Sunday, August 8, 2010
Thanks to my mis-read of the training camp reservation system, I found myself back out there for the 2nd straight day (as opposed to next week). I hit the early morning practice with my oldest friend, who is an avid Ducks fan that I'm trying to lure into Seahawks nation.
Coach Carroll didn't help the cause by holding the entire practice on the West field, farthest from the berm. Players line the East sideline, waiting to get in, which acted as screen to fans. Basically, I didn't get to see all that much, and they ended up making it a brief 90 min practice instead of the customary two hours.
What I did notice was the Hawks installing a bunch of trick plays for Golden Tate. Most were reverse options where Tate, a lefty with a surprisingly strong arm, had the choice of whether to throw or run. During the offense-only portion, Tate mostly threw the ball. Each time, it was a tight spiral, and appeared on target. The fact that he is left-handed may increase the surprise of the play for at least the first few times they run it.
When they reached the scrimmage, they ran the play a few more times and Tate often ran.
It's hard to say who stood out for the reasons I mentioned above, but I noticed Leon Washington appearing more confident and making people miss. Mike Williams, again, is hard to miss due to his size and the #1 on his chest. Red Bryant blew up at least one play. Ricky Foley did the same. Walter Thurmond looked a little more gimpy with his knee than he did the day before. Kam Chancellor was back in pads, but I never saw when he was in.
Okung looked strong in the drills I saw him play. He appears to get into the lineman with confidence and is strong enough to control them. Earl Thomas is a spark plug. That kid likes to talk, and adds some needed competitive fire to the team. Running backs regularly "finish" runs, even after they are called down. Thomas, on at least two occasions, went after the running backs and knocked the ball out of their hands. His battery mate, Lawyer Milloy, loves to break into dance with the music blaring. The two of them together could make for some fun on the field.
Matt Hasselbeck was given the practice off, so we saw a lot of Whitehurst and Losman. Both looked competent. Whitehurst looked much better than the day before, putting most of his passed on the money. Neither QB looks as decisive as Matt has thus far.
Houshmandzadeh continued to be MIA. He made a sparkling catch, which was one more catch than he had yesterday, but I'm wondering if he's a large part of this offense.