Here are three impressions of Seattle's three-day rookie mini-camp from Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
The Seahawks wrapped up their three-day rookie mini-camp today.
Here are three impressions from beat writers Bob Condotta and Jayson Jenks.
First, from Condotta
1. Kasen Williams left a lasting impression: Coach Pete Carroll said after Sunday’s workout that the team hopes to sign the former Husky and Skyline High receiver to a free agent deal after he participated here as a tryout player. I wrote about Williams for the Sunday paper (you can find that story below) and Carroll talked about him following Sunday’s workout. “He looked very good,” Carroll said. “We’ve known him for a long time through the recruiting process and our expectations are that he is a really accomplished receiver. Great athlete getting off the ground and all and he showed all of that . He looked like he fit. So we’ll try to get him back.’’ Seattle has an obvious spot on the 90-man for a receiver after Austin Hill — who as signed as an undrafted free agent — did not pass his physical. So it won’t be a surprise to hear in the next day or so that the team has signed Williams to the 90-man roster. The Seahawks will have a pretty competitive group at receiver with the addition of draftee Tyler Lockett — who was probably the most consistently impressive player here — to the veteran group of Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, etc. (Lockett had the highlight play of Sunday’s practice on a deep reception for a touchdown from R.J. Archer) But the Seahawks are obviously intrigued by Williams and appear ready to give him a shot.
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2. Offensive line makes good, first impression: Carroll said afterward that while there was lots to like from the mini-camp, “I probably can’t stop focusing on the O-line because of the three guys” (the team drafted. Indeed, Seattle’s three offensive line draft picks all appeared to have good camps. Fourth-round picks Terry Poole and Mark Glowinski played at guard throughout while sixth-rounder Kristjan Sokoli played at center. For now, OL coach Tom Cable said each will stay at those spots though Glowinski could also get some looks at tackle and Poole at center. “This whole thing was to see how they learn, how they take to learning and what their capability is to work in a short period of time and could they turn around and give it you you in practice in a team period and today showed they did pretty good,” Cable said. Two other OLs also stood out, Cable said —UDFA Jesse Davis of Idaho and tryout player Kona Schwenke of Notre Dame. Davis played primarily left tackle and Cable called him “a really cool addition.” Schwenke was a defensive lineman in college and also last year when he had shots with the Jets, Chiefs and Patriots and was released by the Raiders earlier this week. He was a defensive linemen with each team. But the Seahawks are trying him on offense and Cable said so far, so good. “I think just movement and he’s got a real cool brain,” Cable said of trying Schwenke on offense. “He picked it up pretty quick and was able to kind of change his whole mindset. He’s never done this before so a lot like Kristjan and just kind of progressed each of the days and today I thought was pretty cool watching him.” So don’t be surprised to hear that Schwenke has also signed to the 90-man soon.
3. Backup QB is still in the air, but don’t discount Archer: One roster spot that still remains unclear is backup quarterback. The Seahawks have said for a while now that they would like to re-sign Tarvaris Jackson, the backup the last two years, something Carroll reiterated after practice today. “We are in negotiations and we really like what Tarvaris did and has done for us,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see where that all goes. So it’s still up in the air.” Seattle’s three QBs on its current roster are Russell Wilson, B.J. Daniels and R.J. Archer, a free agent signed out of the arena league after the season. This camp was the first chance for the team to really get an up close look at Archer, and Carroll said the Seahawks saw enough to think he could legitimately join the competition for the backup spot. “He did a nice job and has done well for us, so he’s a candidate for us,” Carroll said. “We’ll see where that fits.” Carroll also seemed to hint that there could be other options saying “there are still some deals to be made.”
And from Jenks:
1. This is data-collecting season. The Seahawks spent all of last year scouting the players they drafted or signed, but there is still so much uncertainty about how they will fit in or even where they will play. So what the three days of rookie mini camp is about, more than anything, is the first chance for the Seahawks’ coaches to test theories, gather information on the field and start building plans for how their new players will be used leading up to the season. Here’s an example: coach Pete Carroll said the team had second-round pick Frank Clark play three different positions during the rookie mini camp: defensive end, LEO (the Seahawks’ pass-rushing specialist) and inside at defensive tackle in passing situations. They want to see how he fits in those different roles so they can decide where they might use him. Said Carroll, “As we put all that film together and look at how he moved and how comfortable he is, it will give us a good first indication of what we can do with him.” Carroll added, “There’s not much limitation to what we can do with him. He has the ability and the range and seemed to pick things up very, very easily. He’s going to be a very versatile player for us, I think.”
2. If there was such an award, Tyler Lockett would have been named the Seahawks’ most impressive player during rookie mini camp. This is just a first impression, but Lockett made a pretty good one in his first three days with the team. Lockett looks like a natural route runner, and he was shifty moving across the middle when lining up in the slot. Carroll is always optimistic about his players, but this time of year he usually throws some cold water here and there to tamper expectations. But both day that he talked about Lockett, he only had positive reviews for the Seahawks’ third-round pick. “Tyler looked so comfortable,” Carroll said on Sunday. “He’s an adept football player, a very natural player. He has a terrific sense for releasing and getting off the line of scrimmage and space stuff and finding his way downfield against the zones and all. He caught the ball beautifully. He looked really fast.”
3. It’s the time of year for experimentation, and one worth watching is the switch from defensive back to linebacker for Eric Pinkins. The Seahawks drafted Pinkins in the sixth round last year, but he missed all of last season with an injury. He played safety in college, a little cornerback early with the Seahawks last year and now has moved to outside linebacker. Pinkins is listed on the roster at 220 pounds, but Carroll said Pinkins was up to 238 pounds when they started thinking of moving him to linebacker. Pinkins struggled in his limited time as a cornerback before his injury early last season. The Seahawks could use depth at outside linebacker, and Pinkins said that he was on board with the switch once the coaches proposed it because it offered him the quickest route to getting on the field. He is undersized right now for a linebacker but thinks he can use his speed to compensate. “They told me I’m fine where I’m at,” Pinkins said of his weight. “I’m naturally going to gain weight because I’m naturally strong. They just said, ‘Eat what you want.’ When I was a DB, I was actually starving myself a little bit because I came back at 230 (pounds), then I dropped to 221 and then slowly progressed and I’m started eating like I should. I ended up being 225, but by the time the season starts they probably want me to play at 230. Like the coaches said, my speed is my attribute. They want me to maintain 230.”