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Seahawks Training Camp Takeaways: Joey Blount and Jaxon Smith-Njigba steal the show

The sun was out, the energy was strong, and the play was sharp.

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

Hey Field Gulls!

I had the opportunity to be on-site for Training Camp on Friday, and it remains an elite sports environment. The weather’s unbelievable, the VMAC is glistening as ever, and the fans are truly excited to be hanging out with their Seattle Seahawks, separated by a miniature pop-up fence. I’ll try to share some of the pieces that haven’t already picked up by the Seahawks own media team, or 710 Sports et. all.

Day three of practice opened up with a little special teams, and we’ll start with three simple visual observations.

  • I can confirm that Jaxon Smith-Njigba is as good as you thought. Even just doing 40-yard punt drills, his twitch was far and away better than the other receivers (granted, ones that won’t make the team).
  • Second confirmation is that Mike Morris is indeed gigantic. You’ve heard this before, but he walked by and 6’6” with his fluidity among other football players stands out. He gives the same type of impression as Kam Chancellor, where against other peers he just looks like there’s more of him than the others. Every indication is that moving a bit inside from college won’t be an ounce of an issue.
  • Finally, Bobby Wagner owns the crowd. He took a picture with some kids - in between reps on the sled. It’s so cool to have him back.

Once things turned to scrimmage mode, DeeJay Dallas made it apparent he is not out of this thing by turning in an early rushing touchdown* on a nifty cutback.

*training camp run plays over five yards are to be viewed very skeptically

Continuing with another bubble player, Dee Eskridge is an interesting character. There’s a phenomenon in the MLB in which a player becomes elite at AAA but can’t hang at the pro level. I wonder if that’s where Eskridge may land. He caught a 40-yard touchdown from Drew Lock, and was a very prevalent face on second team, but they’ve just given the WR3 to Smith-Njigba and I don’t have a shred of confidence Eskridge could take it from him.

The first interception of the day was also from Lock, caught by Vi Jones. We saw immediate pressure on the play from Levi Bell, that guy they signed like two days ago.

Seattle then shifted to end zone plays, and this is where things got interesting. I don’t think Tyler Lockett got the ball; I don’t think he got a target. But the ball went to DK Metcalf three plays in a row, who was a forced target all day. No commentary on that. Fans may be interested to note that Mike Jackson broke up the intended passes to Metcalf on consecutive plays, cementing his status as the starting cornerback Week 1.

He then held Metcalf for about 12 yards and got flagged, immediately uncementing his status.

The next play was the big one. I kid you not, they threw a screen pass to JSN and he ran forward with the ball. Does this work with real rules and real pads? I have no idea. But he’s literally the guy that will be able to do it this year, if the rest of the team can figure out. For the record they counted it for about 15 yards.

Tyler Lockett scored in a later scrimmage, just to remind everyone he’s the best.

The biggest play of the day came from the defensive player who might have had the biggest day of them all. You might have seen it already, but ladies and gentlemen, Joey Blount!

This is interesting. Blount was an undrafted rookie last season, played 175 exclusively special team snaps. He did have a fumble recovery last year, and I remember hearing his name with some regularity on kickoffs. Seattle is loaded with safeties, but Blount may emerge as the special teams superstar this year, with plenty of - uses term loosely - Ryan Neal type opportunity if some combination of Jamal Adams / Quandre Diggs misses significant time.

First week of practice is in the books! Go Hawks.