The Seahawks held their third practice of training camp on Friday, though in some ways it was their first—more on that below—before players get a day off on Saturday. Here are five observations from Friday's practice:
1. "Real" practice has begun.
While the entire team was on the field the previous two days, Wednesday and Thursday's sessions were not at full speed, nor could the offense and defense face off against each other. On Friday, however, we saw something that looked like a regular training camp practice, with offense and defense facing off in 11 vs. 11 sessions, and with players going at full speed.
Practice will get even more intense early next week with padded practices scheduled to begin on Monday.
2. The Seahawks have some serious speed at receiver.
When the Seahawks put DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Phillip Dorsett II on the field together, Lockett is actually Seattle's slowest receiver in that trio, at least based on official times at the NFL Scouting Combine. Oh, and Lockett ran his combine 40 in 4.40 seconds, which is still blazing, it's just not quite as good as the 4.33-second marks Dorsett and Metcalf posted. Again, Lockett, who has 12 career touchdowns longer than 40 yards, whose average touchdown length over five seasons is 34.5 yards, might only be the third fastest receiver on the field at any given moment.
And with the tempo picking up on Friday, that speed was evident from that trio and other receivers.
"I think we're going to be really, really good," Lockett said of Seattle's receivers. "When it comes to speed, we have everything we need. A lot of guys can go out there and run, and I think that's going to open things up a lot. For me, a lot of teams were used to seeing me do certain things, and they can't really focus on that anymore, because we've got a lot of new guys who can be able to do the same things. Now it's kind of like, we can throw it to anybody and everybody, because everybody understands the offense a lot more."
3. Russell Wilson will have plenty of options.
Building off of the point Lockett made, another thing that's easy to see in camp is that he doesn't just have a lot of quality targets to throw to, but that the Seahawks have a lot of different ways of using those players, which should make things harder on defenses. Dating back to the NFL Scouting Combine, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked excitedly about the possibilities with tight ends Greg Olsen and Will Dissly on the field together, and Seahawks receivers pride themselves on being able to play multiple receivers spots.
"We're starting to move people around a lot more, so you'll never know where people are going to line up," Lockett said. "That's where our dangerous weapons are going be able to succeed. You don't know who we're going to run the ball with, you don't know who we're going to throw the ball to—we added so many additions, and the people we added to our team are also selfless. That's what you have to be able to have in a team is selfless people that want each other to succeed."
4. This is an important time for the offensive line.
With the offense and defense facing off for the first time, and with pads going on early next week, these are important times for the offensive and defensive lines to get started in earnest, and that's particularly true this year with no preseason games.
These practices are especially important for an offensive line that will feature at least three new starters this season following the offseason departures of center Justin Britt, right guard D.J. Fluker and right tackle Germain Ifedi. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has said all along there will be competition at those spots, and already there have been multiple players with the No. 1 offense at those positions. As Carroll and Russell Wilson have both noted, B.J. Finney and Ethan Pocic are working at center, rookie Damien Lewis is battling at guard with Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons (both could be factors at left guard too where Mike Iupati is the returning starter) and at right tackle Brandon Shell is battling with the likes of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones. The tough part with the offensive line every year when there's turnover, and particularly in a year without offseason workouts or preseason games, will be finding the balance between letting competition play out and finding the right starting five early enough for that unit to jell.
5. Rashaad Penny back but not practicing; Quinton Dunbar should be practicing soon.
While the players who opened camp not practicing remain sidelined, there was a new face joining practice, with running back Rashaad Penny watching from the sideline. Penny is on the physically unable to perform list due to a torn ACL in December, and did not immediately report to camp, instead deciding, with permission from the team, to continue his rehab at home for an extra week while players went through COVID-19 testing.
Cornerback Quinton Dunbar, meanwhile, was not on the field yet, but should be when the Seahawks return to action after the off day. Dunbar, who came off the commissioner's exempt list early in the week, had to go through the required days of COVID-19 testing before he can return, and took his physical Friday, Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle, the last step before he is able to take the field.
Photos from the 3rd practice of Seahawks 2020 Training Camp, held on Friday, August 14 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Seahawks Training Camp is presented by Safeway.