Mike Sando checks in from Seahawks training camp. The significance of practice is diminished with the start of the preseason, but Sando is a respected voice in Seahawks coverage and now that he covers the entire NFC West, it has become a rare treat to get his first-hand impressions of Seahawks camp.
Of specific interest to me is rookies, and young players playing a new position.
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp used the word "outstanding" -- for a rookie -- to describe how Unger played against the Chargers in the exhibition opener.
No great surprise, as Unger was polished coming out of college and a skilled and versatile lineman. Excellent for a rookie is not excellent, but is exactly the kind of performance the Seahawks want. Unger moved well and looked assignment correct, but most important to me was he didn't look outmatched against a very powerful San Diego front three.
Knapp saw good things from Owen Schmitt, but the fullback needs to work on finishing blocks. He also incorrectly reverted to cut blocking in a short-yardage situation. Overall, though, Knapp sounded encouraged.
I want to hear good things about Owen Schmitt because I want Owen Schmitt to start. I think technique and execution will lag for Schmitt, and if they lag bad enough, it could cost him his job. Which would be a waste, because his ferocity and knack for explosive blocks on the move already make him a valuable player. Knapp praising him, however conditional, is a good sign Schmitt is securing his starting fullback spot.
First-round choice Aaron Curry got seven plays at defensive end even though he had never participated in pass-rush drills against offensive linemen in camp, coach Jim Mora said. He will get more practice work in that capacity.
One of which came in San Diego's final drive to end the first quarter. Curry started at right defensive end and dropped into cover when Seattle blitzed David Hawthorne. Unfortunately, Curry confused his assignment and covered the middle instead of the flat. That allowed Legedu Naanee to round into the flat and cut upfield uncovered. He received for 14 and the first.
I have no problem at all with Curry being a little raw out there or the coaching staff pushing him hard in the preseason. Special talent should be challenged, because it might struggle, but it grows in bounds.