Day 5 of training camp saw the Seahawks practice in full pads for the first time, which meant the most physical practice of camp to date. In addition to a few big hits (by training camp standards at least) such as Mychal Kendricks knocking rookie running back Travis Homer off his feet with a well-placed shoulder, and tackle George Fant planting cornerback Simeon Thomas on a run to the perimeter—tackles blocking cornerbacks is kind of unfair—here are six observations from Tuesday’s practice:
1. Russell Wilson has had a phenomenal first week of camp.
So often this time of year the focus can be on young players competing for roster spots or starting jobs, and for good reason—those position battles are a big reason camp is so intriguing every year. But as we constantly wonder who will be the fourth or fifth receiver, or which running back will win the third-down job, or how many linebackers will make the team, we can sometimes overlook obvious greatness when it’s right in front of us, which brings us to quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson has been getting the job done at a high level for years, so it hardly qualifies as breaking news that he’s having a good camp, but even by his own high standards, Wilson has been very impressive through five practices, rarely missing a throw.
One example of Wilson’s precision in this year’s camp came on the final drive of Tuesday’s practice when, thanks to a couple of penalties, the No. 1 offense was facing first-and-25 to open a drive. Wilson hit David Moore with a well-placed back-shoulder throw for a big gain to set up second-and-manageable, and from there the offense marched down the field, with the drive ending with a pair of completions to DK Metcalf, the second of which went for a touchdown after the rookie receiver went low in traffic over the middle to secure the grab before racing to the end zone.
“Phenomenal,” is how left tackle Duane Brown described Wilson. “He’s a generational talent and a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, I think. On the field everyone gets to see what he does on Sundays, but the person he is away from Sundays is what really makes him special. His leadership ability. He’s very consistent, every day he’s the same guy, same attitude, happy to be here, motivated, enthusiastic about practice even throughout training camp which can be kind of monotonous. His personality really brings us a long way.”
2. Tyler Lockett? Yeah, he’s good too.
Continuing with our theme of obvious observations, Tyler Lockett continues to show why he’s the team’s No. 1 receiver heading into 2019, and Lockett was particularly active in Tuesday’s practice, hauling in a number of catches down the field. As we’ve seen both in games and practices throughout his career, Lockett is nearly impossible to cover down the field, particularly when Wilson has plenty of time to let him get open—take this Week 1 touchdown against Denver from last season, for example. Lockett scored a similar long touchdown on Tuesday, showing again that, given enough time, he will almost always get open.
3. More physical play means more plays can be made by defensive backs.
While Lockett, Metcalf and others made a number of impressive plays on Tuesday, defensive backs are starting to show what they can do now that the pads are on and they’re allowed to contest every play. Tuesday’s practice, the first in full pads, saw the defense making more plays on the ball and breaking up more pass attempts, both in one-on-one drills as well as the seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 portions of practice.
And speaking of that…
4. Tedric Thompson had a spectacular interception.
For the third straight day, an impressive interception might have been the best play of the day. On Sunday it was Cody Barton making a diving interception, on Monday Ugo Amadi had a long pick-six, and on Tuesday Tedric Thompson turned what looked like a nice throw and catch from Geno Smith to John Ursua into a huge play for the defense. While driving down the field in a two-minute drill, Smith fired an accurate pass over the middle to Ursua and the rookie receiver appeared to secure the catch, but as he and Thompson went to the ground, Thompson popped back up with the ball, having ripped it away from the receiver. That was Thompson’s second interception so far in camp during team drills, an encouraging sign for the young safety who came into the league with a reputation for making plays on the ball.
5. A rare miss for Jason Myers.
A day ago, I pointed out how Jason Myers has been almost automatic during training camp, noting that I’d yet to see him miss. On Tuesday Myers did miss, barely, from 48 yards. Even so, it has been an outstanding camp for the kicker coming off a Pro-Bowl season in 2018.
“He has been fabulous,” special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said. “I think he has missed one, I think he’s 22 for 23 so far. He has been really consistent, and just getting those three guys together (punter/holder Michael Dickson and long snapper Tyler Ott), the consistency of them working together and getting a good feel for each other has been really good and clean. It’s been good.”
Photos of fans attending 2019 Seahawks Training Camp, presented by Safeway on Tuesday, July 30 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
6. L.J. Collier injured and other personnel notes.
In a bit of unfortunate news Tuesday, first-round pick L.J. Collier sustained what appeared to be an undisclosed injury and was carted back to the training room after initially limping off the field under his own power. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not address the media Tuesday, so an update on the defensive end’s status will have to wait until later this week.
Among those not practicing Tuesday were left guard Mike Iupati. Ethan Pocic took over that spot with the No. 1 offense in Iupati’s absence. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks was back in action after being sidelined on Monday by an undisclosed injury.
Photos from the fifth open practice of Seahawks 2019 training camp, presented by Safeway held on Tuesday, July 30 at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.