After a day off on Sunday, the Seahawks were back in action Monday, though without their head coach, as Pete Carroll is currently at home after testing positive for COVID-19. When Carroll reviews the film of practice, he will no doubt like what he saw from his team's defense, which leads our six observations from the fourth practice of camp:
1. The defense won the day.
When the offense and defense went head-to-head in the red zone on Saturday, it was one of the most competitive portions of training camp through the first few days of action. Monday's red-zone session, however, belonged almost entirely to the defense, which held the offense out of the end zone—thanks in part to a lot of good plays by defensive backs, and in part due to a couple of false starts on the offense.
Other defensive highlights included an interception by Uchenna Nwosu in seven-on-seven drills, yet another pass breakup by rookie Coby Bryant, and Jordyn Brooks once again finding himself in the backfield to blow up a running play.
"Today was one of those days where I feel like they might have gotten the best of us a little bit, but you expect that sometimes," quarterback Geno Smith said.
"Sometimes they're going to win, sometimes we're going to win. That's a part of creating a good team. Today I felt like they came out with a little more juice that we had today. You could see them talking smack, they had a lot of energy, and you love it. We've got great guys on defense too. Those things are expected to happen, and it's about how you respond. So I look forward to tomorrow's practice."
Defensive players, of course, let their teammates on the other side of ball hear about it as practice went along, something quarterback Drew Lock said is to be expected, and something that the offense needs to stop by playing better.
"This was the first day that they got us," Lock said. "They were hooting and hollering today, and it hadn't been that loud yet. That was the first time I was really hearing them, and It's our job to come out the next day and change that."
2. But the offense had its moments too.
Not long after the defense dominated the red-zone portion of practice, the offense looked quite a bit better during the seven-on-seven drills that followed. Yes, there was that Nwosu interception, but a couple of plays after Smith threw that interception on a pass intended for Will Dissly, Smith went back to Dissly for a touchdown. Not long after that, Lock it a wide-open Penny Hart for a touchdown, then on the very next play Lock found Dissly for the tight end's second touchdown in the span of a few plays.
3. Uchenna Nwosu is more than just a pass-rusher.
The Seahawks signed Uchenna Nwosu and drafted Boye Mafe and Tyreke Smith looking to upgrade their pass rush, but those outside linebackers will also have other duties in addition to rushing off the edge. And while pass-rushing will usually be the No. 1 job for those edge players, like Nwosu, Mafe, Smith, Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson, they'll also be expected to demonstrate their versatility by making plays in run defense and by dropping into coverage.
And during seven-on-sevens, Nwosu turned in the defensive highlight of practice, leaping to snag an interception on a pass intended for Dissly.
For those who have followed Nwosu's career, an impressive interception shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
4. Welcome back, Jamal Adams.
After missing two days of practice to get a hand injury checked out, Pro-Bowl safety Jamal Adams was back on the field with a cast to protect his left hand, and appeared to be practicing without limitation on his first day back. In fact, Adams marked his return with an impressive play to help set the tone for the defense, breaking up a pass on the first play of the 11-on-11 portion of practice with a leap to tip a pass intended for DK Metcalf.
5. Marquise Goodwin vs. Tariq Woolen is turning into a fun matchup.
While DK Metcalf vs. Tariq Woolen will over time be a must-watch matchup in practice thanks to the size and speed of both players, those two haven't faced off a ton just yet in practice with Metcalf missing the first two days, but a matchup that has been fun to watch is the one between the rookie corner and veteran receiver Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin is eight years older than Woolen, who ran a 4.26-second 40-yard dash at this year's combine, but the former track star is still one of the fastest players on the field, so when those two have matched up, it's been exciting to watch those two players match speed down the field.
6. "Sweet Feet" indeed.
Rookie left tackle Charles Cross earned the nickname "Sweet Feet" while at Mississippi State thanks to his ability to move unusually well for a man his size. And while the offensive and defensive linemen can't show off all of their talents until pads go on, Cross has been showing that rare athleticism early in camp. One play that stood out on Monday featured a nice pass-rush from Nwosu, who for a moment looked to have beaten Cross with an inside move, but Cross and those sweet feet quickly recovered, and Cross was able to cut Nwosu off before the outside linebacker could get to the quarterback.