Archive | July, 2012

Camp Notes 7/31: Advantage Flynn, A Surprising ‘hello,’ And An Adjusting Rookie

31 Jul

Day 4 of training camp is in the books. The Seahawks practiced under the sun for about 2 hours and 20 minutes this morning. Here are my notes on today’s practice.

The Seahawks were once again sporting shoulder pads and shorts. Slightly disappointing considering that the grand majority of NFL teams have already conducted at least one practice in full pads.

Tarvaris Jackson took the first-string snaps today but Matt Flynn had the best day of all 4 quarterbacks. One pass in particular, a 25-yard streak to Antonio Bryant was highly impressive because of Flynn’s pocket presence, his precision, and his confidence to put the ball in front of the receiver. Flynn was the only quarterback to lead his unit into the endzone during 11-on-11 drills in the middle of practice. Jackson and Russell Wilson both struggled to get into a groove today. Both would put together strings of two or three decent plays in a row but then falter. Wilson definitely was not as sharp today as in his previous practices. Wilson was picked off twice by defensive players with no offensive target in the general area, including an interception in the endzone by Bobby Wagner during 11-on-11. It is clear at this point that very few fans are pulling for Tarvaris Jackson to win the quarterback competition. I heard boos scattered among the estimated 1,000 people in attendance today.

Today I got a good look at the offensive lineman and the secondary. Paul McQuistan lined up at left guard today and Breno Giacomini lined up at right tackle. If this holds to be our starting offensive line, it will be interesting to see what role Deuce Lutui plays this season. The secondary player that looked the best to me today was cornerback Byron Maxwell. Maxwell picked off a Tarvaris Jackson pass in spectacular fashion along the sideline today.

The catch of the day went to newly signed wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who made a juggling catch on a ball along the sidelines. I wanted to see what Edwards was going to be able to do today and although it was the only pass I saw him catch today, it was surely noteworthy.

After practice I was surprised when Seahawks general manager John Schneider came up and introduced himself to me and a handful of other fans in the vicinity. Just for the record, he likes to be known as “John” and not “Mr. Schneider.” Needless to say, he is a very personable, down-to-earth person. I also got to catch up with rookie linebacker Bruce Irvin after practice. When I asked how his camp is going so far, he told me “it’s a lot different in college but I’m hangin’ on and learning a lot.” It was also nice to catch up with Max Unger who may be the friendliest and funniest person on this team. I couldn’t help but notice Unger was wearing a brace on his right arm. When I asked about it, he replied jokingly “it’s to keep my arm from hurting when I’m carrying around my money” (Unger signed a four-year, $24.935 million contract extension last week).

As a whole team, the Seahawks still have a lot of tuning up to do to be ready for the regular season. I’ll give them some slack though, as it is only day 4. Due to the requirements of the new collective bargaining agreement, each NFL team gets every fifth day of training camp off, thus the Seahawks do not have any practice tomorrow. I will be back at the VMAC on Thursday for what I hope (once again) is the Seahawks first full-pad practice of 2012.

Training Camp Day 3

30 Jul

Today I was unable to attend practice, but I was able to catch about half of practice via seahawks.com and the NFL Network. Here are my brief notes of what I saw during today’s practice.

The team was in shoulder pads and shorts once again. My hope is that tomorrow the team will be sporting full pads for the first time.

My daily quarterback update: Russell Wilson got the first-team reps in practice today. Of the drills I saw he looked pretty good but not as good as yesterday. Matt Flynn looked like the best quarterback during today’s drills. Something that has been a common criticism of Flynn is he does not have a rocket arm. He can put the ball where it needs to be but there is not much zip or power on the release or travel. With the other quarterbacks having stronger arms than Flynn, I as a fan will have to get used to Flynn and his finesse quarterback techniques.

There was a focus on the linebackers today at practice. Something I noticed that was interesting was the difference of strength between the locked-in starters and the players who are working their tails off trying to make the 53-man roster. Linebackers such as Leroy Hill and K.J. Wright had lots of pop on the bags and machines but other players such as Kyle Knox and Mike Morgan seemed to struggle. One linebacker who caught my eye was rookie Korey Toomer. To me, he improved on each rep he got on each different drill.

Tomorrow I will be back at the VMAC for practice. My goals will be to get some quotes from a few players while also hopefully watching full 11-on-11 drills in full pads for the first time. See you guys tomorrow!

The Tickets Have Arrived

30 Jul

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One of my favorite days of the summer is the day that my Seahawks season tickets are delivered. Today is that glorious day. Each year included with the season ticket package is some sort of gift. Over the past 6 years, I have received the following gifts (in no particular order):

A Seahawks drawstring backpack, A Seahawks license plate holder, a full size Seahawks 12th Man flag, A 12th Man car flag, A 12th Man flag blanket, and Seahawks playing cards.

This year’s gift is a Seahawks knit hat. As you can tell from the picture posted above, it is a navy blue hat with two feather stripes (One gray and one green) with “Seahawks” in white in-between the two stripes. The Seahawks season ticket holder patch is located on the forehead. The Seahawks logo is also located on the left ear while the number 12 is on the right ear. The hat is a tight fit on my head, but with short hair it should be no problem this winter. (I don’t plan on growing my afro out again anytime soon! haha).

Practice has ended for the day and I will have my notes on today’s practice session later tonight!

Russell Wilson: Starting Quarterback?

29 Jul

Day two of training camp is in the books. The Seahawks practiced under the Renton sun for nearly 2 and a half hours this morning and to me, the team as a whole looked a lot better than on Saturday. Matt Flynn took the first-string reps at quarterback today but it was Russell Wilson who stole the show.

