The Seahawks were back on the practice field Tuesday for the first time since their preseason opener, and a few players who were held out of that game for health reasons were back in action.
Tuesday's practice was lighter and shorter than normal, so there wasn't a lot in terms of the usual practice observations, so instead we'll today look at what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll thought of the game having now watched the film, as well as some of the health updates he provided.
1. Several key players are getting healthier.
Receiver Doug Baldwin had a bit of an injury scare in Thursday's practice, but after missing Sunday's game due to a foot strain, Baldwin was back on the field Tuesday. And Baldwin wasn't the only player back in action. Jeremy Lane, who missed a week with a "soft tissue" injury, did limited work and has a chance to play in Friday's preseason game.
"He's coming back," Carroll said. "I think he's going to be able to make it back this week if no setbacks, that's the idea. He should be back in action."
At receiver, rookie Amara Darboh and Tyler Lockett were both at practice after being held out of Sunday's game. And perhaps most notably, Paul Richardson was able to do limited work after leaving Sunday's game with a shoulder injury.
"Paul jumped right back on the practice field today, really surprised us, because he did bang his shoulder pretty good," Carroll said. "He had a good day's work; I don't know what that means for the weekend, but in no pads today, he was able to get in a lot of work and was at top speed, so that's terrific."
Asked if that meant Richardson would be ready for the start of the regular season, Carroll said, "Without question. To look that good today, if we do it right and don't take it too far too fast, he'll be in great shape."
Carroll noted that having those players back only highlighted the depth of that group, which is shaping up to be one of the most competitive on the roster when it comes time to make tough decisions on cut day.
"Today on the practice field to see Doug and Darboh and Lockett back out there flying around, it just makes you realize how competitive of a group it is and how fast and quick we are," Carroll said."
The most notable absence Tuesday was that of linebacker K.J. Wright, who is away for what Carroll called, "A little process we're going through to help his knee. He has something that's just been kind of nagging, so he's out of town working on that this week."
Asked if Wright was having surgery, Carroll said he was not.
2. Sunday's win over the Chargers "was an excellent first game."
Having had a chance to go back and watch the film of Sunday's 48-17 win, Carroll gave his overall thoughts on the performance, and was encouraged by what he saw in all three phases of the game.
"I thought it was an excellent first game," Carroll said. "I thought we had the opportunity to do a lot of things we want to do within the style we want to play with. We got after it on defense well, we got after the football well, took it away a few times, caused some bad plays for them. The offense was able to move the ball, control it pretty well—I think we scored five times in a row or something like that, five out of six (possessions) or whatever. So we showed consistency in all areas—special teams was a highlight for us on the day, everybody contributed and we had really, really special effort for the first time out. We saw the running and hitting it takes to play at an NFL level at this time. That was the first time we went full-go tackling to the ground, we save that for these games, and that's why these games are so crucially important for us. This is a big step in the development of this team's charge to see how far we can take it."
3. Rookie defensive lineman Nazair Jones "played very well."
No player was on the field more for Seattle's defense than defensive lineman Nazair Jones, a third-round pick out of North Carolina who played a team-high 34 snaps on defense, and Jones made the most of that playing time. Jones finished the game with four tackles, one for a loss, a quarterback hit, and most notably, a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage that was intercepted by Tylor Harris.
"Naz played very well," Carroll said. "We were really excited about him. He played end and little bit inside, he showed good effort, he had a great play chasing the screen down that we were really fired up about, because we're trying to teach him the effort that matches our style of play. He's very smart, and that was a great first impression for him to make. We have very high hopes heading into the rest of these games, and we'll see how far we can take him."
4. The offensive line "did very well the first time out."
The Seahawks still have a ways to go before they settle on their starting five along the offensive line, but while looking at different combinations throughout the game, Carroll saw some good things from that group.
"The offensive line did very well the first time out," Carroll said. "It's just a carryover from what it was in the offseason and how they came back to us in camp. It was a good first game for our guys playing together."
One of the toughest positions to call right now along that line is right guard, where Mark Glowinski and Oday Aboushi have split time pretty evenly with the first team throughout camp. Carroll likes what he has seen from both Glowinski, who started at left guard last year but has been a right guard for most of his career going back to college, as well as Aboushi, a free-agent addition who is one of Seattle's most experienced linemen.
"Mark looks more comfortable on the right side than he did on the left just because the time he has spent in the past has been on the right side, he looks good there," Carroll said. "He's better than he was a year ago, he's more comfortable. He's coming off the ball and protecting well already. Oday Aboushi has been a really great addition. He brings more experience than what we've had. The fact that he went through his indoctrination with (former Seahawks tackle) Breno Giacomini helps. We have a lot of regard for Breno, and he looks up to Breno a great deal. He's got the toughness and attitude that we like, and also the experience and ability to recognize stuff—he sees it and communicates really well. So those two guys have done a really nice job; we're really happy with both of those guys."
5. Carroll is "really fired up" about his options at running back.
While the Seahawks didn't have a ton of success running the ball, rushing for 133 yards on 36 attempts, the backs did show Carroll enough Sunday to back up the optimism he has felt about that group throughout camp.
"It was nothing but good stuff. Everybody contributed," Carroll said before praising the play of everyone from Thomas Rawls to Eddie Lacy to C.J. Prosise to Chris Carson to Mike Davis. "I was really fired up about it… I think the whole group had a really good first game."
Photos of fans from the 11th day of 2017 Seahawks training camp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.