The Seahawks held their second and final practice of rookie minicamp on Saturday, a second straight high-energy affair a day after Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised the enthusiasm and juice on display from the rookies.
In addition to some observations from Friday’s practice, here are five more things we learned at Seahawks minicamp:
1. Anthony Bradford and Olu Oluwatimi want to form a "nasty" duo on Seattle's offensive line.
The Seahawks took one interior offensive lineman, guard Anthony Bradford, in the fourth round of last month's draft, then in the next round they added another, selecting center Olu Oluwatimi. Carroll has already said both will get a shot to compete for starting jobs, and while there's a long ways to go before either can win a job over the veterans on the roster, the two enjoyed their time working together, with Bradford lining up at right guard right next to Oluwatimi.
"We're going to be close," Bradford said. "Olu, he's a very smart player. I feel like he can help me with my game a lot, because I know I don't know everything. And Olu, he's a very smart dude. He's already got his face in the book. I got my face in the book. We put our minds together, It's going to be nasty."
Said Oluwatimi, "(Bradford) is an athletic, big guy, powerful. Once he gets it going and learns everything, he's going to be a special player."
For Oluwatimi in particular, the mental side of the game is a big deal given the responsibilities placed on a center to call protections and make sure the linemen are all on the same page, and Carroll is impressed with what he's seen so far from the former Michigan standout.
"Well, we've always cherished the guy that can kind of be the play-caller up front in the middle, and Olu's got that background," Carroll said. "He jumped into the Michigan thing and, took over, overwhelmed the country a little bit with his play at center and got all those awards and acclaim and all of that. And you can see why. Yeah, he's a really bright kid. He's got all the physicals. He weighed in at 319. He looked terrific. And then that, watching those guys fit together, and I've already talked to them about getting the special communication line open so that they can learn and grow together."
2. Jerrick Reed II is making a good first impression.
When the Seahawks picked Jerrick Reed II in the sixth round of the draft, general manager John Schneider called the versatile and physical out of New Mexico "One of our favorites." And so far Reed is continuing to impress now that he's with the team.
"He's a stud now," Carroll said Friday. "He's really built, he's really quick. I needed to see him in person to see how he can play as physical a style as he has. He's a stud now. He's really built and he's fast as hell. And so made a first impression that was good today."
A day later, Reed explained how being a lightly-recruited player out of high school and a late-round pick helps shape him as a player, and also makes him a good fit in Seattle.
"Just always having that chip on your shoulder," he said. "We were just talking about that yesterday in the team meeting. Coach Carroll said it himself, the type of players he looks for are guys who got a chip on their shoulder, something to prove. You read the reports, they say I'm a sleeper guy, they say I'm too small, they I'm not fast enough, all those things that reporters and experts, quote unquote, say. But you know who you are, you know the work you put in, you know what you're capable of, and the route I took, it built me for where I'm at right now, and I'm going to keep on going."
Asked about Schneider jokingly referring to him as "an angry little elf," a reference to the movie, Elf, Reed deadpanned, "If John would have said that to me, we would have had a problem. Nah, I'm playing."
3. Cameron Young and Mike Morris both comfortable playing bigger
As Carroll explained on Friday, nose tackle Cameron Young reported to rookie camp roughly 20 pounds over his listed weight of 304 pounds, while defensive end Mike Morris is 20 pounds above his combine weight. In both cases, that's what the team wanted to see from those players.
"I usually get smaller in the offseason but I know I need to play heavier, so I kind of put on a little weight to come into camp, a little big trying to look the part," Young said.
That added weight should help Young in role that ask him to frequently hold up to double teams.
"It gives me the ability to stay in my gap longer, hold those double teams for guys like Bobby Wagner to make plays," he said.
Morris, meanwhile, got lighter for the combine and pre-draft process to try to show teams his versatility, but the Seahawks like him as a big defensive end, and Schneider, who Morris said has a good relationship with his agent, communicated that to Morris, who said he put the weight back on "to be a Seahawk."
"They said, 'We want you to get bigger and then we'll draft you,'" Morris said. "So I got bigger and they drafted me. This is the place I wanted to be, so I just want to fit in and get to work.."
Asked if he is just as fast at 294 pounds as he was playing lighter, Morris said, "That's not an issue. That's not an issue."
4. Kenny McIntosh will be a weapon in the passing game.
In his senior season at Georgia, McIntosh caught 43 passes for 505 yards and two touchdowns, making him one of the most productive pass-catching running backs in college football, and for his career he averaged an impressive 11.3 yards per reception.
McIntosh's natural pass-catching ability showed up again this weekend, and the way he sees it, catching passes is just what he's always done.
"Just trusting my hands. I've been catching the ball since I was yea-high," McIntosh said, holding his hand down below waist-level. I remember catching the ball in the house with my dad. Just having that confidence in my hands that that ball isn't going to touch the ground if it hits my hands."
McIntosh could also be a factor in the return game, having handled return duties "my whole life," he said.
In fact, McIntosh explained that his versatility earned him the nickname, "The Blueprint" which he now has tattooed on his left forearm.
"Catch returns, special teams, I did everything," he said. "That's why they call me the Blueprint, I can do it all."
5. Holton Ahlers is looking to continue his "very productive" ways at the next level.
While the Seahawks didn't select a quarterback in this year's draft they did add one as an undrafted free agent, signing Holton Ahlers, who enjoyed a record-setting career at East Carolina. The left-handed QB showed off his accuracy and arm strength over the past couple of days, but more than the physical talents, Carroll pointed to Ahlers' intangibles as what could set him apart.
"In his senior year in high school, he threw 61 touchdown passes," Carroll said. "Come on. You never heard of anybody throw 61 touchdowns. And I think he ran for 14 or 15 too, and he's been throwing touchdowns ever since. He's a player and two of his receivers are with teams right now, and we've got (C.J.) Johnson here and then he's got another guy I think with the Niners that he'd been part of. Very productive. He seems really confident in himself and he's got some transitions to make because our style is different than what they played. They were coming up with plays off the sidelines all the time. No huddle and all that. But he'll be fine with it. He's making transitions. But he's exciting because it's kind of like the intangibles that you know are there because you've been successful for a long time at the position."
Seahawks rookies were treated to blue skies and mid-80 degree weather in Seattle for day two of rookie minicamp on May 13, 2023 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.