To say that you are going to observe and take notes while at a training camp practice, and to actually set out to do so, are two very different things. As this was my first time attending a practice there was much to expect as well as a great deal of unexpected... uh... things. (I'm so good at this.)
8:45am - Arrival at The Landing for check-in.
Expectations: Sweet! There was no traffic and I'm here 20 minutes earlier than I planned! I'm going to get an awesome spot on the berm with the best view!
Reality: Sweet Jesus! The line for check-in stretches back about a mile! Am I even going to get to the VMAC before it starts?
9:05am - Check-in complete.
Ok, that wasn't so bad. VMAC here I come! *Walks around the corner and finds even longer line to get on the bus.* D'oh!
9:30am - Finally aboard the bus.
For the love of... is this bus made for 8 year olds or what? (Yes.)
9:50am - Arrival at VMAC.
Condition: Sweaty sticky stinky. Clothes: Saturated. Hair: Disheveled. Mood: Surly.
First thing I see: Two Sea Gals giving autographs. *Pulls comb out of back pocket.* /jk
So, I've been writing this whole intro in the singular, but in fact I attended the camp with my wife, my mother, her friend, my sister and her husband, and their baby. And collectively we had way too much stuff: folding chairs, blankets, sun shades, coolers, other foods and drinks, etc. My mother and my sister couldn't agree on where to sit so some of them were on the big berm near the entrance and others were on the far side closer to the practice field. Once everyone got settled in I got stuck shuttling food and other shit between the two parties. In short, it was a nightmare.
Finally, well after the practice began, I was able to start watching what was going on. All I needed was a good place to stand.... Easier said than done. I spent the next 20-odd minutes restlessly shuffling around trying to get a good view. Meanwhile, the Hawks would move from one side of the field to the other for different drills. Perfect!
"Get on with it!!"
I had said that I would be focusing on the D-line, and I tried, but looking back at my notes I don't seem to have much material on it/them compared to the rest of the team. Anyway, here are my notes (in Italics) with some additional thoughts(in plain text):
Jeremy Lane, good kickoff return.
I saw Lane, Bryan Walters, Golden Tate, Will Blackmon and Christine Micheal all get some reps at returning kickoffs. Nobody really stood out to me though. After making my first note regarding Lane, I watched each of the subsequent players do pretty much the same thing.
Bruce Irvin not in pads, helmet.
Besides Clemons and Irvin, Avril was not practicing and Boatright's arm was in a sling. I thought I saw #38 not practicing (but am certain I saw him, Andrei Lintz, doing stuff later on), and I think Bobby Wagner wasn't practicing either - didn't see him. Also MIA: Zach Miller, Tharold Simon, Greg Scruggs (though they may have been there). And come to think of it, I don't remember seeing Mike Rob out there either.
Golden Tate returning punts from Jon Ryan.
Great notes, huh?
Williams practicing, moves ok. Wearing knee brace; Williams getting right arm bandaged at the elbow.
I am somehow very intrigued by Jesse Williams and I found myself focusing on him quite a bit throughout the day. From what I saw, I'd say his knee seems to be bothering him. He wasn't really limping but he seemed to favor one leg over the other, and just didn't seem to be moving very well in general.
John Lotulelei has some long hair!
He was on the field a lot - so I guess he's making a pretty good impression, but nothing jumped out at me.
Red is moving well.
I was really happy to see Red looking fully recovered from his plantar issue. (Edit: I heard PC talking about him this morning, saying Red is looking better than he has in a long while. Awesome!)
Powell is fighting.
You could kind of tell which players were feeling confident that they would make the cut and which ones were out there trying to make an impression on the coaches. Powell looked like he fell into the latter category by the way he was getting after it.
O-line vs D-line drills:
Down in front Carpenter!
He and some other O-linemen were conveniently standing right in front of me for a while. Good luck seeing anything between any of those behemoths but James Carpenter has to be the largest human being I have ever laid eyes on. He doesn't make a better door than a window, he makes a better house! (See photo above.)
He had some good reps during these drills, wherein he was able to beat his man and get in the "backfield."
McQuistan owned Jaye Howard.
I saw a couple of reps where Howard looked to be just "out-techniqued" by McQuistan. Score one for the gingers.
(Woah, the head coach of the Cowboys looks like a Nazi! Sorry, I've got the Hall of Fame Game on in the background.)
Hill is bringing it.
As with Powell above, Hill also seemed to be going at it with more intensity. From what I saw of him today, I was impressed - he was solid.
Bennett owned - spits in helmet?
Michael Bennett was badly overpowered during one drill by (I can't remember who and I didn't write it down. Again, exceptional note taking on my part.) then, I swear, it looked like he took off his helmet and spat in it! Don't know what that was about. I had high hopes for Bennett though when we first picked him up this offseason. I didn't really know him as a player, but after reading about how he had been with the Seahawks before and how much he wanted to come back to Seattle I was excited about what he might bring. Unfortunately, what I saw of him didn't stand out and was kind of disappointing. But maybe he was just having an off day, or maybe my expectations were just too high.
