This was my sixth day of camp so far this year, and it was probably the best I've seen the offense perform. I haven’t really taken/posted any notes up until this point because I don't have much confidence in my ability as an evaluator based on very limited experience attempting it. Today I figured screw it, it will probably be fun regardless of how accurate my notes are, and I'm glad that I did because it certainly was.
First off I want to start out by saying that the one thing I kept coming back to over and over again, once the position group drills were done for the most part and the 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 drills started, was how amazing Golden Tate was doing. He scored at least a couple touchdowns and caught almost every single ball thrown his way. He got consistent separation and on most of the infrequent occasions in which he was not able to separate on the ground, he was able to go up and separate in the air, winning himself a couple of excellent jump balls in the process. One of these jump balls was for a touchdown between two defenders. He caught several deep balls from both Russell and Tarvaris today, and showed his amazing ability for yards after catch as well. Of the six days I've gone to camp, this was the best performance I've seen of his, and if it is any indication of what we will see from him this season he’s going to earn himself one hell of a contract.
Speaking of the quarterbacks, today was by far Tarvaris Jackson’s best day of camp as well, and he performed especially and astonishingly well with intermediate to deep passes. It was probably up there among the best camp days for WIlson too, and anyone that ever questioned his arm strength is an absolute idiot. I saw him throw a tight rope 30 yards in the air that a gymnast would have been lucky to have to walk across. Quinn looked pretty decent, even throwing a couple really nice deep balls, but Tarvaris really seems to have caught up with him to the point that today Tarvaris looked like the better quarterback, and now that he’s shown it it’s hard for me to picture Quinn winning the job.
Another person that kept coming up in my notes was Derrick Coleman. He looked pretty good running the ball today and looked excellent receiving, catching quite a few passes and doing good things with them.
Spencer Ware continues to show his toughness by breaking sure "tackles" (Lotulelei got his arms all the way around him once to no avail) and very good hands.
Christine Michael looks just as explosive as everyone else says he does, and while he didn't seem to hesitate to run it up the gut it was hard to tell how much effort he was putting into it and how he would do in a game situation. He kinda seemed to slowly pinball his way up the middle through people that didn't seem to be trying very hard to tackle him, or even really stop his forward progress (it’s practice after all) so I wonder how much earlier he might get stopped if it wasn't practice. As other people have noted he fumbled the ball on one of his explosive plays, and this fumble would have gone for a defensive touchdown if not for Luke Willson chasing down the recoverer and grabbing him before he made it to the end zone.
Interestingly, that was probably the biggest play I saw Willson make all day, which I found really odd considering how fantastic he looked in literally every other practice I’ve been to.
Sean Mcgrath, on the other hand, looked absolutely incredible today. While he had been consistently good for most of the practices I've seen, he really showed greatness today catching a ton of balls with only one or two drops that could be considered his fault. At this point it’s really starting to look to me like Mcgrath will fill the Mccoy role from last year, and Willson will fill the role of the explosive, speedy deep threat type tight end that Evan Moore was supposed to fill but never really could. Cooper Helfet made a couple nice grabs today and was surprisingly speedy, and Andre Lintz looked relatively decent too in limited opportunities, but I honestly don't think either of them stands much of a chance at making this roster once Miller gets back.
Chris Harper made a couple great catches in 7 on 7’s today, but in one of the 11 on 11 drills he ran right by a pass Wilson tried to throw to him on the right side, and it looked pretty obvious that he was supposed to turn around and stop and didn’t. This was driven home when Wilson patted him on the helmet as he walked off the field in a seemingly consoling gesture. Harper keeps flashing great ability and it wouldn't surprise me if it takes him a year or two to fully catch on. I really hope that he gets the chance to do so.
Sidney Rice was back in the team drills today and made a couple great plays, which was great to see. On one play though Russell WIlson overthrew him into the end zone, and while these fears are almost certainly unwarranted the thought definitely occurred to me that some of the lingering soreness in his knee from the procedure might have affected him a bit on that play.
I saw Stephen Williams suited up today but the only time I saw him clearly he wasn’t wearing his helmet, and if he was on the field for any of the drills I definitely didn’t see him make any plays.
Kearse also had a surprisingly quiet day, dropping a couple of the few opportunities he actually had with the ball today, which again was odd because I had been seeing him perform so incredibly in the past few practices I had attended.
Doug Baldwin did okay early in practice catching a couple short passes in what seemed to be a 7 on 7 red zone drill and getting a defensive PI call on him, but he seemed to have problems getting and staying open. On one occasion Russell almost threw an interception trying to force it to Baldwin with Shead in between them, but Shead dropped the ball. Baldwin really stepped it up in the last half hour or so of practice though and started catching a bunch of intermediate balls and a few deep ones, at least one of which I believe went for a touchdown.
Arctero Clark made some positively amazing grabs today and looked very speedy and elusive, but unfortunately also dropped a couple easy catches. He should be interesting to watch in the preseason game on Thursday.
The only defensive player I really managed to get a good look at throughout practice today was John Lotulelei as I had been hearing good things about him and tried pretty hard to focus on him, but he was generally the last person to the ball and I only saw him make a couple tackles on his own, both of which were on receivers that had caught balls right in front of him. He frankly looked kinda slow compared to the other linebackers..
Finally, I can’t forget to mention how incredible Marshawn looked today. His name was the only one that came up anywhere near as much as Tate’s in my notes, and he was a wondrous sight to behold out there. He looked fantastically quick, borderline abusive, and very explosive. I really expect him to have another fantastic year here, but then that really shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.