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Seahawks August 5 Practice Report: Running Backs and Owen Schmitt

One or two posts for tonight then I will cover everything else tomorrow morning. Friday is my last practice. Awww, I'm getting all nostalgic. The lines. The bus rides. The amusing fragments of conversation. It's been fun, VMAC.

This was a rich practice with lots of 11-on-11 drills and 6-on-6 drills. The good stuff.

  • Julius Jones had himself a very nice practice. He generated much of his yardage through cut backs. It's tough to piece out a cutback from the berm, but I'll do my best to explain why today was such an encouraging sign.
  • Mostly, it was typical start-left-cut-right work by Jones.
  • On one play, he came to a full stop, but in that cool running back way. Pursuit surged further offensive left and just at the break point, Jones exploded right for what would have been a huge gain.
  • A few plays later, Ricky Foley had Jones pinned towards the left sideline. It wasn't the dreaded two way go, but -- nevertheless! Jones planted and drove left and literally sent Foley tumbling, barely bracing himself from falling to his right. NFL-agility, Canuck.
  • Jones showed great burst on an inside hand off. Justin Forsett got the majority of runs out of shotgun last season, but Jones looks to have the burst to make that work for him.
  • Forsett had a quality day, but was less visible than Jones. Imagine that.
  • He ran an angle route and received a perfectly timed pass from Hasselbeck. It hit him just as he was breaking towards the center of the field and, by the looks of it, Justin might have been gone. Or as gone as Justin ever is.
  • It was so quick that it didn't receive the "Oooh" it deserved, but on a run up the right sideline and into the end zone, Force put a super-quick stutter step go that just about juked the defender out of his jock.
  • Quinton Ganther made a difficult catch down the left sideline, but it was difficult in part because Ganther was eaten up by it. It got dang near into his facemask before he pulled it in. Still, turning leaping reception about 25 yards down field.
  • Ganther continues to outperform Owen Schmitt on a lot of the nuts and bolts plays.
  • He's quicker on the swing.
  • Redirects faster.
  • And is, of course, a better rusher.
  • But Schmitt is getting up to speed, and Schmitt is undeniably a better blocker than Ganther.
  • That blocking came to the fore on one play. Schmitt motioned right to right wide out. He ran a kind of double-hitching curl route. Forcett ran out of the backfield and ran a stop. Hasselbeck targeted Forcett and as soon as Force caught and began to redirect, Schmitt was on top of it, blocking and facilitating run after catch.
  • Schmitt did reel in one swing pass to the left. He received and chugged-chugged-chugged and slammed into and through Cord Parks. Schmitt was attempting to slow down. Runaway, indeed.