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Seahawks Training Camp 2018: News and notes from day four

NFL: Seattle Seahawks-Training Camp Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With the Hall of Fame game and preseason football on the horizon, the Seattle Seahawks were back out on the sunny fields of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday.

The morning began with a transaction that could happen, and a transaction that seems to have already happened, without confirmation.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Seahawks are interested in adding Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to a relatively shallow cornerback group, as veteran Dontae Johnson remains sidelined with a foot injury.

Meanwhile, it seems as though former San Francisco 49er Lorenzo Jerome has been signed by Seattle. Jerome, a second-year pro, played safety in college before transitioning to cornerback in the NFL, and that’s where it appears he’s going to play with the Seahawks.

Monday’s practice brought a healthy amount of items of interest, so let’s get to it.

Practice Notes

  • On the first day of training camp, Pete Carroll expressed excitement around the addition of Maurice Alexander, saying, “I was really impressed with what Mo did in years past. He was unable to participate throughout the offseason, this was his first time on the field. We’ll ramp him up in the next 5-6 days. He’s ready to go, but I’m excited to see how he fits in.”

It appears as though Alexander’s ready to go now. The veteran was lined up alongside Bradley McDougald at the safety spots on Monday, as the team’s rotation continues on the back-end.

  • Along with the players who remain sidelined — Johnson, Dion Jordan, Ed Dickson and Clayton Wilson — Seattle had a fair number of players sit out on Monday. Doug Baldwin was sidelined for the second consecutive day, seen with a wrap on his leg again. Joining him were receivers Caleb Scott, a UDFA, and David Moore, as well as UDFA defensive tackle Eddy Wilson.
  • The final player who didn’t practice on Monday was fullback Jalston Fowler, who sat out for undisclosed reasons. During practice, fellow fullback Khalid Hill was injured and went to the sidelines. If Fowler and Hill are forced to miss any sort of time, Tre Madden will see the bulk of the fullback snaps and perhaps gain an edge in the position battle.
  • There was some interesting moves along the offensive line on Monday, ahead of Mike Solari’s first media session of training camp (more on that later). Most notably, Germain Ifedi saw snaps at right guard, where he played in his rookie season. It’s unclear who stepped in at right tackle with the first team, but the most likely candidate would be Isaiah Battle. Also of note: George Fant and Rees Odhiambo saw the field during team drills for the first time, with Fant sliding in at left tackle and Odhiambo at left guard.
  • With Frank Clark and Jordan still slowed by injuries, Marcus Smith got more looks with the starters at defensive end. Despite the defensive end group being shallow this year, Smith has a long way to go to making the 53-man roster. Jacob Pugh, Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo all bring similar versatility and are expected to play similar roles. Not helping Smith’s case: Pugh and Martin would come with smaller cap hits, while Mingo is expected to start at SAM linebacker.
  • Shortly after practice concluded on Monday, linebacker Joshua Perry tweeted a statement, announcing his retirement after suffering another concussion. A scary, sad situation for Perry to be in, we can just hope his quality of life isn’t diminished as he starts his new chapter.

Perry’s retirement is likely what opened up a roster spot for the team to sign Jerome.

  • Finally, for the second consecutive day, Brandon Marshall was seen in a helmet running routes and catching passes from the quarterbacks, as he’s eased back from offseason surgery. On Sunday, Brian Schottenheimer spoke about the importance of Marshall getting healthy, saying, “It’s just him getting ready, him getting his body right, we all know what he’s capable of doing. It’s the process of him getting healthy, feeling great and learning what we do, then building the timing and trust with Russ.”

