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Seahawks Earn A Day Off & Other Things We Learned From Day 2 Of Minicamp

News and notes from the second, and as it turns out, final, day of Seahawks minicamp.


The Seahawks' first offseason under Mike Macdonald wrapped up Wednesday, one day ahead of the scheduled final day of minicamp.

This week's practices, as well as the entire offseason program that started in early April, exceeded Macdonald's expectations, making him feel comfortable with rewarding his players with a well-earned early start to their break.

More on that and other things we learned on Day 2 of minicamp.

1. Macdonald "really couldn't be happier with the effort" he saw from his team throughout the offseason workout program.

The offseason has been a time of learning for players and coaches alike as Macdonald and his coaching staff have started the process of preparing the team for the 2024 season, a process that includes everything from figuring out how to structure practice to getting to know each other to installing new schemes on both sides of the ball. And while there is still a lot of work to get done before the regular season begins, Macdonald really likes what he has seen thus far, hence rewarding players with a day off.

"We were scheduled for practice tomorrow, but told the guys that we're not going to practice, that we're done for our spring program," he said. "Just really couldn't be happier with the effort. That's what I was telling them. The effort, the intent, the energy, the attitude, all the things we're asking them to do, they responded every day. Just really excited about where we're at. We've been going at it here. We had the extra week with the new staff and everything. Felt like it was an opportunity to get out of here healthy and have a great offseason."

Macdonald later added, "I hope we're building what we're trying to build. I think we're on our way. But shout-out to our coaches, too. We just try to take advantage of every meeting, stack those meetings over and over and over again, stack every opportunity we've had on the field. Just felt it was time to say we've gotten great work in. Let's get the heck out of here."

2. It was a big minicamp for the secondary.

Geno Smith and his targets made plenty of plays during this minicamp, but for the second day in a row, the pass defense really stood out, piling up multiple interceptions on Wednesday after doing the same thing Tuesday. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins started things off with a pick of a ball tipped by linebacker Patrick O'Connell, then not long after Riq Woolen made a nice over-the-shoulder grab on a deep pass. Artie Burns and Mike Jackson got in on the action later in practice, as did rookie linebacker Tyrice Knight, who made a nice diving catch. The best play, however, might have been a near-interception by Devon Witherspoon, who in a red zone drill broke on a pass, made a leaping pass deflection, then dove to catch the ball falling out of the back of the end zone, a play that, despite his protests, was ruled incomplete.

"I think you've seen their confidence grow every day," Macdonald said of the secondary. "It just comes with understanding what we're asking them to do, understanding the scheme, how it fits, how it all plays together. Got a good part of the defense in now for quite a while. Just getting those extra reps every day, you can feel they have a lot of confidence in what they're doing. It's cool to see. Having some fun out there."

Macdonald did caution that it is a little easier for the defense to make those plays without the threat of the run in some situations.

"It's a passing camp," he said. "When you're playing pass all the time, there's no threat of the ball just splitting the defense right down the middle. We're working all of our coverages, all the things, the disguises with there's a penalty if you're wrong. You get into games, there's a threat of a run coming right downhill, it just changes things. It's great to see the confidence and the play speed and the communication. But you need to develop that first before you got to go smack somebody in the mouth, then play your pass responsibility. If that makes sense, that's where they're at."

3. What Macdonald is learning as a first-time head coach.

While Macdonald came to the job with a plan of how he wants to run a team, the past five months have been his first time actually doing the job, so just like his players, he too is learning every day this offseason.

"I've said this before, it's hard to have a hundred-thousand-day plan where every hour is etched in stone. You have to be flexible, be able to move and shake. If you go in with that mindset, if things pop up, you're expecting the unexpected to a certain extent. I wouldn't say just roll with the punches, but apply the principle of what we're trying to achieve. I'm really excited about where we're at. I told the guys, we haven't stopped anybody yet, we haven't scored any touchdowns yet, nor should we. It's not the time for that. But I feel really good on the foundation we've been able to build. It will be good to get a couple days' break. I'll be excited to start camp. It's an exciting time of year.

"We got a lot of great people that are working in this building. It's not just me. We got a lot of talent, a lot of great people that want to help the team. If we deploy all those people the way that we want, I think we can create something really special."

4. The right guard competition will really get going in camp.

For most of the offseason McClendon Curtis has worked as the starting right guard, but with Anthony Bradford getting back into action Wednesday, and with rookie Christian Haynes continuing to develop, that spot should be one of the more competitive ones in camp.

"He's right there," Macdonald said of Bradford, who started 10 games as a rookie. "He's right there. Just good to see him out there. Missed a little bit of time there throughout some of the OTAs. He's right in the mix. Got a great competition, especially on the right side of the line, and he's right there. He's got a great opportunity to go earn himself a job."

As for Haynes, Macdonald said, "He's doing some good things. I think Christian's game is when pads are on, when he's moving people, getting to the next level, things like that. Right now it's hard to feel the offensive line pushing the pile, moving the line of scrimmage. Hopefully we see that when pads come on."


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5. Devon Witherspoon continues to bring "outrageous energy."

While praising his defensive teammate earlier in the day, Leonard Williams described Witherspoon by saying that the second-year cornerback has "outrageous energy," which is a perfect description for Witherspoon.

Witherspoon was displaying that energy throughout Wednesday's practice, as is the norm for him, and Macdonald loves what he's seeing.

"It's great," Macdonald said. "I told him today I couldn't believe he was the smartest football player of all time and it's only his second year in the NFL. He's got an answer for everything. No, hey, be yourself. That's who he is. We love him. He's a great player already in this league. We're really excited about him. Again, all those guys are great, man. Energy is right where we want it."

Macdonald noted that a team needs players who provide that type of energy, saying, "We talked about it the other day as a team. We got to be a player-led team. Championship teams, coaches can only take the guys so far. Doesn't matter. You can lead from whatever your role is. Devon has a unique role that's specific to him, which we're like Uchenna (Nwosu)'s role would be a little bit different than his role, more vocal with the guys. We want to start in the roles you're in, let's rock and roll. Yeah, the energy is pretty great."

The Seahawks completed their second and final practice of minicamp on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

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