Monday's practice at the VMAC saw the Seahawks suit up in pads for the first time in training camp, which as a result led to a much more physical practice session. Fittingly, practice ended with a thud, with linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven putting a good pop on rookie running back DeeJay Dallas to stop a run that had gotten to the second level.
"Today's the first day we put on shoulder pads, which is good to get back to that part of the game, which is kind of the real part," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said prior to practice.
With things getting a little more real, here are five observations from Tuesday's practice.
1. Jamal Adams, playmaker.
When the Seahawks began their 11-on-11 portion of practice, Jamal Adams made his mark right off the bat, coming off the edge to blow up a running play in the backfield. And the All-Pro safety was just getting warmed up.
A few plays later when the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense were facing off in the red zone, Adams dropped into coverage and made a leaping interception, which he returned down the sideline, celebrating and looking very much not bored as the offense gave chase. It was the type of game-changing play the Seahawks hope to see a lot more of in 2020 from the player they acquired last month in a trade with the Jets.
2. It was a good day for the defense overall.
While Adams provided the highlight of the day, there were plenty of big plays made by the defense Monday. During the same red zone session, Tre Flowers had a diving pass breakup in the end zone, then when the No. 2 offense and defense were on the field, Neiko Thorpe came up with a nice pass breakup at the goal line.
There were also some impressive moments for Seattle's pass-rushers in one-on-one drills, including Bruce Irvin and rookie Alton Robinson.
3. The Seahawks have some very athletic "old" guys.
Old needs to be in quotes, because in the real world, being in your 30s hardly qualifies as old, but the NFL is a young man's game, and aside from a few positions like quarterback or kicker or punter, it's rare to for players to thrive into their 30s.
On the aforementioned Adams interception, nobody was able to catch the speedy safety, but one of the last players giving chase who nearly got to Adams at the sideline was Duane Brown, Seattle's Pro-Bowl left tackle who turns 35 later this month. Brown's speed and athletic ability, relative to his position, would be awfully impressive if he were a 22-year-old rookie; it's downright absurd for a player starting his 13th season.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Bruce Irvin remains, at 32, one of the most athletic players on the field, and he showed it repeatedly Monday, whether with spin moves in one-on-one pass-rush drills, or by chasing running backs to the sideline in 11-on-11 drills.
Greg Olsen, the oldest player on the team, also has looked like a player with plenty of speed and athletic ability left in his game heading into his 14th season.
4. The linebacker depth is impressive.
While first-round pick Jordyn Brooks sat out Monday's practice, the Seahawks still were able to deploy some really talented depth behind veterans Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Second-year linebackers Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven were constantly around the ball while leading the No. 2 defense Monday, and between Irvin and Shaquem Griffin, the Seahawks have a pair of very athletic and versatile players who can play strongside linebacker and defensive end. Figuring out to best use all of those linebackers will be a challenge for Seattle's coaches, but it's a good problem to have.
"It's a good deal now," Carroll said. "Cody has looked great, and BBK has looked really good too. So that gives us a real nice mix, and we're feeling like there's a little bit of experience. There's a lot of juice and a lot of speed in the group, also with Griff in there too. Everybody can fly. It's an exciting group."
5. The receiver depth is showing up.
The Seahawks know they have an elite duo at receiver in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, and early on at least, it appears Phillip Dorsett II has a good chance at winning the No. 3 job, but things look wide open beyond that, and there are a number of players making their case, from veterans with starting experience like David Moore to rookie Freddie Swain to second-year receiver John Ursua, who had a nice diving touchdown grab Monday, to Cody Thompson, a member of the practice squad last year who just keeps making catches in camp.
"These guys can all play," Carroll said.
Photos from the 5th practice of Seahawks 2020 Training Camp, held on Monday, August 17 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Seahawks Training Camp is presented by Safeway.