The absences of key vets opened the door for some younger players to state their case Tuesday.
The big news for the Seahawks Tuesday involved updates on a few players not on the field — Doug Baldwin, Dion Jordan and Earl Thomas.
The specifics of those three situations is covered here.
What stood out in what we saw on the field Tuesday is the team’s continuing steps to fill their voids for as long as they may be out.
Here are some thoughts on those positions, as well as a few others.
AMARA DARBOH THE LATEST YOUNG RECEIVER TO HAVE A BIG DAY
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With Baldwin out the last three days and Brandon Marshall yet to take part in any team drills, young receivers continue to get extended work (they would anyway, but it sort of stands out more with the vets not on the field).
As coach Pete Carroll said, “they have kind of gone in a little bit of flurries.’’
After a few days when the standouts were the likes of Marcus Johnson, David Moore (who was out Tuesday with a hip flexor) and Keenan Reynolds, the star Tuesday was second-year receiver Amara Darboh.
A third-round pick out of Michigan, Darboh had a one-handed catch on a back-shoulder fade route from Russell Wilson to score a touchdown on an early red zone drill.
Later, he leapt high in traffic to haul down another pass in traffic. Each displayed the kind of athleticism that drew the team to Darboh in the first place and that has not been on display as much as the team may have hoped to this point.
But Carroll and company obviously hope it’s the kind of day that sparks Darboh to more consistent play.
“He made some nice plays today,’’ Carroll said. “He’s doing really well. He’s fit. A big strong kid out there and he’s fast, too.’’
The trick for Darboh will be to do it again when the Seahawks come back to camp on Thursday.
ALEXANDER MAKING HIS PLAY AT SAFETY
For the second straight day, Maurice Alexander took the first snaps at safety alongside Bradley McDougald, a combination that without Thomas might be the team’s preferred way to enter the season if for no other reason than experience — McDougald has 45 career starts and Alexander 23. Seattle might want some players in the back end who won’t be awed by what will be a raucous atmosphere in Denver week one, and then again in Chicago on a Monday night in week two.
Each also has plenty of experience playing both free and strong so the Seahawks can use each pretty interchangeably. Alexander more often lines up as a strong safety and McDougald at free. But if you watch closely, they also sometimes switch at the snap based on what they are seeing.
Second-year players Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill ran as the backup safeties today most often.
For Alexander it was just his second time on the field with the Seahawks and as might be expected, it wasn’t all perfect — in one of the plays of the day, Russell Wilson hit Jaron Brown for a 50-yard touchdown on a play in which Brown appeared to beat Maxwell and then get behind Alexander.
Interestingly, when the defense next took the field, both Maxwell and Alexander were replaced (by Tre Flowers and Thompson, respectively) with the rest of the defense the same.
Maybe that was just a normal rotation or maybe a reaction to what had just happened.
More important for the Seahawks is simply getting a sense of what they have in Alexander.
“After today when we come back he’ll be full go on everything,’’ Carroll said. “I’m really excited to see how he fits in. I see him as a little bit different type of player than some of the guys we’ve had. So I’m anxious (to see him).’’
JACOB MARTIN, RASHEEM GREEN GET THEIR TURN
The Seahawks’ pass rush in the post-Cliff Avril/Michael Bennett world already loomed as a question mark heading into the season.
The issues with Jordan only ratchet up the anxiety a bit. And Tuesday, another player the team is counting on as an edge rusher, Marcus Smith, was out with a hamstring issue. With Frank Clark continuing to be limited to non-team drills wile he recovers from hand surgery, that left the Seahawks using rookies Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin quite a bit with the starting and second-team defenses.
Green in particular got a lot of work with the starting line. That he’s still a work in progress was evident on a zone read play when he lost contain and Russell Wilson kept the ball and went around the end for a long gain.
Martin, meanwhile, has continued to impress, playing both strongside linebacker in the base defense and then rushing on passing downs.
Still, as excited as the Seahawks may be by those two players, the Seahawks are going to need the vets back — or are going to have to make some moves to add some players.
YOUR DAILY KICKING UPDATE
As the team had said would happen, the Seahawks rotated kickers and on Tuesday it was veteran Sebastian Janikowski handling all of the field goals out of the holds of rookie Michael Dickson a day after Jason Myers handled all of the kicks out of holds of Jon Ryan.
Janikowski went 3-5, hitting from 33 and 48 but missing from 43 during the regular field goal session and then missing a 53-yarder that clanged high off the cross bar and making another from 27 during team sessions.
While the 53-yarder missed, the fact that it looked like it would have been good from 60 had it been straight was impressive enough to Carroll.
“His leg it as strong as ever,’’ Carroll said.
YOUR DAILY OFFENSIVE LINE/GERMAIN IFEDI UPDATE
That Ifedi got a few snaps at right guard on Monday — the position he played as a rookie in 2016 before moving to right tackle last season — was obviously intriguing.
But offensive line coach Mike Solari downplayed it afterward saying the team is merely looking at some different combinations in camp — and no doubt, camp is the time to do that.
And Tuesday, Ifedi was back playing right tackle throughout with the starting offensive line, which continues to remain the same as it has been from day one.
When the team wanted to give a few snaps off to starting right guard D.J. Fluker (who has had a knee issue) it was Willie Beavers who took his place with Ifedi staying at RT.
Ifedi also had two good reps in the pass-block drills, appearing to get the “win’’ against Green on two straight snaps.
The most-common number two offensive line Tuesday went, from left to right: George Fant, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, Jordan Roos and Isaiah Battle. But that was with Beavers helping spell Fluker.
Fant’s return means rookie Jamarco Jones is working with the third team line at let tackle. Jones, though, had a couple of solid reps in the pass block drill against K.J. Wright that if were not outright wins, were not losses.
FIVE DAYS, ZERO FIGHTS
For those wondering how this camp is different than those in the past without the likes of Bennett, Richard Sherman and some of the other key vets who are no longer around, here’s one that has stood out so far — a lack of fights.
Usually by this point — five days in and the last three with pads and hitting — there’d have been some sort of scuffle or two. Recall in 2016 there was a pretty significant dustup between Ifedi and Bennett. Last year, it was Ifedi and Frank Clark.
This year, there has been nary a punch thrown and only a couple of times when there even seemed to be the slightest hint of hard feelings after a play.
Carroll made an interesting comment about that when asked afterward.
“There’s a little different mentality,” Carroll said. “Guys are really getting after one another but they are doing it with the sense that the other guy is really important to them in a big way and it’s showing up already. You saw us, we were competing and guys were fricking going crazy today to win the first and 10 drill, and that’s what matters — how hard they work and the fact that they understand everybody is in this together. That really, really seems unique for our team.”
ODDS AND ENDS
— The running backs did a full contact pass pro drill early in practice. Most interesting was a matchup between J.D.McKissic and Shaquem Griffin. Griffin made a nice move to burst around McKissic, but McKissic recovered quickly to keep a body on him.
— Will Dissly ran a nice route at one point to get behind the defense maybe 15 yards downfield at one point but then dropped a well-thrown ball from Russell Wilson.
— The only turnover I saw during the 11-on-11 sessions was an interception by Trovon Reed of a pass from Austin Davis intended for Damore’ea Stringfellow at the goal line.
— I mentioned Maxwell getting beat earlier. He also had one of the standout defensive plays when he dove to bat away a Wilson pass intended for Jaron Brown. Such is the back-and-forth of camp.