For the Seahawks, Monday marks the beginning of phase three of training camp, one that will be capped off by the team’s first preseason game Friday night against Denver at CenturyLink Field.
And it’s a “gameweek” they begin still without strong safety Kam Chancellor, whose holdout is now 11 days old, having missed nine practices (the team can fine him for $30,000 for every day missed, so up to $330,000 at this point, along with the ability to recoup up to 25 percent of his signing bonus for this season (which as $1 million) if he misses all of training camp. The way that rule works is the team can ask to recoup 15 percent of his bonus after the sixth day and then one percent a day up to 25 percent. So, Chancellor would be subject to fines of up to $530,000 as of today. But fines are at team discretion and often waived once a player reports.
And that means the Seahawks will continue today with the safety tandem of DeShawn Shead at strong safety and Steven Terrell at free safety, with Earl Thomas also a few weeks away from doing any contact work on the field (at the moment he is limited to walk-throughs).
For Shead, a fourth-year player who originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of Portland State, the situation has thrust him into the spotlight the subject of almost daily interview requests.
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Shead, though, has handled it all calmly, saying he understands the attention and the situation while also wanting to make the most of it.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “Definitely excited. That was one of my goals to come out here and start for a team start for an NFL team and my role here is to back up for now and if somebody goes down I will step right in and make sure the level of play won’t stop. We definitely miss Kam, that’s our brother, we can’t wait for him to come back. But until then I’m going to keep holding it down for him.”
Shead has said throughout that he keeps in constant contact with Chancellor, and he said with a laugh after Saturday’s scrimmage that “he has probably already seen the film because they put it up (on-line, for players to access) pretty fast. I will definitely talk to him and get his input on little things on how to play faster, because that’s the whole key is to try to anticipate plays and play this game faster and learn situational football. I know what I’m doing out there so now it’s time to play faster and see what the offense is doing out there.”
As for the Broncos on Friday, Shead said the team can’t wait to play again at CenturyLink Field.
“It’s always good to get out here and get full pads on and get closer to the game as much as we can,” he said of the scrimmage. “But we still weren’t live tackling to the ground, so preason games will give us more of a look because that is a game. We don’t treat preseason games as preseason we treat them as a game for us.”