Archive | May, 2013

OTA Wrap-Up 5/29

30 May

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The Seahawks held their second practice of the week indoors on Wednesday at the VMAC. It was the Seahawks 5th total practice of the OTA period. Here are a couple notes from today both on and off the field.

The Seahawks came out of their Wednesday practice completely healthy. One note I found interesting through what I have seen online is that Brady Quinn saw some time with all offensive units today. It will be fun to see how Quinn performs in training camp and in the preseason to see if he truly is a viable option to backup Russell Wilson once the regular season starts.

The off-the-field note worth mentioning today regards tight end Anthony McCoy. As I noted in my wrap-up report yesterday, McCoy was placed on the waived/injured list and would have to clear waivers before being placed on the Seahawks injured reserve list. McCoy cleared waivers today and is now on IR. I think McCoy has potential to be a regular impact player next season and I am glad no team claimed him.

Check back late Friday night for another OTA wrap-up report of the Seahawks last practice of week two!

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OTA Wrap-Up 5/28

29 May

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After a break during Memorial Day weekend, the Seahawks hit the field for three more practices this week. Here are some notes from today’s practice.

The Seahawks practiced for about an hour and a half outside. One of the first items to note is the presence of running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was absent from OTA’s last week to work out independently. It is good to see him back on the field with the rest of the team. As expected, Lynch stepped right back into the starting offensive unit.

One player who seemed to struggle mightily today was rookie tight end Luke Willson. With Anthony McCoy presumably out for the season with a torn Achilles, Willson could very well win the job as second-string tight end this season. It is still early so I am not jumping to conclusions and I expect Willson to bounce back and have a better day Wednesday.

Speaking of Anthony McCoy, he was placed on the waived/injured list today. He will have to clear waivers before being placed on the Seahawks injured reserve list. Any team can claim McCoy during the waiver period. I do not expect any team to claim him but a team could surprise if they think McCoy could make a future impact with the team in 2014.

The only player absent from practice today was offensive lineman John Moffitt. Moffitt was excused from practice by the coaching staff for “personal reasons.” Those personal reasons came to light later in the day. It was reported that Moffitt had an appearance in court this afternoon after being charged with criminal trespassing and obstruction after an incident last summer. Moffitt reportedly urinated in a parking garage and was caught by security. A security camera later confirmed Moffitt’s identity. Here is my take on John Moffitt and his situation. He comes off as a goofy, fun-loving guy thanks to the “Real Robinson Report.” However, he was benched last season in favor of rookie J.R. Sweezy who had never played offense before coming to Seattle. He has also tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and has now been charged with a misdemeanor during his time in Seattle. I am now starting to think his silly, immature demeanor in the locker room might translate to the football field and in his personal life. If Moffitt cannot beat out Sweezy in training camp this summer, he might find himself on the waiver wire after final roster cuts.

The big news of the day came off the field. While meeting with the media after practice, safety Kam Chancellor revealed that fullback Michael Robinson called a players-only meeting to discuss the recent off-the-field issues facing the team. Robinson, along with Chancellor, preached maturity and the ability to know to make right decisions if they want to do big things this season. I like the leadership of both of these players, especially Chancellor. Since being rewarded with a contract extension Chancellor has been a more vocal leader both on and off the field. I believe Chancellor will be a positive long-term influence on some of the younger players in the Seahawks locker room.

OTA’s Wrap-Up: Week One

24 May

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The Seahawks finished up their first three full-squad practices of the 2013 offseason this week. Starting this week for the next four weeks the Seahawks will conduct practices throughout the week; the first three weeks being organized team activities and the final week being a mandatory minicamp. Here are some notes and thoughts from the first week of the Seahawks OTA’s.

Every member of the Seahawks was in attendance this week except for one. The one player missing was running back Marshawn Lynch. This OTA period was voluntary and Lynch exercised his right to not show up which is slightly disappointing given the fact that Lynch is one of the cornerstone pieces to our offense. Having said this, the rest of the roster was in attendance which is incredible for a voluntary camp. Coach Carroll also stated in his press conference on Monday that Lynch was present at the VMAC a couple weeks ago and that he looked to be in terrific shape. Carroll stated that Lynch would be working out in his own separate program this week. It is unclear if Lynch will be back in Seattle for next week’s practices.

The star of OTA’s this week was wide receiver Percy Harvin. According to online reports Harvin was able to blow past the Seahawks backup cornerbacks and he made a couple of spectacular catches early on in practice on Monday. The fact that Russell Wilson is throwing to Harvin early on shows a lot about the relationship between the two since Harvin was acquired from Minnesota. I will be keeping my eye on Sidney Rice throughout all of our offseason practices. I am still worried that Rice could be a salary cap casualty and will potentially be cut at the end of the preseason if the younger, cheaper receivers emerge to be deserving of roster spots. I have heard that the younger players especially rookies Chris Harper and Matt Austin looked rusty in these first practices. Nothing much about Rice’s performance in the first week of OTA’s was noted but I will be trying to get a better grasp of his performance in the coming weeks.

On the defensive side of the ball I am excited about how our depth chart will be shaped along the defensive line. Currently, defensive end Cliff Avril is out with a foot injury but he should be available to participate in training camp if not sooner. One of our two defensive tackle spots still seems to be up for grabs. Through our first three practices, I believe this defensive tackle spot is Jesse Williams’ to lose. The Seahawks drafted Williams in the 5th round last month and also have rookie Jordan Hill, Tony McDaniel, and Clinton McDonald rotating in at defensive tackle. I believe the Seahawks would like the open defensive tackle spot to be filled by someone who is a similar build to Alan Branch. Williams seems to be the best option at least to start OTA’s.

