The Seahawks were off Monday after the “mock game’’ Sunday at Lumen Field. They’ll return to work Tuesday to continue camp and begin preparations for the preseason opener Saturday in Las Vegas against the Raiders.
Tuesday also marks two weeks since players reported for camp, which makes it a good time to recap what we’ve seen so far.
So, here are beat writers Adam Jude and Bob Condotta each offering thoughts on the biggest story so far, the biggest disappointment, and more:
The biggest story
Condotta: The continuing “hold-ins’’ of Jamal Adams and Duane Brown
Brown is the leader of the offensive line and as Russell Wilson’s blindside protector, as important as any player on the team. Adams is simply the team’s most dynamic defensive player and a player for whom the Seahawks gave up more than anyone in franchise history.
Through two weeks, neither has done anything more on the practice field than watch, each still vying for contract extensions. That each is attending meetings, walk-throughs, etc., means they shouldn’t need much work to get up to speed relatively quickly. Maybe this will all get done soon and seem like no big deal in a few weeks.
But as Wilson’s comments Sunday that something needs to get done with Brown indicate, this is beginning to hover a bit more ominously over the team with each passing day.
Jude: Tempo, tempo, tempo
The informal unveiling of the Seahawks’ new offense could not have gone much better Sunday. Wilson and the No. 1 offense needed just three minutes to cover 82 yards on eight plays, an opening drive that ended with a Chris Carson 1-yard touchdown run.
Wilson acknowledged after the mock game that he essentially called all the plays at the line of scrimmage during the opening drive.
This is what Wilson wanted all along.
On multiple occasion last season, and again in his public comments during his winter of discontent, Wilson expressed a desire to get the offense moving quicker. Over the past two seasons, the offense was often at its best in no-huddle, two-minute situations — so why not try that more often?
The star quarterback got his way … for now.
“We are moving quicker more consistently, we hope,” coach Pete Carroll said Sunday. “We’ll see how we go. We’ve worked really hard to develop our sense of tempo so we can change it as we want to.”
Entering Shane Waldron’s first season as a coordinator, Wilson said he believes the Seahawks have “everything” they need to be the NFL’s best offense. Playing fast is one tool they can use toward that end.
Here’s the flip side, though: Going three-and-out in 60 seconds is about the worst thing any offense can do, and when the go-fast approach isn’t working it will only wear down your own defense.
That is something we know Carroll will not stand for, so it will be interesting to see how much patience he has throughout the season.
Jude: The thin linebacker corps
Perhaps this is much ado about nothing. We know how dependable Bobby Wagner will be come Week 1, and we’re predicting a massive leap forward for Jordyn Brooks in his first full season as the starting weakside linebacker.
But behind them are some significant question marks. Darrell Taylor still is the biggest wild card on the roster — though early impressions are very encouraging.
Injuries have played a part. Cody Barton, in what amounts to a make-or-break season for him, has been sidelined by a quad injury, and Jon Rhattigan has a hamstring issue. That has pushed fullback Nick Bellore to fill in at linebacker for most of last week.
Ben Burr-Kirven, the former Washington star, has quietly had a strong camp, and Aaron Donkor flashed a couple of times Sunday.
But it is fair at this point to wonder about the quality of depth at the position — and whether unsigned free agent K.J. Wright might still be on the Seahawks’ radar.
Condotta: D’Wayne Eskridge’s continuing absence
Carroll’s comments last week that the Seahawks have found a shoe that could help solve Eskridge’s lingering toe issues raised optimism he’ll be back soon. Still, Seattle’s only selection in the top 137 of the 2021 draft (No. 56) is now two weeks behind after also being limited in the offseason program.
And given the injury issues some other recent high picks have had in their rookie seasons, it’s understandable if Seahawks fans are worried that trend could continue. Eskridge’s absence also means that for now, the battle for the third receiver spot is pretty much between Freddie Swain and Penny Hart.
While the Seahawks like each, it might not be a surprise if Seattle scours the waiver wire for any veteran wide receivers who might become available over the next few weeks, especially if Eskridge’s return is delayed even more.
One standout rookie
Condotta: Tackle Stone Forsythe
The sixth-round choice out of Florida is showing some early signs that he might be more ready to contribute if needed than the general perception when he was drafted.
Forsythe held his own against Aldon Smith in pass-rush drills last week, and Sunday got all the reps with the starters at left tackle with Brown out and Jamarco Jones and Cedric Ogbuehi sidelined with injuries. Forsythe might prove too valuable for the team to try to waive and sneak through to the practice squad, especially if Ogbuehi’s biceps injury turns out to be something that might sideline him for a while.
Jude: Cornerback Tre Brown
The Seahawks have 10 cornerbacks in camp, so it’s been difficult for some of them to get enough snaps to really stand out.
Brown, the rookie fourth-round choice out of Oklahoma, falls into that category, but he has been solid in his limited reps, including a pass breakup on a seam route in the mock game Sunday.
“It’s going to take a little bit on that evaluation,” Carroll said. “But if I look at all of his plays … are there plays in there that are bad plays (or) misreads? He doesn’t have that. He’s a smart football player. He’s been aggressive.”
Brown did get a chance at kick returner Sunday, and if he does make the team, he figures to make his mark initially on special teams in some capacity.
One last random thought
Jude: The pass rush will be a strength of the defense
The defensive line, overall, might be vastly underrated. And we haven’t been talking enough about Carlos Dunlap, who looks rejuvenated in his first Seahawks camp. He is a lock for 12 sacks this season, and 15 isn’t out of the question.
Add in newcomers Kerry Hyder Jr. and Aldon Smith — plus the versatile Taylor — and it’s not unreasonable to expect the pass rush to pick up right where it left off late last season when the Seahawks tied for the league lead with 34 sacks in the final nine games.
Condotta: The Duane Brown situation seems curiouser by the day
To add an additional thought on Brown, it’s worth pointing out that while Carroll has talked openly of the team negotiating with Adams, he’s been less clear whether there have been any actual contract talks with Brown.
Brown’s age — he turns 36 later this month — and that he has weathered some nagging knee injuries the past few years might have Seattle hesitant to want to invest too much in Brown.
Conversely, while it’s not known exactly what Brown wants, it’s hard to imagine he’s looking to break the bank. Carroll said Sunday Brown is “making a statement’’ with his hold-in. Maybe the Seahawks are making one, too, in so far not really acknowledging that they hope to give a little something to Brown.
But given his value to the team and the importance of this season, it’s starting to seem strange it’s still unresolved. Certainly, judging by his comments Sunday, Wilson seems to think so. And the Seahawks hardly need to revive rumors of any discontent from Wilson at this point.