Mike Solari’s Press Conference

  • On Duane Brown as a leader on the team: “Watch the way he practices. Watch the way he plays the game and watch the way he competes. He leads on and off the field. I know you men and women don’t see it off the field, in the meeting room, in the sense of being a pro, listening, in the back of his mind ‘I got it,’ but he’s listening, he’s focusing, he’s trying to learn, trying to be a leader of the young men. He’s a pro, it’s hard in training camp, it’s hard. You have to stay focused and locked in throughout all the meetings. He’s been excellent. He’s a great leader, great position leader, great group leader on offense, great team leader.”
  • On what he’s seen from Ethan Pocic so far: “What I’ve seen from Ethan Pocic is it’s a guy who it’s (football) really important to. He’s got a passion for the game. He competes, he wants to be good, he wants to be a part of a unit that can lead and help win a championship.”
  • Asked about Ifedi and his stint at right guard on Monday, Solari sounded like a coach who has been around Carroll: “With Germain, again, he’s working hard just like the other men. We’re getting better, we have got to keep building. It’s like what I told you earlier, it’s the key thing with the pads, he’s put it together and is coming on. Coach Carroll, you know better than I do, it’s about competition, it’s about compete. The best five start, the best five start. So we wanted to work him in a little bit in the sense of playing different positions. We wanted to keep the integrity of the unit together, so they can build that unity, that comradery. But we have got to work some guys in a little bit, if an injury happens or we have to move some guys, so we’ll do that throughout everyday to try and make a little adjustment here and there.”
  • Finally, on D.J. Fluker, who Solari coached last year with the New York Giants: “Pure ass attitude. D.J., he’ll pound you. He’s a guy that brings passion to the game, the way he works on the football field, he loves the game. He loves the game, he loves when the pads come on. He’s a physical football player and he brings passion, and he brings an energy and a physicality that you want on your offensive line. You want that physicalness, you want that toughness on your offensive line and he brings it.”

Brian Schneider’s Press Conference

  • On how Jon Ryan reacted to the news of Michael Dickson being drafted: “Jon’s been so good for us and I respect him so much, so I actually called him before we drafted him (Dickson) and told him we were going to do it. Jon was exactly what you would expect, just said ‘Hey, it’s going to be hard to beat me out, I’m going to give everything I got, I’m going to compete and let’s go.’ So it was always a good competition and you know, it’s hard, you have got to fight through that. He hasn’t had a lot of true competition since he’s been here and he’s really performed as good as he ever has.”
  • Asked about the new kickoff rule, and whether they’re able to anticipate how to go about it now: “You’re kind of anticipating how guys are going to line up. We have to follow certain rules, but with three guys back, you don’t know exactly how guys are going to do it. So it’s really interesting. Preseason is going to tell you a lot, not only about the kickoff stuff but more where people are aligned and what schemes they’re running. We have our own ideas, we try to study it a lot, but preseason is going to be big. Not only for what we’re doing but for studying other people and seeing what everyone is doing.”
  • That was then followed up with a question on how it will affect the deployment of returners on kickoffs: “You can only have three guys back, really from the 40-yard line to the goal line. So there’s a lot of space to cover. So instead we’ve had two o-linemen and two tight ends back there, and a returner. Now, I think you really have to have some more skill guys, to make sure you cover the field. There could be a lot of opportunities for balls being around there, 50-50 balls and opportunities for turnovers. So I think you have got to really cover the field first, and it’s just going to depend on how people play it.”
  • Staying on the new kickoff rule, Schneider was asked if they’ll use multiple returners: “We’ve been working Carson, and Penny, and Lockett. A lot of different combinations back there. But also you have to have a guy that can block, too. That’s why Carson and Penny are cool, they’re 220-pound strong guys that can actually block too if they don’t have the ball. One thing I’ve never liked, we’ve only ever had one returner back there since we’ve been here, because a lot of times you get off a return and you’re kind of missing a man, you’re missing an extra blocker, so we inserted an extra blocker up front.”
  • Finally, asked about former Navy QB and Baltimore Ravens WR Keenan Reynolds, Schneider offered some high praise: “Once he got out here, he reminded me of Baldwin when Baldwin was first out here. They have the same type of movements and he’s been great. He can return punts, he’s playing PP (personal protector) in our punt team. We just want to see him a lot of different things, because he’s a guy who can do a lot of different things.”

The Seahawks return to practice on Tuesday at 10:15 AM, before a day off on Wednesday.