Well, I wasn't able to finish this Sunday night and now I see that "Pickles" and "Woodinville 12th Man" have both already posted notes from the practice yesterday.... ehhhhh... ok, give me a minute. I'm willing myself to continue and finish this.... Right, jolly good. Where was I?
Mayowa good around edge.
Benson Mayowa gave a good showing. He exploded off the line a couple of times and fought his way around the edge convincingly. "A" for effort.
11 on 11:
T-Jack and Russ dropsies.
Both Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson had botched snaps at the beginning of the 11 on 11's.
Red Zone - Quinn to Baldwin - TD.
Quinn made nice passes several times. At this point, it's hard to recall this exact play but it was "noteworthy."
Red Zone - T-Jack way overthrew Bates; T-Jack to Ware - TD.
Tarvaris looked like he was rushing a bit at first then calmed down later. He might have just been getting rid of the ball on the Bates throw - I can't recall. The pass to Ware was nice - right over the middle.
Christine Micheal was a stud all day. I don't remember seeing him get stuffed at the line of scrimmage but I do remember seeing him explode, speed, and/or juke past multiple defenders on several runs. He did have the ball stripped on one play though - defense recovered and returned it pretty far.
Russ to Kearse - beauty; Russ draws offsides with hard count; Russ to Lintz in traffic - sweet.
Last name Wilson was looking good yesterday (of course). Him drawing the offsides was cool to see - I take it as a good sign of where the offense is.
Baldwin rolling catch; Tate slow to get up.
I'm always happy to see Baldwin succeed, I really like the type of player he is - always giving 110%. He rolled to the ground to make a nice grab on one play. Meanwhile Golden got tangled up with someone or something, I didn't really see it 'cause I was watching the ball. Tate must have tweaked his ankle because he was limping a bit after that and went out for a while. He was back pretty quickly though and didn't look hurt.
Harper - good hands from Quinn; Harper in traffic on the sideline.
He stood out on a couple of plays, making good catches in traffic.
Quinn to Konz - bad drop.
The only thing I recall from Konz was this bad drop - it was right in his hands but he couldn't hold on.
Heath bats pass away.
Heath Farwell was playing LB and making his presence felt. Will he make the cut?
Some coach came and had a few words with Guy after this play.
Russ to Tate? Sherm says no way.
One of the only things I saw from Sherm all day was when he batted this pass away from Tate.
Baldy, one hand.
WTF does that mean? Doug Baldwin, one-handed catch, I guess.
Quinn bubble screen to Arceto Clark.
I think that's what such a type of play is called... pretty sure that would be called a bubble screen. If I'm correct then I also saw a bubble screen to Baldwin later on.
T-Jack to Perez Ashford - TD.
Doucet vs. Maragos - rawr!
Those two were getting a bit scrappy at one point - fighting for roster spots.
Coleman - not bad.
Derrick Coleman made a couple nice runs. Nothing special though.
T-Jack to Doucet - not bad.
Besides his spat with Maragos, this is all I saw of Doucet.
Hill - good get off , through line, stops Beast behind LoS.
Another good example of Hill's potential. He flashed on several plays, him stopping Beast Mode behind the line of scrimmage was most notable though.
Jesse Williams sheds block, stops run.
An example of Williams making a good play - maybe his knee isn't too bad after all?
Jeanpierre changes shorts, ladies cheer.
At one point Lemuel Jeanpierre pulled his shorts off right in front of where I was standing. This evoked some cheers from the fans.
Rice to Stephen Williams - one-handed catch.
I didn't notice Sidney Rice much but he did run down the sideline towards me (He was running very naturally, by the way, didn't look like his knee(s) bothered him at all.) then he turned and threw a high-arcing pass to Williams who stood flat-footed and simply extended his right arm straight upwards and allowed the ball to find it - as if it was magnetically attracted. It was pretty amazing.
Johnson is big too!
I mistook Rishaw Johnson for Carpenter at one point - he big! But he's not quite the man-mountain that Carp is.
Voodoo Child - yay Seattle!
A couple of Jimi tracks featured on the playlist yesterday. Why am I sharing this? Don't know, I'm a fan. And there were some Macklemore songs too, of course. No Nirvana.
How does BB walk with those knees?
They almost look like they bend the wrong way! Whatever works for him, I guess...
Russ w/ RB's, are they clowning on him?
This was one of the more interesting off-field exchanges I observed: Wilson with Lynch and Turbin (and either Micheal or Ware standing nearby) Turbin was trying to get Russ to do some kind of handshake - fail. Russ turns and walks away, meanwhile Beast and Turbo are giggling with each other. Awww... Is Russ a "Cornball brother?"
That's all I got. Overall, a good day. The weather was great, there were tons of people, and I learned a lot for next time.
Hope you got something out of this. As we all know our first preseason game is coming up on Thursday vs. the "Whale's Vagina" Chargers - I can't wait! Time sure moves a lot faster when you're gainfully employed (as opposed to my mainly unemployed football offseason - tedious!). I don't have much time for Field Gulls anymore though... :-( I need a hug.
Here is a link to the photo album my wife created. She took all of the photos, not me.