With just two days to go until they begin their preseason campaign, the Seattle Seahawks were back at practice on Tuesday morning.
Although there were no roster moves reported on Tuesday, Pete Carroll did hop on 710 ESPN prior to practice and delivered a couple notes of interest. The two biggest takeaways were updates on the status of Dion Jordan and Doug Baldwin. Carroll said Baldwin should be ready for Week 1, while he wasn’t sure about Jordan’s chances.
Losing Baldwin for any amount of time would be crushing for a team that vacated 37 targets and 14 touchdowns in the red zone with departures of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham this offseason. However, with every update, it seems more and more likely Jordan will begin the season on the PUP list, after being placed there to begin training camp. Already shallow on the edge, losing Jordan until Week 8 would be a massive loss.
While Dontae Johnson returned to practice on Monday after beginning camp on the PUP, the other players on the PUP — Jordan, Ed Dickson and Clayton Wilson — remained out. They continue to be joined by Frank Clark, Baldwin, Maurice Alexander, D.J. Alexander and Jalston Fowler.
- A constant theme throughout training camp for the Seahawks, there was more movement on the injury front on Tuesday. J.R. Sweezy remained sidelined for the fourth consecutive day; Carroll told 710 ESPN Sweezy “Got nicked,” during his first practice back with the team, last Thursday. Carroll provided an update after practice, saying it’s an ankle issue. Sweezy was joined by Nazair Jones, also sidelined for the first time in camp.
- Byron Maxwell sat out practice on Tuesday, allowing rookie Tre Flowers to work with the starters for the first time. Maxwell missed the team’s mock game on Saturday for undisclosed reasons, before returning to practice on Monday. Carroll said following practice on Tuesday it’s a groin/hip flexor issue.
- Elsewhere in the secondary, it was business as usual at safety, with Tedric Thompson starting at free safety and Bradley McDougald at strong safety. Although Thompson was dropped in place of Maurice Alexander for a couple days last week, it’s safe to assume Thompson and McDougald would be the starters if the season began tomorrow.
- After missing Saturday’s mock game, as well as Monday’s practice with a groin issue, K.J. Wright was back at practice on Tuesday. Shaquem Griffin had been starting in his place, and should feature heavily on Thursday night as the Seahawks manage a veteran’s health in Wright.
- Despite Marcus Smith returning to practice to begin the week, the starting defensive ends on Tuesday were rookie Rasheem Green — a mainstay with the first team at this point — and Branden Jackson. Recently, it has been Barkevious Mingo lining up opposite Green while also working at SAM linebacker in base, while Jackson’s featured as an inside rusher in the team’s nickel packages.
- Finally, the biggest note of interest from Tuesday’s practice: After being flagged for a false start during the scrimmaging portion, Germain Ifedi was once again pulled, with Jamarco Jones coming in. Jones began working on the right side on Monday, providing further competition for Ifedi. However, it sounds as though Jones’ switch to the right isn’t a direct result of Ifedi’s continued discipline issues. Mike Solari told 950 KJR on Monday George Fant will also see time on the right, however he remained as the second team left tackle on Tuesday.
Tedric Thompson’s Press Conference
- First, a question about what Thompson learned last year playing mostly on special teams: “I learned a lot about special teams, learned a lot about the league in general. The business side of it, the taking care of your body side. I learned how long the season is, in college the season isn’t that long. So I learned a lot of things from those three Hall of Famers in our room, so it was a good year.”
- On how much more prepared he feels to play this year: “I feel a lot more prepared, because I know the defense a lot now. Last year I was learning it day-by-day, and when I came back (this year) I already knew the defense. I knew a lot wasn’t going to change, just talking to the vets and stuff like that.”
- That question was followed with what it means for Thompson to know the defense: “It allows you to play faster, you’re not out there thinking about anything, now you can start breaking down the offense and the tendencies. Just allows you to play faster.”
- On whether Thompson is looking over his shoulder due to the Earl Thomas holdout: “I’m always praying for E. Like I said, E is like a real positive dude, like a big brother to me. So I’m always praying for E and hope the best for him, but I don’t really think about it unless somebody asks me about it.”
- Finally, Thompson was asked about his running mate, Bradley McDougald: “B. Mac was someone last year, like (DeShawn) Shead, that was kind of bringing me along and showing me the ropes. I was at B. Mac’s house a couple days ago, so me and B. Mac just like all of the DBs, we have a good relationship.”
Tyler Lockett’s Press Conference
- Lockett’s presser began with a question about the new kickoff rule, and whether he thinks it’ll be different: “Nah, I mean I don’t think it’s going to be much different. Obviously, the people can’t run five yards, we can’t have wedges, there’s going to be different things that we’re going to have to try and figure out. But it’s like I said earlier in OTAs, it’s probably going to end up being more like a punt return. You’re going to have a lot more space to try and work with. Of course they’re trying to eliminate people getting concussions and all that type of stuff, which this rule will (result in) less concussions. But I also think it’s more of an advantage for us because we’re good at special teams, especially at punt return as well, so I think it’s going to help us out a lot.”
