Football is back in three weeks!
Training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center is a wonderful experience, as the thousands of fans who drop in each summer can attest. The setting is unrivaled, and the low-key atmosphere holds a fun dichotomy of high-flying 1-on-1 go ball drills, with Darrell Taylor doing the griddy on the far field.
Don’t expect full game plans, or even an entire day of work from the team’s elites, but here’s a few things you should hope to see towards the end of July.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba not to get hurt
Smith-Njigba was limited during his earlier stint with the team this Spring. Of all this year’s rookies, JSN would be the most disappointing to not make it through camp healthy. Third receiver is an absolute desert for Seattle, and most the other rookie positions have at least some level of competition. His presence gives an immediate boost to the offensive options over last season.
Quiet news about Geno Smith
I don’t wanna read Bob Condotta tweet “the offense was shut down in goal-line drills today, going 0-10 with an interception.” All accounts thus far are that Geno Smith has already entered the summer program with a mastery of the team and offense that were unfathomable last season. We don’t need him to prove it with highlight reel practice throws. If he’s making good reads and finding wide-open Tyler Lockett when he needs to, things will (should) be generally quiet around Smith. And that’s a good thing.
Kenneth Walker vs. Zach Charbonnet
Obviously Walker III has proven it, and Charbonnet has not yet. But with such different styles, I do hope to see some of the battle come out in the form of unique explosive plays from both of them. The fact that the Seahawks immediately declared Walker’s job is not just handed to him after a 1,000-yard rookie season means both backs should have plenty to be excited about during practice, and that’s fun.
For the love of God, please just practice at some point and don’t come off the field halfway through the first day.
This is where expectations have to be tempered. There str so few opportunities to hit each other, we’ll have no idea if the team is playing all that well against the run or not. But Clint Hurtt has to recognize it wasn’t talent alone last season that bled the team dry. I’m simply hoping we get a sense that the defensive players know where they’re going, know what they’re doing, are confident in unleashing to make plays, etc.
The added versatility of Julian Love, Adams (if present), and even Mike Morris converted-types, will make my heart glad if it results in energy and dynamism, not muted confusion.
Seattle kicks off on July 26, with a chance to build momentum upon their surprisingly successful 2022 season.