The Seahawks hosted members of the miliary at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Military Appreciation day at training camp, and the local service men and women were treated to plenty of competitive action as Seattle prepares for Thursday's preseason opener against the Vikings.
One competition in particular stood out, and for more on that and the rest of the day, here are five observations from Day 11 of Seahawks camp:
1. DK vs. Tre was Tuesday's must-see matchup.
As one of the NFL's fastest and most physical receivers, DK Metcalf presents a heck of a challenge for any defensive back tasked with covering him, and throughout his career that has led to some fun battles in camp with various cornerbacks. Earlier in camp, he and Michael Jackson have had some great back-and-forth battles, trading catches and pass breakups as they push each other in practice.
On Tuesday, it was third-year corner Tre Brown going head-to-head with Metcalf on a number of occasions. One two-play sequence provided a good illustration of what the day was like, with Metcalf scoring a touchdown on Brown on a well-placed end-zone fade from Geno Smith during a red-zone drill. The very next play, Smith went back to Metcalf, but this time Brown was able to reach in front of Metcalf and bat the ball away. The two kept battling throughout practice, with Metcalf having his share of catches, but with Brown also coming up with another pass breakup on the sideline and plenty of good coverage on other plays.
Their last battle of practice featured Smith connecting with Metcalf for a long touchdown, with Metcalf making a nice grab on his way out of bounds despite good coverage from Brown. The resulting touchdown call from officials drew loud complaints from defensive players and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt, who felt that Metcalf had pushed off on Brown in order to create space to make the grab.
2. Cody Thompson is stating his case for a roster spot.
The Seahawks have usually kept either five or six receivers on their 53-man roster, and a week or so into camp, it didn't seem like there was much drama in sorting out the top five. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett represent one of the best receiver duos in the NFL, while rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba looks to be well on his way to being the No. 3 receiver. Dee Eskridge had a great offseason and has enjoyed a strong camp, while Dareke Young is coming off a rookie season in which he was a special teams standout who also has a lot of upside given his physical skillset. But things have changed at that position in recent days, with Eskridge facing a six-game suspension to start the season, which was announced on Friday, and with Young dealing with a groin/hip injury that Carroll said could be related to a sports hernia injury. While Young's status is still unclear, the Seahawks know they will start the regular season without Eskridge, meaning there is now one, if not a couple, roster spots up for grabs.
And while plenty of players are in the mix, from Cade Johnson to undrafted rookie Jake Bobo to several others, one who has been making a strong case of late is Cody Thompson, a player who also enjoyed a strong camp last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Thompson has been solid throughout camp, but had arguably his best play and the play of the day on Tuesday when he extended to catch a beautifully-thrown deep ball from Drew Lock for a 50-plus yard touchdown. On the play, Thompson beat his man to get open deep, but Lock's threw led him just enough that a lunging Thompson tumbled forward while securing the catch. Having not been touched down, however, Thomson was able to roll the last few yards into the end zone for the score. The throw and catch drew a big reaction from the entire offense, including Geno Smith, who ran down the field to celebrate with Thompson.
3. A bigger DeeJay can still move.
Earlier in camp, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll noted that running back DeeJay Dallas had reported to camp a bit bigger, checking in at 230 pounds to suit a more physical running style. At the time, Carroll said, "we'll see how it works for him," and a couple of weeks into camp, it seems to be working well. Dallas won't fully be able to demonstrate the physical side of his game until the Seahawks suit up for game action, but one thing that has been evident, even without pads on, is that Dallas can still move well even after adding some weight. On Tuesday he showed off some impressive agility and speed to break off a couple of long runs, which were a good reminder that Dallas should still have a big role on the team even after Seattle added two more running backs in this year's draft.
"DeeJay is a terrific football player for us he does everything," Carroll said early in camp. "His pass protection, catching the ball out of the backfield, and all the third-down work is excellent. He's a terrific special teams guy, and we've seen him. We've all seen him run, he runs the ball physically and carries a load so, we know he can play."
4. Coby Bryant is showing his versatility.
With rookie Devon Witherspoon working at nickel corner, including with the starting defense of late, last year's nickel, Coby Bryant, has been playing not just that position, but also safety, which is where he is listed on this week's depth chart.
But with Witherspoon sitting out Tuesday's practice—Carroll will talk to the media Wednesday so we should get an update then—Bryant was back in the nickel spot with the No. 1 defense. While there's still a lot of time for the Seahawks to sort out who plays where in what is looking to be a very deep and talented secondary, Bryant's growing versatility—he can also play outside cornerback which is where he played in college—makes him all the more valuable heading into his second season.
5. Tyler Lockett back in action.
Veteran receiver Tyler Lockett was held out of Friday's mock game and the next two days of practice due to what Carroll called tightness, not an actual injury. But whatever the issue, it didn't keep Lockett out long, as he was back on the practice field Tuesday. Lockett wasn't a full-go throughout practice, but his return even on a limited basis showed he is trending in the right direction.
Here is the 53-man roster for the 2023 Seahawks.