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Seahawks August 1 Practice Report: Linebackers and Defensive Linemen

Practice is definitely a better medium for scouting some positions as opposed to others. It's just too crowded and quick to make much sense out of the front seven. This is what I got.

  • Lofa Tatupu does indeed look slimmer. I think this is good. It looked good. He looked more Will Herring and less Zach Thomas. He was moving well and looked himself in coverage. For a guy as established as Tatupu, practice is not terribly revealing.
  • Tatupu and Herring both displayed good short area burst. Davis Hawthorne looked a little more eh. I can't tell you if that means anything (probably not) or if it's even true, but it's something I noticed. Hawthorne will start the season at weakside linebacker, but depending on his status, Leroy Hill is probably still in line to regain the position when he returns. Much of that depends on how Hawthorne plays. He was flashy last year, but needs to improve his angles and not drift out and always make the saving tackle. Good tackles make a good run defense.
  • I am tracking jersey types. Right now, Lofa Tatupu is absolutely killing the competition.

Defensive linemen

  • When you see guys square up in individual drills, leverage really stands out. Defensive lineman versus defensive lineman, Red Bryant looks like an offensive lineman: able to steer and withstand, but often stood up and pushed back.
  • Which showed itself when little* Jonathan Lewis was giving it to Bryant, but also when Bryant was able to steer Mebane. Bryant is better able to control than drive.
  • In 11-on-11 drills, this produced a defining moment for Bryant. He was playing right defensive end, but on the strong side. He attacked and set an easy edge for pass rush. While Pete Carroll might not acknowledge Seattle's defense as a 3-4, it is instructive to think of the line like a 3-4 line. Bryant is shooting a gap, but he will be best appreciated through how opens plays for other players.
  • Ricky Foley looks small -- Nick Reed small. He looks a little taller and a little leaner than Reed. Reed looks to be in very good shape, more cut than I remember.
  • Reed flew around the blindside and "sacked" Charlie Whitehurst.
  • The first and only no-name that really popped for me is rookie Rob Rose. Rose is tall, rangy and slim, but not so thin as to be slight. He showed good acceleration and balance in drills. The former Buckeye is battling odds to even make a roster, but from the undifferentiated mass of camp bodies, he is one that stood out.

*Relatively