Seahawks rookies were back on the field for their second practice of rookie minicamp, the final on-field work for the rookies before Phase 2 of the offseason program kicks off next week.
Here are five takeaways from Saturday's practice and from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's press conference:
1. A different minicamp, but a productive one.
The Seahawks had only 31 players on this year's rookie minicamp roster due to COVID-19 restrictions on tryout players that were put in place by the league. Obviously that changed how practice looked and the tempo of the work, but Carroll still liked what he saw over the past couple of days.
"We get a ton out of it," Carroll said. "The tempo isn't really important at this point, it's really just getting reps. Before we came on the field, we took a bunch of walkthrough reps so these guys got a bunch of looks at plays and things. They just need repetitions, they just need the turns to start to put it together. If you can imagine all of the new language, it's a heavy burden for them the first couple days when they want to come out and run around and show off and all that, it's hard, it slows you down. So our expectations are really just to start the process of teaching what's in the playbook on both sides of the ball and just start moving. This is not time for us to make big evaluations and try to gauge how it's going to go and all that at all, but it's the start. Fewer numbers this time around—we've had more like in the 50s before, we have one deep on offense and defense with a couple guys that can spell guys. So that's why the tempo—we have to take more time in between reps and all… A good start, a really good start. They show their energy and their love for wanting to be here and make something this opportunity. That's really all we're hoping for right now, just get off to the start."
2. D'Wayne Eskridge is "a flyer."
The Seahawks drafted receiver D'Wayne Eskridge in the second round of this year's draft in no small part because of his speed and explosiveness, and that was on display on Saturday on a couple of occasions, most notably in 7-on-7 drills when he got open deep twice in the span of a few minutes.
"There's no question that he's a flyer," Carroll said. "He showed it right out of the chutes yesterday—his quickness and he's a very powerful guy. He's about 191 pounds, but he's built really strong and built really solid and you can see the explosiveness. He gets off the line of scrimmage really quickly and certainly has the burst. So it was really fun to see, it's what we were hoping to see, so we're pleased with the first showing."
3. Darrell Taylor "very much looks the part" at strongside linebacker.
Darrell Taylor, a second-round pick in 2020 who missed his entire rookie season due to a leg injury, is doing double duty early in his second season, playing both defensive end and strongside linebacker, and while it's very early in the process, Taylor is looking the part in that role so far.
"Just in the first couple days Darrell looks very much the part," Carroll said. "I know coming off the field today (defensive line coach Clint Hurtt) was really fired up about getting a chance to work him in his pass-rush drills and all. We really haven't seen much of him, we got one week and we just kind of babied him through his first week we got him out of here, so this is the first couple practices we've had. It is really important to the scheme, he does have the kind of makeup that fits it well, so at this point he's going to get a heck of a shot to show us what he can do there."
4. Tre Brown is showing his competitiveness and his burst.
Brown, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, will compete for a job as an outside cornerback for the Seahawks despite being only 5-foot-10 because of the traits that helped him compensate for that lack of ideal size while starring for the Sooners. And while it has only been a couple of days, he's already showing some of those same traits to his coaches, both in terms of his athletic ability and his competitiveness.
"Yesterday he did a really nice job of demonstrating that he understands how the game works in that he stayed on top on everything," Carroll said, noting he needed to see more of today's film to assess Brown's Day 2 practice. "He was in the right spots. He looked very comfortable, he had he looked very fast, very speedy out there staying with everybody that we ran at him. I'm anxious to see today, because we just gave him some more looks and some more things to do, but he looks like he's going to be a real competitive player. He made a couple plays out here today that did catch my eye. He's very burst-y and looks like he's going to take his shots and be an aggressive corner. That's what he showed in college, and he showed it out here in the couple spots I saw today."
5. Phase 2 starts next week.
While rookie minicamp is coming to an end, rookies will stick around as Phase 2 of the offseason workout program begins. Veteran players put out a statement earlier this offseason through the NFLPA saying they would not take part in voluntary offseason workouts due to COVID-19 concerns, though Carroll noted that all players are welcome to join the rookies for Phase 2 should they choose to participate.
"Monday begins Phase 2 for one week," he said. "It used to be a three-week process that we'd do Phase 2, so there'll be one week of Phase 2 when players can come in on a voluntary basis and be on the field with coaches. No offense versus defense, it's mostly drill work in on-air work that's available to us. What we'll do next week is we'll practice with our young guys—we'll have 30-something guys, plus whoever else wants to come out to take part in similar type of drills that we just did. We won't be able to go against each other next week, the week after that then offense and defense will be able to face off so we'll get a little bit more. It'll be up to be partially like it was this week, and then two weeks now we'll step it up. So everybody can be in the building and be on the field and work out in groups and all that kind of stuff, there's, there's some new guidelines, but that's when Phase 3 kicks in two weeks from now."
Seahawks rookies and signed undrafted free agents reported to VMAC for day two of rookie minicamp.