Which receivers stood out? How does the safety position look? Seahawks beat writers Bob Condotta and Mike Vorel answer those questions and more in their daily impressions from training camp.
The Seahawks held their second practice of training camp Friday, one that was a little bit longer than the day before – 10 minutes or so – and they head into an off day Saturday.
Here are some notes and impressions from day two from Seahawks beat writers Bob Condotta and Mike Vorel.
First, three from Condotta:
A couple quick hits
I’m going to cheat slightly and pass along a few quick notes under one banner.
– First, there was no real news after all the moves of Thursday. But to clean up one transaction, the team officially signed cornerback Trovon Reed on Friday, a player who has had two previous stints with the Seahawks. Reed appeared to be used primarily at left cornerback, the spot where Shaquill Griffin is the starter. The Seahawks also added tight end Kyle Carter to the roster after claiming him off waivers the day before. He gives Seattle eight tight ends but only six of whom are healthy with Ed Dickson and Clayton Wilson sidelined.
– Speaking of Dickson and the other players who are out, there was no change in their status, which was probably to be expected with the Seahawks undoubtedly planning to get through the first two practices and the Saturday off day and re-evaluate things.
– Brandon Marshall did some work early but was still limited in the team sessions.
– I didn’t notice any significant change in the lineups. The starting offensive line was the same as the day before and the depth chart elsewhere appeared the same as Thursday. The Seahawks continue to rotate players at safety. Maurice Alexander got a few reps during early work with the starting unit alongside Bradley McDougald but is still two days away from being able to do 11-on-11 work. Once the team gets a good feel out of what it has in Alexander, the safety picture will start to become a little clearer.
– In your daily kicker update, Jason Myers was 2 for 3 and Sebastian Janikowski 3 for 3. The Seahawks have rotated the batteries, with punter Michael Dickson holding for Janikowski one day and Myers the next, and vice versa with Jon Ryan. Ryan has been the holder for kicks since he arrived with the Seahawks in 2008, a role Dickson will almost certainly assume if he becomes the punter, as expected.
A pickle at backup nickel?
Two cornerback spots are set – Griffin at LCB and Justin Coleman at the nickel. The right corner spot will be either Byron Maxwell, Neiko Thorpe and Tre Flowers, and, one would assume, Dontae Johnson once he gets healthy.
Less clear is who would be the backup at nickel. DeAndre Elliott was a possiblity before he failed his physical this week and was waived. Elliott was in line to be the backup nickel last year before suffering an ankle injury against the Raiders. Coleman was acquired a day later to beef up the spot, and somewhat surprisingly beat out Lane, who was waived and remains unsigned.
Maybe Reed can factor into that competition as his signing was undoubtedly a result of the loss of Elliott and gives Seattle 10 cornerbacks on its roster (though Mike Tyson is pretty much a safety at this point.
But for a least a few plays Friday, Thorpe appeared to get some work in the slot. At 6 foot 2, 210 pounds, he has always seemed a better fit for an outside corner. But Seattle might be exploring if he could also be depth at nickel. Thorpe has been one of the team’s best special-teams players but will have a fight to keep a roster spot with the addition of Flowers and Johnson.
Shaquem Griffin puts his speed on display
You can see below a tweet of Griffin in a linebacker drill, which drew some oohs and ahs from fans who, because the drill was close to the fence, got about as good of an up-close look as they can get during camp.
Griffin later caused his defensive teammates to erupt when he made a perfect read on a Russell Wilson zone-read play and beat Wilson to the corner of the line, tagging him for what would have been little or no gain.
Tyson was among those leaping to congratulate Griffin, a fifth-round pick who is being moved to weakside linebacker by the Seahawks. That’s a spot where play recognition is especially critical and can be especially challenging for young players, let alone someone new to the position.
There’s a long way to go, but Griffin appears to be picking up where he left off in the spring, when coach Pete Carroll said he made significant progress in becoming more comfortable in minicamp after playing more tentatively in OTAs.
Shaquem Griffin in LB drills. pic.twitter.com/z3xPsSTUqi
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) July 27, 2018
And from Vorel:
The day’s biggest highlights came from WRs Marcus Johnson and David Moore
Competing in a crowded wide-receiver competition, Johnson — a 6-foot-1, 204-pound receiver — was flanked by cornerback Byron Maxwell midway through Friday’s practice. Quarterback Russell Wilson delivered a pass to Johnson’s back shoulder, and the former Philadelphia Eagle adjusted, flipped his hips and corralled the ball along the sideline for a long completion.
A few plays later, Moore — a second-year player from tiny East Central (Okla.) University — skied above cornerback Akeem King and used a strong grip to snag the football from between King’s outstretched arms. The crowd overlooking the VMAC erupted as Moore (6-0, 215) secured the football and went to the ground.
Highlights aside, it’s still too early to tell whether Johnson or Moore can provide the consistency necessary to crack the Seahawks’ wide-receiver rotation in the fall. Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown appear settled at the top of Seattle’s depth chart, but Johnson and Brown will have to battle through the likes of Marshall and 2017 third-round pick Amara Darboh for opportunities.
Friday’s practice isn’t everything, but you could certainly call it a start.
Hand surgery isn’t holding back Frank Clark
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After the opening practice of training camp Thursday, the fourth-year defensive end revealed that he had surgery on his right hand about a month ago. Clark has been held out of team drills through the Seahawks’ first two practices, though he still participated in individual drills.
With injury-riddled defensive end Dion Jordan again sitting out practice with an undisclosed injury, the pressure continues to mount on Clark to deliver results in a contract year.
But he didn’t show it on Friday. When he wasn’t playing during his team’s second practice, the 6-3, 265-pound defensive end entertained himself in other ways. He danced (a lot). He signed autographs. He stomped his feet and clapped his hands during Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
The owner of 22 sacks in the last three seasons, Clark was as visibly enthusiastic as any Seahawk. He even gave his gloves to an awestruck fan before leaving the field. After all, he barely used them.
Has the future arrived for Tedric Thompson?
As he walked onto the practice field Friday, second-year free safety Tedric Thompson was greeted with a premature pronouncement.
“Tedric Thompson!” a full-throated fan in the front row shouted. “Future!”
A 6-foot, 204-pound safety, Thompson has looked the part at times in the Seahawks’ first two practices — most notably delivering a diving pass breakup on Friday.
He lined up with the starters beside versatile safety Bradley McDougald on Thursday, and rotated in with the starters on Friday as well.
If Earl Thomas’ holdout lingers into the season, the most likely Seahawk starters are either Thompson at free safety and McDougald at strong safety, or McDougald shifting to free safety alongside second-year strong safety Delano Hill.
Thompson may be the future, but his present remains in limbo.