The Seattle Seahawks head to Las Vegas on Saturday for an actual, real NFL game with human fans. As strange as it is without Jamal Adams or Duane Brown, football is a’ comin and there’s no stopping it.
Russell Wilson and Co. took over two full drives worth of first team offense against first team defense to open up the scrimmage on Wednesday. Though Seattle will keep many things under wraps in preseason, there’s a few indicators of what fans should keep an eye on this weekend.
Here’s a few final takeaways and some things to watch for this Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Do you like your ends burnt or tight?
Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, and Colby Parkinson have been extensively used throughout the practices I’ve attended. It seems inevitable that this offense will be far closer to the TE1 / TE2 use and balance of Shane Waldron’s Los Angeles Rams.
Everett has been doing hours of personal reps with Russell Wilson, Dissly has been active in red zone looks, and on Wednesday in particular, Parkinson was a force. As he has been all month.
I don’t know if some readers will take this well or very badly, but at one point Wilson and Geno Smith threw three goal-line fades to Parkinson. While I hope this is not near the top of the game plan, even TE3 is going to get the ball at some point this year.
Whatever the team shows on Saturday, which may not even include Gerald Everett, Wilson has always sought after tight end targets. I have to believe Waldron will begin to game plan that part of the offense throughout preseason.
Jordyn Brooks is better and that’s cool
Jordyn Brooks will improve on his rookie season and be a monster this year. The hype has been here all summer, so forgive me for being completely unoriginal.
#Seahawks training camp:— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 8, 2021
• The most entertaining day of 1-on-1s, starring DK Metcalf
• Duane Brown’s absence becomes more significant
• Jordyn Brooks has wheels
• This Penny Hart play — video: @seahawks — and the convo that ensued, starring DK https://t.co/1MtkeCjVW9 pic.twitter.com/et0qNVKQfV
But a small thing really, though unmistakable, from a drill this week.
There’s a linebacker drill involving consistent two-hand punching against a dummy beam while maintaining crouch and side-stepping from right to left. Brooks and Bobby Wagner generated so much more power than all the other linebackers and maintained it throughout, a murmur trickled out of all the fans paying attention. It was noticeable, and two elite players simply looked elite.
Who will rush the passer?
Last year, this question was a very, very bad thing.
This year, it is a very, very good thing.
Obviously we can expect with some certainty that Kerry Hyder Jr. and Carlos Dunlap will lead the charge. After that? It’s going to be real interesting, and pretty fun if that’s your thing.
This week, they had Hyder, Dunlap, Rasheem Green, and Benson Mayowa doing the exclusive DE drills for the first half of practice. Later, Darrell Taylor showed up. L.J. Collier worked exclusively with the interior line guys but had his own emphasis on rushing. Alton Robinson was bewilderingly doing other things but played DE in scrimmage and is in fact good at it.
Point being, this is an offseason of experiment for Seattle with at least three guys in this rotation, but it’s not coming from a place of desperation this season. I’m not at all convinced it will end up being the defense’s strength yet, but it won’t cripple them.
Motion, glorious motion
This team is going to be infinitely more interesting than Tyler Lockett slowly jogging eight yards towards the linemen.
At Seahawks practice, first team offense has run 6 plays, 4 of them included pre-snap motion and 1 appeared to have an audible pic.twitter.com/MvJ8Hwn5ni— Tyler Alsin (@TylerjAlsin) August 11, 2021
Combined with Wilson’s reports that he has increased ability to change the plays, easily the most identifiable change this offseason will be the offensive scheme differences. Former Brian Schottenheimer used plenty of pre-snap motion of his own, so it will be especially interesting to see how that differs this year.
That’s it. I expect you’ll see lots of Freddie Swain this preseason, and beyond.