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Establishing Foundation & Other Things We Learned From Day 1 Of Seahawks Minicamp

News and notes from Day 1 of Seahawks minicamp.


The Seahawks kicked off their three-day minicamp on Tuesday, three days of practice that will wrap up their first offseason workout program under Mike Macdonald, and one day into a full-team workout, Seattle's new head coach was encouraged by what he saw at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

"Really good practice today," Macdonald said. "Excited for tomorrow. Great to have the whole team together. Another great day in the books. Looking forward to tomorrow."

As Macdonald has noted throughout the offseason workout program, the goal isn't for the Seahawks to be a finished product by the end of this minicamp, or even by the start of training camp, but rather to make continual progress, and so far he has seen that.

"I think the whole goal of the whole offseason is really just to establish our foundation," he said. "(Minicamp) is just the opportunity to put an exclamation point on it. The guys have done a great job, man. They've done everything we asked; responded when we pushed them; great attitude; practicing with enthusiasm; practicing fast. We finished 15 minutes ahead of schedule today, and that's been about par for the course. Especially with the longer practice, that was really cool to see, just stamp the whole thing."

In addition to Macdonald's big-picture thoughts on the week, here are five things we learned on Day 1 of Seahawks minicamp:

1. Geno Smith continues to show poise.

Earlier this offseason, Macdonald talked about wanting to see Geno Smith grow as a leader, and while it's early in the process, Macdonald has been seeing that out of his Pro-Bowl quarterback.

"When things start to happen, he needs to be the voice of poise in the room; and he's doing that," Macdonald said. "We're on record, he's the tip of the spear in our operation, and just to understand when to step on the gas, when not to. But he's communicating those things. There are some situation things that popped up today that we'll go back and attack those type of deals. I think he's playing pretty well right now."

In other quarterback news, Tuesday provided the first look at PJ Walker, who signed on Monday, though he was limited in what he could having only had one day with the team.

"I'm very excited that he's here," Macdonald said. "PJ is a guy that's been around; played some high-level football; can operate; had some big wins at center in the NFL; he has got a lot of great experience—thinking of the Cleveland-49ers game last year in particular. Excited to have him here. It's his first day, so didn't see a lot of reps, but he'll be here and we're excited about him."

2. DK Metcalf "practice extremely hard."

Veteran receiver DK Metcalf has been in attendance for some of the voluntary portion of Seattle's offseason program, but not all of it, and when he has been on the field, he's made a strong impression with his practice habits. Macdonald knew Metcalf by reputation having game-planned for the Pro-Bowl receiver, but seeing him work in practice has added to the appreciation.

"Really good player, a guy you always have to account for," Macdonald said. "Any time he steps on the field you got to know where 14 is and you can't let him wreck the game. He wants to be really good. He wants to be the best, and he wants to be pushed and coached hard, which you respect about him. Really the way he practices is really awesome. I mean, this guy practices extremely hard. Does all the little things you're asking him to do. It's a great example he is setting for that room and our offense as a whole. A lot of respect for DK, the type of player and person he is. I just love seeing him out there, because he raises the whole level of our team when he's practicing for us."

3. Jon Rhattigan is taking advantage of his opportunities.

With free-agent additions Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker both sidelined this offseason, a lot of the first-team reps have gone to Jon Rhattigan and Patrick O'Connell. On Tuesday, Rhattigan had an interception, one of several on what was a good day for the defense, and he continues to make the most of this extended look with the No. 1 defense.

"I think Jon has improved every day," Macdonald said. "That's probably the highest compliment I can give him. That's what we want from the rest of our team, guys going out, taking the coaching, taking it to the field, and taking the next step and keep rolling. Jon will be an integral part of our team, and wherever it shakes out at the linebacker position, we'll see. He's done a great job for us on and off the field. He's going to be a big special teams player for us as well. Yeah, cool to see him make some plays today for sure."

4. A full complement of defensive linemen means more versatility.

Throughout the offseason coaches and players have talked about the versatility and depth on the defensive line, and with everyone on hand, there were glimpses of how different players could be used in different roles.

"It does open things up," Macdonald said. "Again, when you have guys that can do multiple things, play different gaps in the run game and rush at different levels in the pass game, when you can have more big guys, it just opens up more personnel groups, more looks you can generate. Overall, it's good for us. Again, we'll see. We're in it right now, kind of in the middle of it. We'll kind of reassess how the spring has been, reassess our play going into camp, and as camp goes, see how it evolves throughout camp. I think you have to have that attitude. If you just cookie cutter it, I think you limit yourself on how far you can take your team."

5. Injury & personnel updates.

An unusual site at Tuesday's practice was that of tight end Brady Russell playing the role of holder on place kicks, a job usually held by punter Michael Dickson. Having a backup holder is always a good idea in case of an in-game injury to Dickson, or to kicker Jason Myers, which would likely move Dickson into a kicking role, but Russell wasn't getting those reps just to prepare for emergency duties, he was also doing it because Dickson is away from the team, for a very good reason. While his teammates are going through minicamp, Dickson is traveling to Hawaii for his wedding.

"We're happy for him," Macdonald said. "He's getting married in Hawaii, so he's on his way there."

As for injuries, Macdonald said the goal for Dodson is still the start of or early in training camp: "Right now we're shooting for camp. Hasn't had any reps, so if he's not out there the first play of camp rocking and rolling it's not because… We have to ramp him back up into repping. We won't see him the rest of minicamp."

Second-year defensive tackle Cameron Young has also been sidelined with what Macdonald described as "battling a lower body thing right now. Probably look at him early in camp."

Right tackle Abraham Lucas continues to rehab after having knee surgery earlier this offseason, and Macdonald said nothing has changed since his last update, which was that the hope is for Lucas to be back for camp. "Same thing we talked about last time. He's working his tail off. I can tell you that."

The Seahawks held the first of three minicamp practices on June 11, 2024 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

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