When July rolls around and training camp begins there's a lot of optimism in the air about how a team will be that season, but for the Seahawks' defense the optimism was rightfully deserved and they're continuing to prove that.
"We saw it in camp," Geno Smith said. "How they just presented so many matchup problems."
Nose tackle Jarran Reed is in his eighth season and in his second stint with the Seahawks can see the progress that the defense has been making over the past few months.
"We started this in training camp," Reed said. "Then OTAs and everything's just carrying over and we have to continue to play the way we're playing right now."
On the defensive performance over the last few games Reed said, "It shows that what we're doing in practice is turning over into gameday and we take that very seriously."
So far, this season the defense has allowed only 3.2 yards per carry which is the best in the league, and 79.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks fourth.
"[Third downs] have been a major emphasis that we had to hone in on," Reed said. "The first game showed that we were still feeling each other out, now I think we're rolling. We're playing off each other well… we're all starting to gel together."
After that first game the Seahawks defense went on to have two games each with pick-sixes returned for touchdowns, a game with a franchise record-tying 11 sacks and holding the Bengals to 76 yards after their first two possessions.
"I was so excited for those guys," Smith said on the defense's game against the Bengals. "You can see where things are kind of coming together for the defense and they're exactly where we thought they'd be all along. They've got so many great players, such great leadership on that side, great coaches, overall, a bunch of talent and guys who have passion and love the game. I appreciate having a defense like that because it makes our job on offense that much easier."
Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones said the mindset of the defense is what's been helping them see as much success as they have.
"It not even necessarily on film, it's a mentality."
Jones said the environment that's been curated within the organization and in the locker room adds to that.
"There's no team doing stuff like how it's getting done here and I can guarantee that, this is a very unique place," Jones said. "We preach a lot about having fun. Ball is serious we have to do our jobs… everything is about coaching and learning… they want to teach us here."
Seahawks practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Oct. 19, 2023.