RENTON — The Seahawks have been building up to Sunday, when they will open the doors to Lumen Field and host their first scrimmage of training camp.
Some 10,000 fans are expected to attend the mock game, scheduled for a 1:25 p.m. start. It will be the first Seahawks game of any kind with fans in the stands since Dec. 29, 2019.
It also will be the first real chance for Seahawks coaches to evaluate players in gamelike situations and an important warm-up ahead of the first preseason game next Saturday against the Raiders in Las Vegas.
That in mind, Saturday’s practice at the VMAC figured to be more of a light workout to ensure everyone was fresh for Sunday. Instead, it was the most heated practice of camp so far. A few impressions from Saturday:
Sunday’s scrimmage figures to include some “live” periods with hitting and tackling. The intensity was already ratcheting up early in Saturday’s practice.
In a one-on-one drill, DK Metcalf lined up against Ugo Amadi on back-to-back routes. The first pass from Russell Wilson fell incomplete, and Metcalf was clearly frustrated at how much he was being held by Amadi on the play.
When they matched up again, Metcalf hauled in a pass from Wilson and immediately began barking at Amadi — and then tossed the football at Amadi.
Marquise Blair took exception and got in Metcalf’s face. There was a little pushing and shoving back and forth, and both players were quickly separated.
It didn’t take long before there was another dust-up, also involving Blair.
During an 11-on-11 period, DeeJay Dallas had a nice run to his left, pushing a pile of defenders forward for a few extra yards before he was tackled to the ground (still a no-no in practice). Blair then emerged from the scrum yanking Will Dissly’s facemask, and they too had to be separated.
Nothing too dramatic in either incident — no punches were thrown — but it was the first outward sign of tension between the offense and defense almost two weeks into camp.
More of Bellore
Nick Bellore has done a little bit of everything in his NFL career. He’s played offense and defense, and he’s been the Seahawks’ most valuable player on special teams the past two years — earning his first Pro Bowl nod last year for his special-teams work.
Entering his 11th season, Bellore again showed Saturday why he’s so valuable to the Seahawks when he was able to (capably) fill in at middle linebacker for the third practice in a row. Cody Barton (quad) and Jon Rhattigan (hamstring) have been sidelined, leaving the team thin at inside linebacker.
Bellore even made a touchdown-saving play near the goal-line, sniffing out a tight-end screen to prompt a big celebration from the defense.
A coach’s challenge
Well, Pete Carroll is already 0-for-1 on coach’s challenge for the season. (Sort of.)
Travis Toivonen, an undrafted rookie receiver out of North Dakota, made a nice catch on a Geno Smith pass at the far left edge of the end zone during a 7-on-7 drill. As he was falling out, Toivonen tried to drag his feet, but the line judge standing just a few feet away ruled him out of bounds.
Carroll playfully ran over from midfield, stopped in front of the official, reached into his pocket and threw up a piece of paper — his mock red flag.
Assistant coach Carl Smith, posing as the head referee, then pretended to look inside a replay monitor. After a couple of seconds, he looked back up and gave the signal for an incomplete pass.
- It was status quo for Jamal Adams and Duane Brown. Both watched practice from the sideline as they await new contracts.
- Play of the day: That belonged to Connor Wedington, the undrafted rookie receiver out of Sumner High, who made a bobbling, circus touchdown catch while falling backward, with a defensive back over him in tight coverage.
- Facing a strong wind much of the afternoon, Wilson unleashed the throw of the day — a 40-yard fastball to the right sideline — that Tyler Lockett caught over his shoulder while dragging his feet.