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Notes from Seattle Seahawks Training Camp

Before I head out to this afternoon's practice, here's a massive notes dump from yesterday's practice.

  • Seattle ran a lot of draw plays. I think this was both to practice the play on offense and to see how its attacking defense responded. The offense won.
  • Kent was one of the receiving stars, grabbing some nice catches. He was never well covered. I noticed first though that he still looks very deliberate in basic receiving drills. One might say he's farther along at actual receiving than training to be a receiver.
  • The Seahawks defensive linemen weaved between and swam ballasted heavy-bags during a pass rush drill. It began as a bit of a tame drill, but Craig Terrill set the tone with a hearty weaving, slapping and grunting display that fired everyone up. Cory Redding and Colin Cole put their body into their hits and the bags went down with a thud, but quickly righted themselves. Then came a man named Red. Bryant didn't look like he was working much at all, but damn when that bag went down you'd swear it miraculously evolved a survival instinct, because it stayed down. It stayed down for a spooky long time. Bryant is hard to ignore wherever he is. He clogs and holds ground laterally as well as any Seahawks tackle since Marcus Tubbs. Redding is long and thick, Cole is barrel-chested and stout, and Bryant is long, almost rangy and smooth muscled like a player still coming into his own.
  • Nick Reed is a skilled player and does stand out. He stands out for his skill, quickness and contributions, but he also stands out for his size. He's legitimately small for a professional football player. He's not short and oil-can shaped like Darryl Tapp, he's small framed and, well, just small looking. The transition to linebacker might be a necessity.
  • A major conversation on the far side of the field was the Montana Testicle Festival. Apparently, it involves hairy naked women eating fried bison testicles. You Seahawks fans, you.
  • Seattle ran a stretch right that looked well executed.
  • Jamar Adams caught a gimme interception, but did not impress. Logan Payne feasted on him. Payne is a great practice player and I see why he excites, but, y'know, it's practice.
  • From the guys you may have never heard of department: Kevin Brown continues to dignify his spot on the roster and, don't look now, but NFL Combine invite defensive end Derek Walker was very active and looked pro-ready and capable. Walker is good deep depth for Redding.
  • Nate Burleson might look better because Nate Burleson is no longer Seatte's only deep play threat. He ran a nice three step curl that evidenced he has untapped ability on short routes. Despite great progress after tearing his ACL, his lateral cuts still looked a little stiffer than normal.
  • Baraka Atkins is coming along, but still looks a little too slim.
  • Lawrence Jackson showed a lot of fight and came to facemasks with, I think, Sean Locklear. He also displayed a good inside move, a move he needs to master to complement his good quickness to the edge. My displeasure with Jackson extends from my firm belief that he is the athletic equal of almost any defensive end and just needs to commit himself to his craft. You won't find a player I'd rather be wrong about, because I was ecstatic when he was drafted.
  • Michael Bennett and Lance Laury are drifting dangerously close to the bubble. I am not sure the team knows where to use them or is invested in finding out.
  • I think their will be early growing pains for Mebane at under tackle. I hope those growing pains don't extend to out-of-position underperformance.
  • It's interesting to see the guys that are sore, the guys walking a bit slowly, the guys that are winded, and the guys that appear almost indefatigable. Wilson was locked in, limber (nearly doing side-splits during stretches) and high-motor on every play I saw him.
  • Deon Butler is indeed small.
  • I mentioned the drills the team runs as de facto breathers. The special teams drills involving Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu running back "kicks" qualifies.
  • Watching Kelly Jennings cover, I began thinking of the fly on the wall. The intimate but absent observer. It's a shame, because Jennings' man cover abilities are sensational. He just doesn't show much for ball skills. He bounced off Aaron Curry. Like, bounced. Later he caught a stumbling, tumbling interception.
  • What separates Justin Forsett from the typical undersized rusher is his ability and willingness to run inside. Teammates often looked a little concerned after he was tackled, but Force never looked worse for wear. He showed good hands and improved redirect on runs after catch. Forsett is going to play a big part in this year's team. It underlines just how foolish it was to let him go last season.
  • John Owens can catch, but make no mistake. John Owens is a third tackle. He is huge and looks very powerful.
  • Darryl Tapp is just too good to waste.
  • T.J. Duckett might be Seattle's best pure rusher. He meshes with this system and has underrated feet. He excels at timing his approach to the hole and redirects efficiently. Then: Boom! 250 lbs of muscle sprinting in an instant. His rushing is consistently effective at gaining yards, he's legitimately fast and on a touchdown scoring run to end practice, he made a nice downfield move to lose a defender.