Thursday was the last practice before the Seahawks first preseason game on Saturday in Kansas City. The team only used two practice fields so it was a bit easier to view some of the position group drills. Here’s what I observed from the sidelines:
- Christine Michael was electric. The running back was explosive in his cuts, clear in his vision, and was even seen carrying the ball with his left hand. Yes, it’s just practice, but Michael has had an extremely impressive camp and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was quoted this morning saying that Christine has “had an awakening”. If Michael continues to develop and remain focused, I expect him to steal some carries away from Rawls.
- Jimmy Graham was seen running routes and catching passes from Russell Wilson. He didn’t participate in team drills, but his work in individual drills was encouraging. He ran with a moderate jog and even caught a toe-dragging pass from Wilson on the sideline. At this point though, let’s just appreciate that he’s even on the field right now after what happened to his knee last season.
- Doug Baldwin looks nearly 100%. Running routes with Wilson, he showed zero signs of a nagging injury. He even caught a touchdown in a scrimmage against the first team defense.
- Jarran Reed was back too. Experiencing an injury scare yesterday, he was back with the team and practicing with the first team defense.
- I didn’t see too much of Kenny Lawler today but one of the things I did see was when he dropped the ball on a punt return. Lawler’s selling point is his hands so this is concerning.
- Bradley Sowell got some really good reps in at left tackle. He was one of the three players that really stood out to me today (the others were Germain Ifedi and C-Mike). He went up against Michael Bennett two times and while he got beat once, he also won a battle against the Pro Bowl MVP. This is no joke: Sowell, based on what we’ve seen in training camp, is going to push Gilliam for that LT spot.
- With J’Marcus Webb out today, Gilliam, not Sowell, took the RT spot on the first team.
- Again, Ifedi looked really impressive today. The dude is a straight monster: strong in his base, consistent in his strength and protection at the second level, and stopped many defenders in their tracks today. Before the draft and after the pick, I was incredibly skeptical of the right guard. Based on his performances in training camp so far, I might have been very wrong.
- Thomas Rawls appeared to have a rest day.
With that said, that concludes my training camp notes for the day. This team will bolster an incredibly talented roster this season and it’s clear from the performances in training camp that Pete Carroll and John Schneider are going to have some very tough decisions to make.