RENTON, Wash. There is no NFL summer environment like this one, and on the day I was here the Blue Angels were flying around (that’s not a metaphor, they were here for an event called Seafair), the sky was crystal clear and it was 80 degrees with no humidity on the shores of Lake Washington. Football was also played…
1) Seattle corner situation is really interesting. Mining projects Artie Burns and Sidney Jones get the first crack as starters. But a few rookies push them. Fourth-rounder Coby Bryant, the Thorpe Award winner from Cincinnati, is already getting first-team snaps and looks like a potential plug-and-play starter with a chance to be there in Week 1. And UTSA fifth-rounder Tariq Woolen has impressed his teammates on both sides of the ball with his combination of size and athleticism. Who will play where is yet to be determined. But the Seahawks seem to have some options on the position.
2) Bobby Wagner is gone, and there’s no doubt a void left by his departure – but with Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton in his old position, Seattle should have a faster look at defense than it has in years past (and I’m not saying that either boy is as good as Wagner, to be clear). Brooks, in particular, has a chance to play near a Pro Bowl level this year based on how he’s moved around the camp.
3) The movement skills of rookie tackles Charles Cross and Abe Lucas have been evident since May. Cross is a really good bet to start on the left. Lucas could become his bookend. But the preseason will be a good chance to see where they are as run-blockers. Both are products of the Mike Leach attack, so there’s a projection to go with each. The Seahawks are betting on the mentality and edginess that both have in their personalities – Lucas has a certain unease in the way he plays – but it will be important for Seattle to see that manifest during run plays on the (preseason) playing field.
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4) We’ve already mentioned four rookies. There are more. Second-rounder Kenneth Walker III, who won the Walter Camp Award while at Michigan State last year, was able to start with a delay — and has shown the vision and second gear he did in college. Fellow second-rounder Boye Mafe brings juice from the brink. And there’s even a seventh-rounder worth paying attention to. That would be Dareke Young, who was a wingback in Lenoir-Rhyne’s wing-T attack just two years ago, and now brings a pretty noticeable combination of size, toughness and speed to the receiver position in the NFL (even if he’s still still quite raw). Add it all up and it looks like Pete Carroll and John Schneider could have a basic lesson here.
5) Oh, you want to know more about the quarterbacks? Geno Smith takes on nearly all of the first-team reps (and leads the way), but both he and Drew Lock have more to show the coaches between now and Monday night’s opener. Smith has to show that he can play faster than the last two years in Seattle. Lock needs to show that he’s gotten the mental aspect of the attack down, after much coaching uproar in Denver, and improve his footwork. The good news is that Carroll doesn’t have to call yet.
Previous training camp ends:
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