After reviewing the film of his team's preseason opener in Kansas City, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was mostly encouraged by what he saw in large part because there weren't a lot of surprises.
"For the most part we are really pleased with what has happened up to this point, because guys are showing in the game what they are showing in practice," Carroll said. "So we're getting good information and it really directs us for the things that we need to work on."
That theme of continuing what they've done in practice included the offensive line, which leads our three takeaways from Carroll's press conference following Monday's practice.
1. Carroll "Really Liked" What He Saw From The Offensive Line
While starting quarterback Russell Wilson and the starting receivers were only in the game for one series, the offensive line played into the second quarter, and Carroll liked what he saw from the starting group of Bradley Sowell, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi and Garry Gilliam. In particular, Carroll liked what he saw from Britt in his first game at center, especially considering he was up against Pro-Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe.
"I really liked it," Carroll said. "I thought we were tight on our pass protection, we really hit some runs against a really nice front. The best evaluation is our ones against their ones, a bunch of plays there, that gave us a really good feel. Poe is a really good nose tackle and Justin held up very well, they battled in a number of situations. I was really fired up about that. I thought Justin really looked like he made the transition, and that's because we respect Poe. All in all, the group was solid, we communicated well, first time it was on the road, all that stuff, so I was pleased with that."
When it came to Ifedi, Seattle's first-round pick and likely starting right guard, Carroll was pleased, again because he saw what he had been seeing in practice.
"He played really tough," Carroll said. "He was overanxious a couple of times, but he really can hold up. Here's what we've figured out—what we're seeing in practice, we saw in the game, so the evaluations we've had against our own guys really showed up against their good people, and that's a good sign for us. We're really pleased about that."
2. Assessing The Quarterback Play
Starting quarterback Russell Wilson looked sharp on his opening drive right up until his final throw of the series, which was slightly behind Jermaine Kearse in the end zone and intercepted by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters.
"Russ is just kicking himself that he didn't push that ball outside on his one throw, but he did great," Carroll said. "His receivers did great, they all worked together beautifully."
Trevone Boykin, meanwhile, saw the most playing time and came back late in the game to lead the winning drive. It wasn't always perfect for Boykin, but Carroll liked what he saw from the rookie.
"I thought Trevone did a fantastic job, looking comfortable, looking just like he's looking on the practice field, he was very much in command," Carroll said. "He did make a couple mistakes in the huddle that messed us up execution wise—when you're out there all by yourself and the clock is running, and all that, we lost a couple huddle calls, but other than that he did a great job. Obviously, he showed the big plays and showed the confidence and the poise to get through it. When that clock's ticking down to the last play, he knows the clock is running out, he knew that and showed great poise to finish it off like he did."
Jake Heaps had fewer chances to shine than Boykin and was also the victim of a few drops from his receivers, but Carroll said, "Jake did a nice job too."
3. Training Camp "A Different Challenge" Under Current CBA
The Seahawks are in their seventh camp under Carroll, and sixth since the league's current collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011, changing the format of training camps league-wide. Gone are the grueling two-a-day sessions, one of several changes in the new CBA that limits the time players spend on the practice field. While some old-school types might think the current format hurts the game, Carroll likes what he has seen since the changes were made.
"You know, what hits us is, how did we ever go two-a-days for all that time?," he said. "I don't know. What I do know is, everyone was doing it so everyone was relatively beat down. So when they were playing you couldn't tell because everyone was pretty much worn out. It's a different challenge right now getting through camp. It's not what it was. I can't imagine—back in the college days we'd go three times a day. I don't even know what we were thinking. I don't know how guys could hold up on it, but we did. We didn't know any better at the time. Now that we do, this format is a good format. The walk-through time is really valuable to us, for the learning part of it. I don't even know how their bodies could hold up, you know, because our guys are struggling now with what we are doing. It is a different day and age."
Look through the best photos from the Seahawks 13th training camp practice held at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday.