8-1-07 Daily Reactions - Brock Huard
What a difference the sunshine makes. After watching a bit of a sloppy first practice in the rain on Sunday, this morning's practice was quick, competitive, and full of big plays.
Hasselbeck continues to look 100% and he threaded the needle on numerous occasions to Doug Baldwin and Nate Burleson. Mike Holmgren always tells the media he needs his big ticket players to perform their best if this team is to reach the pinnacle again, and after four days he has to be happy with his stars' efforts.
Shaun Alexander is noticeably leaner and quicker. Walter Jones is pushing his mates on the line to reach his level of consistency. The receivers have been very productive and this morning made an array of catches. On the other side of the ball, there has been no shortage of play-making and ball hawking, and thru four days I'd think you'd have to carve the game ball up at least 11 ways.
Collectively, the defense has continued to outshine the offense, and the Deon Grants, Brian Russells, Patrick Kerneys and Lofa Tatupus of the world are a major reason why. They, along with many of the other veterans, seem to really understand how the defense is to be run and where there help is on the field. Much like defense in basketball, it is essential to know where your buddy is and where you want to leverage the offensive player. The veterans that were added this offseason receive high grades in this understanding. It takes a lot of communication, a lot of trust, and ultimately a lot of experience, and these veterans' qualities should make this Seahawks defense in 2007 much more stable.
Four days down, many more to go, and I'd expect the offense to start winning a few more of the collective battles. As much as Holmgren likes to see his defense flying around and making plays, Mike loves offense and establishing its tempo and momentum.
7-29-07 Daily Reactions - Brock Huard
A steady drizzle. Sub-70° heat. No sign of the 12th fan hollering. Training camp '07 is a long ways from Cheney yet the enthusiasm and expectations for the upcoming season remain unchanged.
It was refreshing to watch the rookies and young players bounce out of the locker room and create a buzz on the empty practice field. It was equally encouraging to watch this team's veteran core of players stride onto the field with a sense of maturity and focus, understanding the marathon nature of the camp and season ahead. As that first horn blew, and camp '07 began, the drills, fundamentals, and tempo of practice were put into actions. And outside of Marcus Tubbs, who is on the PUP list, the entire squad participated. Shaun Alexander looked good, leaner and more explosive. The defense flew around, tipped a number of passes, and disrupted much of the offense's rhythm. One expects the defense to be ahead of the offense at this stage of the game, and with a lot of the young players seeing some of their first significant repetitions, this theory proved true.
Eventually the drizzle lifted and the gray skies turned blue, Seahawk blue. The veterans played fast, the rookies played catch up. The legs were fresh, the routes were crisp, the coaches barked orders, and the foundation for the journey ahead was laid. Post practice Mike Holmgren put it best, "We need to stay healthy and our best players need to play their best. If they do we have a chance to be pretty good." Day one, the players stayed healthy and from Shaun to Julian to Walter to Matthew the stars played well. Now, there's only 30, 60, 90, 200 or so days to do the same.