For the first half of practice, the quarterbacks ran one-on-one routes with the receivers and Wilson only overthrew one pass, a 30 yard streak intended for Golden Tate. Tate later redeemed himself during full-squad drills, when he laid out for a Wilson pass at the 10-yard-line, and snatching a Matt Flynn floater away from double coverage. When the whole team got together for 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 drills in the second half of practice, Wilson was spot on and showed poise in the pocket that compared to any star quarterback in the NFL. Each pass from Wilson was tight, and fast. Wilson hit his receivers square in the hands more often than not. I was very impressed with Wilson throughout the duration of this morning’s practice. It is hard for me to believe that a 3rd round rookie quarterback will win the starting quarterback job from a man who is being paid $8 million a year and another guy who has played under this offense for 5+ years, but unless today was a fluke, I believe Russell Wilson has a real chance to be at least our backup, which in my opinion would cost Tarvaris Jackson his spot on the roster.

To simplify today’s portion of the Seahawks quarterback competition:

Russell Wilson: Great

Matt Flynn: Average

Tarvaris Jackson: Below average

NOTE: I was unable to speak to any players after today’s practice. Because the practice went long, the players could not stick around to sign and chat.

Funny moment of the day: Marshawn Lynch was photographed presumably leaving the facility on a BMX bike with two fellow teammates. Good to see Lynch is not taking any questionable risks on the roads following his DUI arrest last week.

Tomorrow’s practice is the third of training camp, and will most likely be conducted with the players in full pads for the first time. I will be tracking practice via seahawks.com and the NFL Network tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow for my daily Seahawks training camp report.

Season 37, Day 1

28 Jul

Football is back! The Seahawks opened training camp this morning in front of me and 2,000+ other fans. Here are a few notes from my perspective of practice number one.

Weather: Overcast and in the high 50’s

As a whole, I was prepared to see a relatively sloppy practice. Although it was not as sloppy as I anticipated, there were definitely some ups and some downs throughout the course of the two hour practice.

The quarterbacks split reps evenly today. Each quarterback would take 5 snaps with the first team before rotating. In my opinion, Matt Flynn looked the best and his chemistry was especially clicking with Doug Baldwin.

Sidney Rice was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list shortly before practice, allowing him to fully participate in practice. Rice wore a red jersey, which prevents him from taking hits from his fellow teammates.

Ricardo Lockette was very impressive today. In particular, his quick feet and tight routes caught my eye from the birm. 

Brandon Mebane had a really good day from my view. He along with the rest of the starting defensive line looked very sharp.

I was unable to stay through the end of practice and autograph session, thus I was unable to get any quotes from players. I was informed that the majority of players who stuck around after practice were defensive players. It would be safe to assume that more offensive players will stick around after practice tomorrow. I will be in attendance again tomorrow and I will attempt to get questions answered and quotes from several players. 

All in all today was a solid first day. Football is back everybody. Time to get excited! I’ll be back tomorrow night with my notes from day 2 of Seahawks training camp.

On the Eve of Training Camp

27 Jul

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My apologies for the 3 month hiatus. I am back for good, I promise!

Day one of season 37 starts tomorrow morning when the Seahawks conduct their first training camp practice of 2012. Tomorrow is day one of a very long and grueling journey. A journey that is as unpredictable as guessing how many jelly beans are in the jar. A journey that will be written based on what is left on that beautiful green grass field. The offseason is history. The 2012 season is upon us and I cannot be more excited.

Tomorrow’s open practice starts at 10:30 tomorrow morning. Because it is the first day, I am definitely expecting some rust from many of our key players, but I will also be expecting to see new plays and formations that were installed during OTA’s and minicamp. Here are some players, and position battles that I will be focusing on for the first day of training camp.

1. Quarterback Competition

Tarvaris Jackson is expected to take most, if not all of the first team snaps at quarterback. Matt Flynn will take the second-string snaps and Russell Wilson will take the third-team snaps. With Jackson as the experienced vet in this offense, I expect him to prove early that he deserves to be the starter. If he does not do this, the 12th Man will be calling for Flynn to take over this competition. I believe it will be Jackson’s job to lose. With Jackson as the pre-camp frontrunner, Flynn as the $8 million man and fan favorite, and Wilson the potential-filled fast-learning rookie, Coach Carroll and his staff have a lot of work to do to settle this competition.

2. Right Tackle

With James Carpenter still rehabbing his ACL injury from last season, the starting right tackle spot is up for grabs in my opinion. I believe Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan are the players looking to earn a starting spot on the offensive line. This spot is important because it will be necessary to develop continuity among the starting unit early, as this will improve the play of the entire offense later down the road.

3. Middle Linebacker

Rookie Bobby Wagner looks to be the starting MLB come week 1, but veteran Barrett Ruud will be challenging for a roster spot and a spot as our starting middle linebacker. Ruud is coming off an injury and Wagner was a 2nd round draft pick this year. The last time a rookie started at middle linebacker for the Seahawks was Lofa Tatupu in 2005. Tatupu was also a 2nd round pick. Not to put pressure on Wagner, but if he lands the starting job, the pressure is on to tie the defense together, which is one of many responsibilities required of a middle linebacker.

4. Bruce Irvin

I am interested to see where rookie Bruce Irvin will line up in different packages. Irvin has been described as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid. With Chris Clemons and Red Bryant as our starting defensive ends and Leroy Hill and K.J. Wright as our starting outside linebackers, Irvin’s presence on the field will shift with each defensive play. My hope is to see where he mostly lines up and from which spots he is most effective at getting to the quarterback.

I will be attendance at practice tomorrow morning. Check back tomorrow night for my notes and observations of day one of Seahawks training camp!