well after the whistle. Sweezy just stood there, so no fight, but Ken Norton started yelling "He's out of control! He's out of control!"
Sweezy taking so many snaps should pique people's interest. Of course this was probably an evaluation effort to "see where he fits in," as Pete might say, but the fact that he's playing with the ones might indicate that our coaches think he's closer to contributing than expected. Beating out Paul McQuistan for the starting job seems unlikely but don't sleep on him as immediate depth at either guard position. JR Sweezy is a player to watch this preseason.
- On the other side of the line, Jason Jones has been a force. He consistently disrupts plays in the backfield and near the end of practice on Friday he rejected a Matt Flynn pass straight into the turf. In his Thursday press conference, Pete Carroll spoke to Jones' outstanding performance so far saying "We're going to utilize him (Jones) across the board. He's going to play a lot of plays for us. We had a plan that we underestimated. When we talked the number of snaps that we wanted him in, we think we're going to play him more than that after we've seen him now." Awesome.
- On a linebacking corps which includes several other very fast LBs, Malcolm Smith has stood out to me as having the fastest feet. He's an exciting player to watch, especially in training camp with no pads. Therein lies the problem though. For as talented as Smith is, and I would say he's very talented, I can see why he might never win a starting job. Still, I hope we find ways to get him on the field more this season. Cordarro Law has made a nice impression at Sam and part-time Leo.
- Knee Notes: Matt McCoy and James Carpenter watched practice with electroshock muscle stimulators attached to their injured legs. This is an effort to help rebuild that atrophied quadricep I've told you about.
- Is it just me, or is Kam Chancellor a good natured guy on the field? It seems odd given his imposing frame and reputation as a hitter but I just get the sense that he really enjoys playing football. Not like a Ray Lewis enjoyment. More like a Brett Favre. Kam plays with an ease of effort, a "swag" if you will, that helps negate the speed deficiencies he has.
- Coye Francies and Phillip Adams have both played well in coverage. Adams especially has impressed me with some plays on the ball down the field. They provide solid depth at CB. Jeremy Lane moves and occasionally reads like a starting corner but he's also very inconsistent - rookie. We'll see how he does in the preseason. DeShawn Shead looks the part (6-1 220) and has shown some nice things. He will push Jeron Johnson for his roster spot.
Kids, don't read the first line after the jump.
- Richard Sherman had a nice pass breakup on Friday and loudly shouted "Get the fuck out!" Yea.
- Okay. I'm convinced. Golden Tate is ready. He's trimmed down a little and it really shows in his quickness. From a mental standpoint, he's not making mistakes and wears a serious expression in between plays. All around he seems a lot more mature and focused on making an impact, which he does. On both days he hooked up with Russell Wilson on 9 routes. Friday's was a perfect pass from Wilson and Saturday's was high-pointed by Tate for a touchdown. Tate also caught another touchdown on a fade route in a goalline situation (Saturday).
- Kris Durham didn't impress me last weekend, but he looked much better the past two days. Like Deon Butler a week ago, Durham showed a nice rapport with Flynn. On one goalline situation, Flynn found Durham on a crossing route with a high pass to the back of the endzone. This is a great spot for Durham and Flynn knew it. I think Butler and Durham are very similar receivers. Both are somewhat passive, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. They're just more focused on running crisp routes and catching the ball than beating their man. I doubt that Durham will ever become a starter but I believe he and Butler can have a positive impact as skilled role players. Both receivers work well with Flynn because of their ability to get open and Flynn's ability to find them.
- Braylon Edwards is the opposite of passive receiver. He beats his man, running routes - not the other way around. In 1v1 drills, he was still hand fighting with J-Lane about five yards down field on what I believe was supposed to be a quick slant. He beat his man... but there was no pressure on the QB. There's no doubt about his physicality though. In the unlikely scenario that Tarvaris Jackson wins the job, I would expect Edwards to make the team and be a favourite target.
- The undrafted rookie from Henderson State (Arkansas), Sean McGrath has been surprisingly active playing TE and some H-Back. I could see him landing on the practice squad. Zach Miller played well today.
That's it for now. I'll have more for you tomorrow evening.