Here are five observations from the Seahawks' mock game Sunday.
Here are five other things that stood out from the Seahawks’ mock game Sunday:
1, Alex Collins is showing he can catch as well as run.
The Seahawks were exceptionally thin in the backfield for the scrimmage, with Thomas Rawls activated from the PUP list but not participating, Christine Michael sitting out because he was sick, and rookies C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks battling hamstring injuries.
That left Collins, a fifth-round pick from Arkansas, to get a ton of work, and he responded not only with some tough running, but also the play of the day, a 50-yard-or-so touchdown catch on a play when he caught the ball around the 35-yard-line after Boykin broke away from pressure. Collins was able to outrace Earl Thomas into the end zone.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Sounders lose keeper Stefan Frei to apparent knee injury in closing minutes of win vs. Earthquakes
- Here's a look at the Seahawks' schedule for the 2021 NFL season
- Enjoy Seattle's Kenny Mayne while you can, as he closes out his ESPN career
- MGM Resorts sports entertainment executive George Kliavkoff named next Pac-12 commissioner
- Seahawks schedule analysis: What are the best matchups? Trap games? Final record? Our beat writers make their picks
“I had a flat route on that play and when I turned and looked the quarterback went in scramble mode so I just immediately went deep,’’ he said. “By the time I looked up the ball as already coming towards me so I just got underneath it and caught it.’’
The play came shortly after it was ruled Collins had fumbled, with the defense recovering. Collins had noted issues with fumbling early in his college career at Arkansas, so the apparent miscue seemed ominous. But coach Pete Carroll said later he thought it came after the whistle, and Collins said it definitely did.
“The defense must made a big deal about it, picking it up,’’ Collins said. “I’m trying to move on to the next play and they are running down the field.’’ Collins said the coaches will “see it on film’’ that he didn’t really fumble.
What he hopes they’ll also notice is that he may have better receiving skills than the 27 receptions he had in three years at Arkansas might indicate. Collins was drafted with the idea that he’d compete for being a first-and-second-down back, with Prosise ticketed for a third-down, two-minute-type back. But so far, Collins is showing he may have the ability to have more of a varied role.
“I’ve got to display my hands so they can believe in me,’’ he said. “I think I have done a pretty good job.’’
2, The Seahawks continue to like their new-look offensive line.
The offensive line groupings were the same as they have been all camp, with J’Marcus Webb starting at right tackle, rookie Germain Ifedi at right guard, Justin Britt at center, Mark Glowinski at left guard and Garry Gilliam at left tackle. There was some inevitable rotating — Bradley Sowell got some reps at both right tackle and left tackle with the starting unit and Patrick Lewis also got some snaps at center with the starters.
But in general, there was nothing to indicate any real change in the depth chart on the offensive line. Veteran Jahri Evans, signed on Saturday, suited up and did individual drills but did not take part in the scrimmage. He will get his first look with the Seahawks at left guard with the team already knowing he can play right guard, the spot he manned with the Saints. If Evans proves he can still get the job done after 10 years in the NFL (he turns 33 on Aug. 22), the Seahawks could move Ifedi to right tackle or make another move to fit him in.
But Carroll reiterated Sunday that he continues to like what he sees of the line as it is.
“We are really excited about where we are,’’ Carroll said. “We’re ahead of where we thought we should be at this time. … We are very big and physical right now. We love that part about it.’’
3, Trevone Boykin may have what it takes to be the backup quarterback.
Collins’ touchdown reception also displayed what the team likes about Boykin — the ability to make something out of nothing.
Boykin often had to go against the No. 1 defense so his overall numbers weren’t staggering — he was 4-8 with a touchdown in his three possessions.
But Carroll, while cautioning there’s still a ways to go, said he continues to be optimistic about Boykin. In particular, Carroll said Boykin appears to be “making that transition’’ of being able to become the same kind of playmaker he was in college now that he is in the NFL.
“I don’t want to go too far with it too fast,’’ Carroll said. “But he’s done a great job. He really is a good football player.’’
4, Cliff Avril is having a heck of a training camp.
The No. 1 defense was mostly dominant other than the Boykin-Collins touchdown. The line in particular continued what has been a solid camp, and particularly the edge rushers, and most notably Cliff Avril, who had three sacks.
“The perimeter pass rush did a nice job keeping the quarterbacks under pressure in that regard,’’ Carroll said.
Sunday’s performance continued what has been a standout camp for Avril, who can sometimes be overshadowed on a star-studded Seattle defense. Avril, in fact, has yet to get a Pro Bowl nod. But if his August pace continues all season, that drought could end this year.
5, Russell Wilson really likes where the Seahawks are headed.
Wilson got a lot of work, going 16-27 with a touchdown and leading scoring drives on four of his last five possessions after a somewhat ragged beginning that Carroll said wasn’t helped by some technological issues with the coach’s headsets.
Wilson said afterward “of all the years we have had before, for our first mock game it was definitely the best mock game we have had, in my opinion.’’
Wilson said it only reinforced what he has said throughout camp, that the offense is further ahead at this point than it has been in his previous four years with the Seahawks.
“I think that was a huge start to something really successful,’’ Wilson said. “We have practiced at a high level through all of training camp so far. … We can do anything we want in the sense of the type of players that we have and the offense that we have and the defense, as well.’’