- Lockett was then asked if he’ll be like a center fielder, calling other returners off: “I’ll probably call off guys, but I tell them, if they have any hesitation I tell them to catch the ball. At the end of the day, we just want the football, it doesn’t matter who has the ball in their hands, we trust that the person who has the ball is going to make the best play possible. For me, I would love to always have the ball in my hands, but sometimes it’s not case, especially if they pooch it and stuff like that. But if we have two other returners in front of me, it won’t matter who gets the ball.”
- Lockett was asked how this year compares to last, when he was returning from an injury: “It feels different, but I never used that to my advantage to make people feel bad for me. I could care less how people feel. Some people think I had a bad season last year. I thought I had a great season, the way I felt not too many people would’ve been able to play all 16 games like I did, or even do half the stuff I did. I take that credit upon myself, I could’ve easily sat out and took the easy way out, but I don’t ever do that. Going into this year, I’m stronger mentally, I’m stronger physically. There’s a lot of things that I can do. I can go back to how I play my game. The funny thing is, when you’re not able to play your game, you have to figure out how to still play your game but figure out how to switch it up a little bit. And that’s exactly what I did, I switched it up to where certain things still worked. Now I can go back to how I really play, and it makes me feel more comfortable, because now I can play my game.”
- Lockett was asked about the offense under Brian Schottenheimer: “I like him. He’s real creative, real strategic, and I think that’s one of the things that allows us to be successful. I always say, we have an intellectual type of offense so we always have to know what everyone is doing, and we also have to know what the defense is doing. This keeps everyone on their toes. We have to watch who’s blitzing, we have to watch every move that people make. So I think that allows us to be successful, because no matter what the defense does, we’re always going to have something for it.”
Pete Carroll’s Press Conference
- On Jamarco Jones working at right tackle on Tuesday: “We’ve been starting to work him (there). We’re looking for guys that can flip and play both sides, just to see what that shows us. Sometimes guys get inhibited when they go to the other side, we just want to see how natural he is. He’s been a left-sided guy a lot. He has shown a real good savvy about the game, and he’s precocious in his awareness. We think there’s a maybe a chance that it will come easy for him to play on the right side as well, we’ll find out.”
- Carroll was then asked where he feels the newcomers on the offensive line are at: “I’ve been really impressed with D.J. Fluker. He’s really been what we had hoped he would be. He’s such a big man, he’s a giant of a guy, he’s 355 or something. You can’t move him. He can hold the point on pass protection, which is really nice and he’s been very aggressive coming off the ball. He worked with Mike last year with the Giants, so he has the carryover of the system and all that. He’s been really impressive this time around. The whole first group has done a nice job so far, so we’re anxious to see George come along, come out off his rehab, he’s doing quite well. Odhiambo getting back into things, Roos, Joey, all those guys, we’re looking for them all. Jamarco has been a real surprise, that’s he’s been able to pick stuff up so soon, Mike is really impressed with him.”
- Carroll was then asked if being confident in the line opens up the offense: “We’re a little different than we’ve been. We’re a little more spread in things that we’re trying to do with the running game in particular, which, it isn’t rocket science, but it’s giving us a chance to work our guys in some different principles, and some man blocking schemes, and all of that. Our guys are really taking to it, Mike is a master of it and he’s doing a great job transitioning these guys. I’m excited. We want to run the football here, we know that’s been crucial to our success, it’s part of the whole system and how it works. It’s probably the part of our team I’m most looking forward to.”
- Someone then afforded Carroll the chance to get in his daily praise of Chris Carson, asking how important it is to get him back: “He’s back. It is important but he is way back. He had a phenomenal offseason, he was really the star of the offseason in that he was so fit, so strong, so explosive from the moment we got back. So he’s over all of that. What’s important is just getting back and playing ball again, it’s been a while. But he looks great and I can’t imagine that he’s going to have any problem with it at all.”
- Carroll was then asked if it’s important for Rashaad Penny’s development in pass protection to play real (preseason) games: “We have taxed the crap out of him. He’s seen so much stuff, we’ve thrown so many things at him, there’s really not that many more things they can throw at him. Just like all of the guys, they just have to transfer what we’re doing here to the game, and not let things change for them. We don’t want them to play any different than they practice. He has done a beautiful job. He’s a very exciting player, this is just an area he needed to elevate and he totally embraced the challenge. He has not missed a step on this, he’s plenty physical, and physically gifted enough to take care of business. At 236 or whatever he is, that’s a big man taking on whoever’s coming, so we’re not worried about it at all. He’ll get better no question.”
The Seahawks return to practice on Wednesday at 10:30 AM, their final practice ahead of Thursday’s game.