Saturday, August 2, 2014

2014 Training Camp News & Notes: August 2nd Edition (Scrimmage)


OFF THE CUFF
Starting offense scores 3, Starting defense allows 3
The team scrimmaged for almost the whole practice today. They ran Russell Wilson and BJ Daniels against the second and third string defense, and Terrelle Pryor and Tarvaris Jackson against the starting defense. The mismatches were apparent on both sides. Wilson had the offense moving on nearly all of his possessions. He found Percy Harvin multiple times, including what would have been a 50-yarder, or possibly a 70+ yard touchdown if they were not blowing plays dead after minimal contact. The starting defense held Pryor and Jackson's crews without a first down on 3 of 6 possessions.


More good than bad from Pryor
Pryor got the lion's share of "second string" snaps, as Jackson only played one series. That likely means nothing as far as the backup QB battle, as Pete Carroll uses these situations as opportunities to learn about the guys he knows less about. Pryor was facing a great, albeit injury-depleted, defense and made some eye-opening throws that led to six first downs in his four series. His best series included a threaded pass to Bryan Walters for about 20 yards, followed by a slip seam pass to tight end Rashaun Allen for another 10-15, and then recovering a fumbled snap and throwing on the run to tight end Morrell Presley for a nice gain. His squad got a field goal out of it.

Broken record on Robert Turbin and Christine Michael
I am tired of writing it, and I'm sure folks are tired of reading it. Turbin remains ahead of Michael on the depth chart, and I must have muttered, "I don't get it," about ten times today as Turbin ran for short gains the featured little creativity or explosiveness and Michael looked like a big play about to happen on every carry. Michael got precious few carries. Demitrius Bronson got more carries than Michael. Turbin was not all bad. I've never said he was. He had a great outside run for big yardage and a nice wheel route catch for another big gain. He's just not anywhere near as dangerous a threat as Michael. If this competition was as open as the Wilson vs. Flynn vs. Jackson bout was, the depth chart would look different than it does right now.

Justin Britt appeared to be hurt
Just before the half, Britt could be seen on the sideline with his pads off. I did not see what happened, but the fact that he stayed on the sidelines for the rest of practice would seem to indicate the injury was not all that serious.

Nice day for the red shirts
Benson Mayowa, Greg Scruggs, Tharold Simon and Jordan Hill all had good performances. Simon had the "who the hell was that?!?" moment of the day when he came screaming off the edge on a corner blitz and sacked Wilson before he got to the top of his drop. Mayowa was strong against the run and had some good pass pressure. He had a tackle for loss and very likely would have had a sack in a real game. Scruggs applied constant pressure and would have had a couple of sacks. Hill penetrated into the backfield and applied nice pressure while also having a standout moment where he sniffed out a dump pass to a running back and had him covered to force a throwaway.



STAND-OUT NEW FACES
DE/DT Cassius Marsh
Marsh did not play today, but was seen running sprints on the far field. His passion for playing is palpable, even from a distance on a day he was not suiting up.

WR Kevin Smith
Smith continues his strong camp. He had a great contested catch and run for big yardage.

QB Terrelle Pryor
He had some nice quarterback moments today, making tough throws that required some touch. His inconsistency is discouraging. I'm not sure he can make the same throw twice. Even so, his talent is obvious.

RT Eric Winston
Winston takes center stage with Britt out and the new about Michael Bowie being waived due to injury. The veteran looked the part Saturday. He was facing the 2nd string, but did his job well from what I could see.

RB Demitrius Bronson 
Bronson has been running hard all camp. I admit to being a little jaded with unheralded rookie running backs playing well in camp. It is hard to judge a running back when real tackling is not happening, and there seems to be a guy every year who looks like he could be an NFL backup who gets cut. My conclusion is there are a lot of backup level running backs in the world, but quality starters are a far more limited group. Bronson is a fine back, but there is nothing about him that will wow a front office guy.

SIDELINED PLAYERS
Marshawn Lynch, Garrett Scott, Erik Pinkins, Kam Chancellor, Malcolm Smith, Bruce Irvin, Korey Toomer, Russell Okung, Kevin Norwood, Michael Bowie, Jesse Williams, Jimmy Staten, Bobby Wagner, Paul Richardson, James Carpenter, Cassius Marsh


THINGS I NOW KNOW

1.  The Seahawks will feature a lot more sprint motion this year
The offense showed a lot of looks where a receiver was sprinting in front of Wilson prior to the snap. People have seen the jet sweep by now, and I mentioned the jet swing pass in earlier notes. We saw more option-style runs today that faked to that player and handed to the back or had the quarterback keep it for a pass. There was a nice variation where Harvin lined up very tight to the line in the slot, and started his motion just before the snap for what seemed like an almost instantaneous handoff and eight yards.

2. Right tackle competition is going out with a whimper
The news about Bowie is terrible. Losing him for the year is a big deal. Britt has been okay for a rookie, but not starter material yet, and is now injured. Winston gets a win by attrition, and is probably the best player of the three anyway, but we almost have to see Alvin Bailey or Gary Gilliam get some time at right tackle later.


GENERAL IMPRESSIONS
Wilson had a mostly good day, but his most memorable play was one that he would like back. He had guided the team down the field in the two-minute drill and was at the 10-yard line, poised to score a touchdown before half. Instead, he forced a throw into triple coverage that got batted high up in the air. In true Wilson fashion, he knew he made a mistake as soon as he threw the ball, and started sprinting downfield to knock down any interception attempt. He collided with Terrance Parks as Parks dove and caught the tip for an interception. I'm sure Carroll would have preferred his quarterback to avoid the contact, and I'm sure Darrell Bevell would have preferred a better read from Wilson in the first place.

Phil Bates had a great catch along the sideline for big yardage, and has to be pushing Ricardo Lockette for a roster spot. We need to see where Bates can help on special teams since we know Lockette can contribute there. But as far as competition as a receiver, Bates has a sizable lead.

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