2012 Seahawks Training Camp: August 9th News & Notes
50 yard line on an american football field
Created by reader Sean Lewandowski
It was Seahawks training camp day eleven, and Terrell Owens day two today.
OFF THE CUFF Get used to Terrell Owens
I have made no secret of my distaste for the Owens signing. Pushing Matt Hasselbeck out the door was not something I enjoyed, either, but I moved on. If you are an Owens fan, take heart. If you are not, start coping. This guy is not going anywhere. Owens was the arguably the best receiver on the field today. His day was punctuated by a ridiculous catch of a Russell Wilson throw in the end zone that he pulled in over a defender and bobbled before securing and tapping two feet in. Wilson and Owens connected earlier on another beauty. I said it yesterday, and it bears repeating, that if you knew nothing about Owens and watched him play, you’d think he was in his low 30s and a starting receiver for the team. At least one of those two things could prove true. He played exclusively at flanker for the second straight day opposite of Braylon Edwards.
Et tu, Edwards?
Edwards pulled down more receptions than Owens today and continues to make a strong push for a roster spot. The logical assumption when Owens was signed was that only one of the two would make the team, but the best bet right now is that both stick. Edwards is a completely different player than Owens. He is much more in the Mike Williams mold of a big possession receiver who can make a tough catch in traffic. He runs better routes than Williams, and carries himself like a pro who has been there before. If not for Owens ridiculous catch in the end zone, Edwards would have owned the catch of the day as he elevated way over his defender to haul in a throw from Wilson. This is a guy that brings a unique skill set to the receiver group, and I’m having trouble seeing how the coaching staff sets that aside.
Sidney Rice makes first appearance in team drills
Sidney Rice has been wearing his red (non-contact) jersey all but one day in practice. The one day he was in team blue was when he sneaked it on without approval. The training staff apparently removed his blue jersey from his locker after the incident. Rice was still in his red jersey today, but participated in team drills for the first time. He looked a little rusty, and the all-contact defense was confused about how to guard him all day. Richard Sherman was trying to figure out how to press a receiver without touching him. That Stanford education only goes so far. Rice dropped the first pass thrown his way, was seemingly effective on a couple of catches only because the defense held back. Nonetheless, it was good to see him taking a step forward.
Don’t tell Russell Wilson the quarterback competition is over. He got nearly as many snaps as Matt Flynn (28 for Flynn, 24 for Wilson), and made the most of them. I had him at 12-16 passing with a number of deep throws, including the two described above to Owens and Edwards. He also had a deep comeback to Edwards (nice route, by the way), a deep sideline pass to Ben Obomanu, and a nice crossing route to Zach Miller (who got lit up by Bobby Wagner). Two of Wilson’s incompletions were a deep pass to Kris Durham in the end zone that was flat dropped, and a smoke route to Jermaine Kearse to avoid a blitz that Kearse did not read properly, so the ball hit him in the back. Flynn was not exactly struggling at 17-22 passing on the day, but Wilson impressed.
STAND-OUT NEW FACES TE Sean McGrath
Another good day.
DE Bruce Irvin and Cordarro Law
Irvin and Law were back at it again. Each had a sack, and Irvin likely would have had one or two more in real game action. I can’t wait to see these two unleashed on Saturday.
Walter Thurmond, Doug Baldwin (went through more drills today), Allen Bradford, Alan Branch, Ricardo Lockette, Brandon Browner, Cameron Morrah
THINGS I NOW KNOW
Josh Portis’ mom was in the house today. She is a wonderful woman that I had the pleasure of meeting last year. She is Josh’s biggest fan, and proved it today by handing out custom #2 t-shirts to a bunch of kids, and urging them to put them on. I imagine there was an, “Awww, mom!” moment for Josh after he exited the field.
Portis is benefiting the most from Tarvaris Jackson’s reduced reps. He got another set of ten straight reps midway through team drills. He was 5-8, but two of the incompletions were drops. He continues to look like a player the team would be wise to keep around.
The passing game looks to be heavily based on play-action and bootlegs. Flynn moves well in these plays, arguably better than Jackson. Wilson is the only guy that can turn these rollouts into running plays with any regularity, but Flynn’s mobility has been a pleasant surprise. After watching some of the 2011 games again via NFL Game Rewind, it became even more pronounced how much Jackson struggled to use his feet in the pocket. Flynn does not have “Tom Brady” feet necessarily, but moves around instinctually in the pocket, and rolls out faster than Jackson. Those that were fans back in 2005 and remember the frequent use of a bootleg play that had two levels of crossers (back then it was Ryan Hannam or Jeremy Stevens at one level and Joe Jurevicious at the deeper level), will likely have deja vu watching this year’s squad. Expect a lot of Miller with a receiver dragging behind him.
The receiver picture is a jumble. Rice, Doug Baldwin, and Golden Tate are locks. I had Ricardo Lockette in that category, but he has fallen way off the pace and is now injured. It would surprise me if they let a talent like that walk, so he’s likely a fourth receiver they keep. Edwards and Owens are highly likely to make the squad, leaving Obomanu and Deon Butler on the outside looking in. Rice looks like he is working his way back, and Edwards seems like a more natural split end than Owens, so I’m not sure where Owens will fit in when everyone is healthy. I continue to think Owens is a hedge against Rice’s health. The red zone offense starts looking very different with Winslow, Miller, Edwards, Rice and Owens all available.
Practice is closed tomorrow. Look for a full write-up after the game on Saturday.