The Seahawks held their 10th practice of camp on Tuesday in shoulder pads as they get ready for Thursday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. With a game coming up, Wednesday’s practice is a brief one that is closed to the public, so this will be it for practice observations until next week. With that being said, here are six observations from Tuesday’s practice:
1. The Seahawks are really deep at running back.
Earlier in the offseason while talking to the media at the NFL scouting combine, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked about how he expects Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny to give Seattle’s running game a “one-two punch,” and with each passing day, it becomes more evident that those two both appear to be poised for big things in 2019. Carson is coming off a 1,151-yard season and looks as big and fast and agile as ever, and Penny looks like a candidate for a Year 2 breakout season. During one portion of team drills Tuesday, both had long runs in quick succession that were the combined result of good blocking to create the initial hole, and impressive open-field moves to turn modest gains into big ones.
And while those two look like the clear top two at the position, there is plenty of talent behind them as well. C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer, who were held out of Tuesday’s practice, have both looked good in a third-down role, and while he’s listed as a return specialist, J.D. McKissic is also a potential factor there. And while he hasn’t gotten as much attention, Bo Scarbrough is also having a solid camp and took advantage of extra reps with Prosise and Homer out to produce some of his better runs of camp.
“It’s deep,” Carson said of the running back group. “We got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things, we complement each other really well, so it’s just great to have that kind of depth.”
2. DK Metcalf is back to being a camp standout.
Metcalf, the rookie receiver out of Ole Miss who has shined throughout offseason workouts and the early part of training camp, missed Saturday’s mock game with what Carroll described as a minor oblique strain, and was limited to some early work in Monday’s practice.
On Tuesday, however, Metcalf was a full-go once again, and he went right back to making the type of plays that have caused him to be one of the most talked-about players in camp. In particular, Metcalf had two long catches on passes from Russell Wilson, including one sideline grab on which he made an impressive catch despite strong coverage from Tre Flowers, hanging onto the ball after crashing to the ground.
3. Shaquill Griffin was making plays vs. the run and pass.
While one of Metcalf’s aforementioned catches did come with Griffin in coverage, the third-year corner had a very solid day overall, building off of what has been a strong offseason and camp for Griffin.
Early in practice during seven-on-seven drills, Griffin disrupted what looked like a pretty routine completion to tight end Nick Vannett by using a well-placed punch to dislodge the ball and cause an incompletion. Later in the team portion of practice, Griffin played a fly sweep to Tyler Lockett perfectly, getting to the receiver in the backfield as he tried to turn the corner.
4. Ethan Pocic is taking advantage of his opportunity.
Ethan Pocic, a second-round pick in 2017, started 11 games as a rookie, but thanks to the addition of D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy last year, he was limited to four starts in 2018. Fluker re-signed, and the Seahawks added veteran Mike Iupati in the offseason after losing Sweezy, so Pocic may not have a starting role to open 2019, but he has shown a lot of growth this year according to teammates and coaches. With Iupati currently sidelined by a foot injury, Pocic, who has the versatility to play both guard positions, center and tackle, has spent the past week as the No. 1 left guard, and the line play has remained strong even with the change.
“Ethan has had a really good camp,” center Justin Britt said.
Britt added that Pocic has shown, “huge growth. He gained mobility and flexibility and understands the leverage, and is way stronger than he has been. I’m not saying that he wasn’t strong, but you can just tell. You get someone like him with the mind of a center and it makes the center’s job a lot easier if he understands what I’m trying to do and what I’m looking for. Having Ethan in there is always great.”
5. Don’t forget about Amara Darboh.
It appeared last fall that Amara Darboh’s Seahawks career came to an end when he was released prior to the start of the season, then claimed off waivers by the Patriots. Darboh ended up failing a physical with New England, however, meaning he reverted to Seattle’s injured reserve list for 2018, and now healthy once again, Darboh is in the mix in a deep wide receiver competition.
Nearly every practice a different receiver that is battling for a roster spot makes a big play or two to state his case, and on Thursday Darboh had multiple catches and turned in one of the plays of the day, making a great adjustment on a sideline throw from Paxton Lynch, reaching back to make the grab.
6. Marwin Evans showed a nose for the ball.
With Marquise Blair returning to practice and Lano Hill coming off the PUP list, the Seahawks are getting back to full strength at safety, but the depth at that position beyond the starting spots has been on display in camp with the likes of Shalom Luani, Ugo Amadi and the recently re-signed DeShawn Shead all making plays. On Tuesday, it was Marwin Evans, a late-season addition to the practice squad last year, who took his turn in the spotlight, first intercepting a pass that was initially broken up by cornerback Jamar Taylor, then later showing impressive range to break up a pass intended for Tyler Lockett deep down the sideline.
Photos from the 10th open practice of Seahawks 2019 training camp, presented by Safeway held on Tuesday, August 6 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.