RENTON — After a day off, the Seahawks returned to the practice field at the VMAC on Friday.
But with the team’s annual “mock game’’ on tap Sunday at Lumen Field, the Friday workout was a little shorter than some of those earlier this week and also no pads.
That doesn’t mean nothing happened.
Here are a few things that stood out:
A better day for the offense
The Seahawks had their worst offensive day of camp Wednesday with four fumbles and two interceptions and just a general inefficiency throughout.
Pads and contact, of course, help create turnovers, so that may be one reason Friday’s practice was cleaner for the offense.
But the offense also just appeared a bit crisper throughout, though the nature of the practice — a lot of situational work — meant there weren’t a lot of big plays.
In a drill where the offense began at its own 2, Russell Wilson got the team out of its own end with a couple of quick completions, including about an 11-yarder to DK Metcalf on a third-and-three (the drill ended there).
On a play from the defense’s 1 a little later, Wilson rolled and hit Colby Parkinson for a TD and also hit Tyler Lockett for a long gain on a play when Jordyn Brooks gambled and just missed on an interception. Geno Smith also hit Penny Hart for a long gain on a free play when the defense jumped offsides.
The defense, though, made some plays of its own, specifically when safety Quandre Diggs sniffed out a pass to Gerald Everett on a two-point play and made the “tag’’ just shy of the goal line.
OL competition continuing
While the Seahawks preach competition at every position, most are pretty set.
But two that appear legitimately open are center and right tackle.
And Friday the Seahawks again had the presumed backups — Kyle Fuller and Cedric Ogbuehi — working with the starters, coach Pete Carroll living up to his claim before camp that each would be given ample reps with the first-team offense to state their case (Ogbuehi was back after missing Wednesday’s practice with a sore shoulder).
In fact, due to the rotations, Gabe Jackson getting a day off and Duane Brown continuing to not take part on the field while he seeks a new contract, the usual first-team line featured four presumed backups with only Damien Lewis in his usual spot as a starter at left guard.
Jamarco Jones filled in for Brown at left tackle and Phil Haynes at right guard with Jackson. Carroll didn’t speak to the media so it’s unclear if Jackson had an injury. But he also got a day off earlier in the week and the assumption was he was just getting another one, allowing Haynes — a third-year player — a chance to work with the starters.
Haynes is healthy and appears in the best shape of his career and while it seems unlikely he could make a real run at a starting job with Jackson and Lewis seeming locked in to the starting guard spots — he appears to be making a legit run at being the team’s third guard and potentially active on game days.
Rookie Stone Forsythe, who had two solid practices earlier this week when the team first put on pads, was also out for unknown reasons.
So the second OL looking this way from left to right: Tommy Champion, Jordan Simmons, Ethan Pocic, Jake Curhan and Brandon Shell.
And for Shell and Pocic — each starters a year ago — their status on the second-team line throughout practice showed again that each is going to have to fight to retain that status this season.
Metcalf, Mills provide interesting post-practice scene
It’s common to see players linger on the field after practice, working on either something individual — receivers catching a few extra passes, for instance — or in small groups.
After Friday’s practice, DK Metcalf — now in his third season — spent some time with rookie cornerback Bryan Mills with former player DeShawn Shead — now an assistant defensive backs coach — helping out.
And while it’s hard to know for sure, it appeared as if Metcalf was helping Mills — an undrafted rookie free agent — with defending at the line of scrimmage. Mills talked this week of trying to adjust to Seattle’s “step-kick’’ technique for its cornerbacks — which requires cornerbacks to basically take a step at the snap and read what the receiver is doing before then “kicking’’ and running. The technique requires a patience that can sometimes take some getting used to for cornerbacks who come from different systems.
If Mills was indeed getting some tutoring from Metcalf he could hardly ask for a better teacher.
Seahawks make intriguing addition
Seattle made one roster move Friday, signing tight end Michael Jacobson to take the spot of receiver Darvin Kidsy, who was waived the day before.
What makes Jacobson intriguing is his background — a 6-7, 244-pounder, he played basketball at Nebraska and Iowa State, helping lead Iowa State to the NCAA tournament as a junior and averaging 9.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in two years with the Cyclones.
Jacobson, from Waukee (Iowa) High School, actually had a football scholarship offer from ISU out of high school before deciding to play basketball. He played one year in the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague before deciding to try football. He was signed by the Seahawks after he had a tryout with Seattle on Thursday.
Jacobson took part in Friday’s practice though he did not appear to get into any team drills.
As a Seahawks news release pointed out, Seattle had success converting George Fant — primarily a basketball player at Western Kentucky — into an offensive tackle, and in 2013 also signed Darren Fells as a tight end after he plays college basketball. Fells didn’t stick with Seattle but has started 76 games for various other teams over the past seven years.
Here are some personnel updates from practice:
- Cornerback Damarious Randall was back to practice after sitting out Wednesday with a groin issue. Randall again worked mostly with the second team at left corner alongside Tre Flowers on the right side.
- Linebackers Cody Barton (quad) and Jon Rhattigan (hamstring) remained out. And that had fullback Nick Bellore — a former linebacker — again wearing a white defensive jersey and taking a few snaps at linebacker to help out the depth.
- Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (groin) was out for the second straight practice and defensive end Benson Mayowa (unknown) also sat out.