Outside linebacker will also be a position I am interested in throughout the offseason. Since the Seahawks did not draft a linebacker this year until the seventh round, this tells me that Coach Carroll and Coach Quinn have tremendous expectations for Malcolm Smith. Smith has been sitting behind Leroy Hill for two seasons and now with Hill gone, Smith is primed to step in smoothly and play right where the defense left off.

Portis Cut

The Seahawks cut quarterback Josh Portis this week after it was reported he was arrested on Cinco de Mayo for DUI. This was apparently the last straw for Coach Carroll and John Schneider. After this news was reported, another incident involving Portis came to light which made this roster cut more understandable. According to Sports Radio KJR, Portis overslept and missed both team busses on the Seahawks trip to Miami in week 12 last season. Portis showed up to the stadium only two hours before kickoff and has had a short leash with Coach Carroll ever since. His DUI arrest was the end of the line and I wouldn’t be surprised if Portis finds himself back in the Canadian Football League in 2013.

Opinion: Bruce Irvin’s Suspension

The news this week of Bruce Irvin’s four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs cannot go unnoticed. Irvin, as you may well know by now, was suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It has been reported that Irvin tested positive for Adderall. Irvin is the sixth Seahawk to be suspended for performance enhancing drugs since the start of the 2011 season and the fourth confirmed player of these six to be suspended for the use of Adderall.

Last season Brandon Browner was suspended and Richard Sherman appealed and won his suspension for the use of Adderall. Although it did not affect the Seahawks in the standings, the loss of Browner and the near-loss of Sherman could have been an enormous blow to this team and their hopes to get to the playoffs and even to the super bowl. Every player in the Seahawks locker room should have taken last season’s events as a learning experience. It is absolutely dumbfounding to me how Bruce Irvin could be so stupid to take a drug that was the cause of his teammates suspension last season and just assume he would not get caught. Instead of learning from his teammates mistakes, Irvin rolled the dice hoping he could take the drug and pass the subsequent drug test. Instead his gamble did not pay off and he will miss the first four games of the 2013 season. I put 100 percent of the blame on Irvin. How could you display such poor judgment when you saw firsthand what happens if you get caught? The Seahawks need to get this drug problem fixed because if we keep going down this same road I am afraid it will cost us in the standings sooner rather than later. Get educated. Know the rules. And know the protocol to getting drug use approved if you truly need to take a supplement.

Next week the Seahawks will practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I will be back with a wrap-up post next weekend on week two of Seahawks OTA’s. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Rookie Minicamp Wrap-Up

12 May
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TE Luke Willson

The Seahawks were one of several NFL teams who conducted their 2013 rookie minicamp this past weekend. There were 65 players who participated in the minicamp; our 9 draft picks, 11 undrafted free agents, and 45 try-out players. Although none of our veteran players participated in minicamp this weekend, it was good to see our new players on the field together to work through some of the basic parts of the playbook and to get used to the Seahawks faster practice pace. Although I was not down at the VMAC for this camp, I was able to see a little bit of camp online and kept up through various reporters and coach and player press conferences. Here are some notes I took out of this year’s rookie minicamp.

After Friday’s practice, running back Christine Michael and defensive tackle Jordan Hill spoke to the media. One of the commonalities among the comments they made about their first practice with the Seahawks was the tempo of practice. The number one difference between college practice and NFL practice is the go-go-go pace of practice. There is not much rest time in between drills here in Seattle and you could tell some players had trouble adjusting to the change in tempo. I don’t really want to say they looked totally sluggish and worn out as the number of drills and reps stacked up but they definitely looked tired; at least more tired than what practice looks like during training camp.

The star of this weekend’s minicamp was 5th round draft pick Luke Willson. Willson, a tight end from Rice, made two great catches along the sideline on the first day of minicamp and impressed Coach Carroll and Coach Bevell throughout the weekend. When he addressed the media after Saturday’s practice, I could tell that we drafted not only a talented football player but a smart person. Willson is very well spoken and seems to have great knowledge for the game of football. What is also impressive is that he grew up in Canada playing hockey and he also turned down a professional baseball contract in order to pursue a professional football career. I’m excited to see him perform in person but just from these facts, we drafted one heck of a naturally gifted athlete.

According to Coach Carroll, both Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams impressed at defensive tackle this weekend. I didn’t see any of their on-field highlights but this news triggers the idea of having one of these two rookies winning the starting defensive tackle job that was left vacant when Alan Branch signed with Buffalo.

The number one quarterback at this minicamp was Jerrod Johnson. Johnson is technically the fourth-string backup on the 90-man roster but he was the only quarterback on the active roster who participated in this minicamp. Johnson comes to Seattle after brief stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The biggest thing I took out of Johnson’s highlights was his velocity. Johnson does not float the ball and the velocity and accuracy on his deep throws impressed me. Johnson looks like a fast, athletic quarterback who could mirror Russell Wilson on the scout team offensive unit; however the film from this weekend shows something different. Johnson’s pocket presence was noteworthy. He did not scramble on any of the throws I saw on film. Although we have five sessions of organized team activities and one more full minicamp on the horizon, I think it is possible Johnson will make the initial training camp roster and the Seahawks will start training camp with four quarterbacks.

One off-field note that you may have already heard about. Richard Sherman was spotted on a wave runner on Friday. Sherman was watching practice and scouting the rookies from the shores of Lake Washington. Am I surprised about this? No, not really. In fact if I had to guess one player watching practice from the lake on a wave runner, I would put my money on Sherman ten times out of ten.

Next Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday the Seahawks will conduct the first three sessions of organized team activities (OTA’s). Check back in a couple weeks for a wrap-up report from the first full-team practices of 2013!