Finally, today was the first full pads practice for the Seahawks. Unfortunately the aggressiveness of the players going after one another mirrored the aggressiveness during half-pad practices. Today the full squad drills took place on the far field so it was hard to tell some of the things that occurred. Today I got a good look at the tight ends and wide receivers, as they were practicing on the near field with the quarterbacks. Here are my brief notes on today’s practice.
Matt Flynn took a monumental step in locking down the starting quarterback job. Although he got the majority of the first-team snaps today, it wasn’t his play on the field that backs up my claim but because of the play breakdown today. As pointed out by numerous other bloggers on Twitter. Flynn led the quarterbacks with 35 first-team reps. This number is way higher than Russell Wilson who had 22 first-team reps and incumbent Tarvaris Jackson who only had 15 reps with the first-team offense. Time will tell how snaps are split in the coming days but if today is any indication, Flynn may be earning the trust and faith of head coach Pete Carroll which could lead to him being named the starting quarterback earlier than I expect. It wouldn’t surprise me if the starting quarterback is named by the time we play Tennessee next Saturday night.
Last year undrafted rookie wide receiver Doug Baldwin made the 53-man roster after an impressive training camp and preseason. After watching the wide receivers over the past few days and especially today, the player I believe best set up to beat the odds and make this team is undrafted rookie Phil Bates. Bates, from Ohio University, is a former college football quarterback who was converted to wide receiver during the offseason. Bates is 6-1 but plays a lot taller; having snared multiple sailing passes in the endzone over the last few practices. Bates is consistently building chemistry with each of the three quarterbacks and each QB feels comfortable throwing the ball in Bates’s direction. I have not seen Bates in any other capacity besides wide receiver so far in training camp, which is interesting because Baldwin was used as a punt and kickoff returner during the preseason last year. It will be hard for Bates to make this roster however. I can only see 6-7 wide receivers being kept on the 53-man roster and with Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate locks to make this roster Bates will be realistically battling for 3-4 roster spots with longtime Seahawks Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler, younger talent such as Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette, and newly signed veterans Antonio Bryant and Braylon Edwards among others.
The Seahawks have a 10am practice tomorrow morning. I will most likely be watching practice through the weekend on seahawks.com and the NFL Network. Check back tomorrow for more camp notes!