Clearing out the notebook following the Seahawks' OTA on Thursday with notes about the offensive line, defensive personnel, and more.
Clearing out the notebook from the Seahawks’ first OTA (Organized Team Activity) on Thursday….
- We passed along the offensive line groupings in our Thursday post. As noted there, it was hard to get a really great look at it all with projected starting tackles Garry Gilliam (surgery to remove a cyst on his knee) and J.Marcus Webb (calf injury) sidelined for the moment. That had Terry Poole (right tackle) and Bradley Sowell (left tackle) working as the starters along with Justin Britt at center, Mark Glowinski at left guard and Germain Ifedi at right guard with the starting unit. You probably wouldn’t expect him to say otherwise, but coach Pete Carroll said he likes what he has seen so far out of the offensive line. “It’s off to a good start,’’ he said. “You guys got your first look at Germain Ifedi. He’s been really impressive and really sharp. Thrilled to see he’s picking stuff up so well and it makes sense to him and he communicates well and he’s a monster of a guy at the right guard spot. So he’s off to a good start. Justin [Britt] has looked very solid at center. We played him at tackle too some, just to make sure we’re using all the flexibility that he does generate for us. So he’s making a good statement that he understands how to play in that area. Communication is going to be really important and we’re just starting to learn how to talk and we’re still a long ways away there. Mark Glowinski is playing at left guard and he’s real comfortable. Mark’s one of the real tough guys on our team and we’re anxious to add him in.” Britt had one snap that flew over the head of Russell Wilson, but a caveat about all of this is that it remains late May.
- The defensive line also looked a bit different with Michael Bennett and Chris Clemons, to use Pete Carroll’s phrase, taking advantage of the fact that these are voluntary. Without those two, the base defensive line appeared to typically consist of Cliff Avril and Frank Clark as the ends with Ahtyba Rubin and Jarran Reed inside. Quinton Jefferson also rotated in as an end/tackle, basically playing Bennett’s role, with Jordan Hill also rotating in and playing inside in the nickel. Essentially, no surprises. The number two defensive line typically consisted of Cassius Marsh and Ryan Robinson at ends and Sealver Siliga and DeAngelo Tyson inside.
- With K.J. Wright absent Kevin Pierre-Louis worked as the first-team WLB with Bobby Wagner in the middle and Mike Morgan and Marsh as the strongside linebackers (in other words, Pierre-Louis doesn’t appear in the SLB mix, in case there was any question). Brock Coyle was the second-teamer in the middle often paired with Steve Longa working as the second-team WLB and Eric Pinkins at SLB (he had a “sack’’ of Russell Wilson late in the day). Recently-signed free agent Khairi Fortt also appeared to be playing the inside spots primarily.
- As noted Thursday, the starting secondary featured Richard Sherman Jeremy Lane as the corners in the base with Tharold Simon entering in nickel in dime packages as an outside corner, kicking Lane inside. The second-team corners in the base were typically Simon and Marcus Burley with Kelcie McCray as the second-team strong safety (and at times working alongside Brandon Browner in the base defense at safety).
- With Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise out, Christine Michael was the first-team running back followed by Alex Collins (Zac Brooks was also out with an undisclosed issue).
- To answer a few questions about where some young players are being used: UDFA Tanner McEvoy is listed on the roster as a wide receiver but played exclusively on defense at safety; Tyvis Powell, listed as a strong safety, indeed appeared to play nothing but strong safety after having gotten some plays at cornerback in the rookie mini-camp; Brandin Bryant, listed as a fullback, played exclusively on the defensive line.
- UDFA LB Pete Robertson was not present (and possibly due to the rule about being able to participate before his class has graduated).
- I plan to elaborate on this a little more later with some quotes from Pete Carroll about the fullback position, but one thing notable about that spot Thursday is that Brandon Cottom lined up there quite a bit. Cottom was a fullback when with the Seahawks as a rookie free agent last season, then was re-signed later and now listed as a tight end. But the team appears to be trying him again now pretty much as a fullback. The fullbacks Thursday were Cottom, Tre Madden and Tani Tupou, all young players undergoing some measure of conversion to the position.
- It was the first time we got to see new long-snapper Drew Ferris. They didn’t do a lot of special teams stuff during the time we saw, but everything appeared to go smoothly enough.
- The Seahawks are off for the weekend and the next time the media will get a chance to watch an OTA is Wednesday, June 1.