I'm real pleased with how everything went through training camp and the preseason. We thought the transition to the new building would be a distraction and that's been very minor. Everybody has been going about their business the same way they did before, so I'm happy about the way that has worked out. There was concern because the move to the new facility is important for the organization, but it's not what this season is about.
Other than the injuries, I would say this has been a real success because we got to see what we needed to see. We feel good about the roster, as far as who made it. We feel good about the practice squad. All of that kind of fell into place for us as much as we could have possibly hoped for ... so other than the injuries, this training camp and preseason has been a roaring success.
There were no surprises among the rookies, either. Losing Tyler Schmitt to a back injury was disappointing. He was doing well. He would have been our snapper for the year. That's what you hope to avoid, but all the other guys we drafted have been great. Everybody showed exactly as the scouts wrote them up in their presentations, and that's what you want coming out of the draft every year. Their reports to the coaches were right on the money, so they're happy with the way things happened too.
We did not expect everything we got out of a free agent rookie like (linebacker) David Hawthorne. We knew he had ability, but to say he was going to come in here, make the team and never look back, we couldn't possibly have been able to predict that. So he turned out to be a pleasant surprise. He's one of the guys who actually exceeded expectations, so that's a real bonus all the way around for us.
Going into the season is no different than it has ever been. What we expect out of this team is to always compete for a championship. That's our mindset. That's our culture, and we never want that to change. We didn't get distracted from what we think we are, and that to me was one of the important things of this whole camp. We feel good about ourselves, so this is good.
Our sense is so far so good in what we've seen out of the running game. It's been in steps and then in stages as far as improvement. Now here's the big test. We've got to see it in the regular season on a consistent basis. Even over the last two years when we struggled, we had good games and good moments, and good streaks.
So it will be a while before we can be sure we've fixed this and made it an integral part of what we're trying to do. It is very crucial. It's too hard to make a living off the pass like we did last year. We showed we can do a good job of it. That would just be too hard, especially with some of the vets down in the passing game. We don't have that fallback position. We need the run to become consistent so we can have some balance and everybody will be better because of it.
But we have to have the defense consistently effective to get where we want to go. If the 'D' is consistent, we will be consistent ourselves as a team. That's just a fact. Unfortunately, we didn't get the first unit playing enough in the preseason to know that, "OK, we're ready to go, there's no more tweaking that we need." We didn't get that straight, but we know we have everybody back from last year so that helps.
Now if we can just get everybody back healthy as we move forward, we feel real good about where the Seahawks are going this year.