The Seattle Seahawks returned from a day off on Thursday, now just a week away from their first preseason game of the 2018 season.
The morning began with a pair of transactions, with cornerback Jeremy Boykins and linebacker Josh Forrest being signed by the team. To make room on the 90-man roster, cornerback/safety Alex Carter and tight end Je’Ron Hamm were waived.
The waiving of Hamm, just days after releasing fellow tight end Kayaune Ross, could signal a return is near for one of, or both, Ed Dickson and Clayton Wilson. For now, the two tight ends remain on PUP, along with Dion Jordan and Dontae Johnson, while Frank Clark remains limited after hand surgery. A number of players are sidelined as well, which is where we’ll start today’s notes.
- Wide receivers David Moore (hip flexor) and Doug Baldwin (knee) sat out as expected, after Pete Carroll clarified their statuses after practice on Tuesday. Fullbacks Khalid Hill and Jalston Fowler were also out for consecutive practices, again leaving just Tre Madden healthy among the three fullbacks in camp.
- On defense, Maurice Alexander sat out after finally getting into practice at full speed to begin the week. Carroll sounded optimistic about Alexander’s health and role during his press conference on Tuesday, so it’s safe to assume Alexander’s absence was a matter of managing a veteran. Marcus Smith was out for a second consecutive day, while rookie Rasheem Green sat out as well, after getting first team action on Tuesday. Finally, Mike Tyson’s practice ended early after suffering an undisclosed injury.
- After getting worked in to begin the week, left tackle George Fant made a full return to practice on Thursday. He was joined on the second unit by Rees Odhiambo, who also returned to practice to begin the week, as well as Joey Hunt, Sweezy and Isaiah Battle. While Sweezy immediately stepped into the second unit upon returning to Seattle, he did see some snaps with the first team, as well.
- Brandon Marshall’s week began by getting light work in, running routes and catching passes with a helmet on. Ahead of the day off on Wednesday, Marshall sat out Tuesday’s practice. And on Thursday, the veteran made his full return from offseason surgery, working with the starters. Marshall spoke to the media after practice, so there will surely be some great quotes stemming from that session.
- Rashaad Penny has started to get worked in with the first team, taking snaps at running back during the scrimmage portion of practice on Thursday. While Chris Carson has garnered the praise and workload to begin camp, it was only a matter of time until Penny got worked in, as well. There’s still a long way to go in this competition.
- With Alexander sitting out, the safety rotation continued, with Bradley McDougald moving back to strong safety and Tedric Thompson coming back in at free safety. Additionally, Neiko Thorpe saw snaps on the outside with the starters.
- Finally, with Green sitting out, Branden Jackson reduced inside to defensive tackle in the team’s nickel package. It’s a role Michael Bennett filled wonderfully in the past, and one the team hopes Green can do in the future. If Jackson can offer the team snaps outside and in, it will significantly help his case to make the 53-man roster.
Brandon Marshall’s Press Conference
- Marshall’s press conference began with a question on how he feels physically: “This is definitely a unique situation for me, coming off two surgeries, and kind of rushing rehab because I was cut, and a couple teams were calling, and you have got to prepare for a workout. And you’re not ready for a workout. So it was a unique situation for me this whole offseason. Pretty much rehabbing for 8 months, didn’t have time to do training. Today was the first day where I felt like myself. This is the best I’ve felt in a year. I’m still trying to get there, in mid-season form, but today felt good and reminded me I can play some ball.”
- That question was followed by a question on whether he felt 100-percent, leading to my favorite answer, in any press conference, so far this camp: “You know what, I’m going to let my play do all the talking. Now I’m here, I’m that guy, I’m that aging football player right? So many years I sat back and watched guys say, ‘Yeah I got something left in the tank.’ It’s you either got something left in the tank or you don’t. Quarter tank or whatever, if you don’t have a full tank then you can’t play this game. I’m working my tail off to get 100-percent healthy and get out there and contribute. I’m not just here to be a guy, I’m here to be the beast that I’ve always been. I’m confident I’ll be able to do that in the next couple weeks.”
- On how the chemistry is with Russell Wilson: “There’s some things we have got to clean up, and some things we have to see, some mistakes we have to make. The good thing about Russ is he loves ball, and he loves talking ball. He loves watching film, so we spend a lot of time in the classroom, talking about different things. So today we were out there and it was a play we had talked about, first fade we had, he missed, because I did a release that he wasn’t used to. Walking back in between plays, we were able to just correct it that fast, then the second one was a touchdown. So when you have guys that have seen a lot of ball and have a high football IQ, it’s easier to get on the same page than guys who haven’t had that experience. So I think that we’ll be alright.”
- That was then followed with a question on how it shows up when he does have chemistry: “It shows up, just being able to speak the same language or not even speaking at all and still being on the same page. You see it with Doug and Russ. You get to a point where you see the game the same way, right. You feel the leverage the same way. Is this going to be a ball over the shoulder or a back-shoulder fade? I think that Russ has it naturally, and there’s receivers that have it naturally, so I’m excited about it because I see that Russ likes to play ball, he likes to scramble a little bit, he likes to run around and make plays down the field, so you always have got to be on your toes with him.”
J.R. Sweezy’s Press Conference
- On how quickly Seattle contacted him following his release from Tampa Bay: “Immediately. Which was pretty awesome that they still thought that highly of me. I really respect that, and I’m just glad to be here and glad to be with the guys.”
- That was followed with a question on why it took so long from the initial visit, and whether there were other teams involved: “There was a handful of teams. (But) just in my heart, this is where I wanted to be and that’s really how I made my decision.”
- On the difference in systems between Tom Cable and Mike Solari: “There’s a lot of things that are the same. I’d probably say 50-50, 50-percent the same, a little different, but I’m picking it up pretty fast and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”
- Finally, Sweezy was asked how difficult it was to sit out the 2016 season: “That was the hardest year of my life, not playing football that season. Unfortunately, I had the injury, got it fixed and it just took a little longer than expected to get better. Luckily, lord willing, I made a full recovery and I’m back to myself again.”
Rashaad Penny’s Press Conference
- The first question was about how Penny feels about returning kicks: “Tyler Lockett is a pretty great returner, so I mean when I’m back there I’m also learning from him, and trying to take tips, see what he does to install in my game. I’m having fun.”
- It was followed by a question on whether the new kickoff rule will give Peny the opportunity to be back to return with Tyler Lockett: “I feel like it’s an advantage too. A lot of guys don’t get good running starts, just got to kick the ball and go, so I feel like I get an advantage. I’m just trying to play a role, so whatever coach wants, that (is) what I’m going to do.”
- Penny was asked what the atmosphere of camp is like for him, as a rookie: “It’s honestly like my college football games. It’s fun, I didn’t expect this coming into my first training camp. It’s fun out here and I love the support for them, I know it’s going to grow bigger.”
- Finally, what everyone wants to know, on how the pass protection is coming along: “It’s faster in college for sure. It’s all about being mental. It was a mental thing in college for me. I didn’t get too many reps at it. I’m out here competing every day once I get the chance to do it, and coaches are throwing me in just to see what I can do and handle the pressure. I honestly think I’m probably doing well, but it’s just the competition. It’s fun as well.”
The Seahawks return to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Friday at 10:15 for a shorter, one hour long practice.