Today will mark the end of the first week of Seahawks training camp 2014. There’s been no giant developments like last year’s announcement of Percy Harvin’s hip injury. Today, though, we should get some clarity on the extent of the Achilles injury to tight end Anthony McCoy and knee issue of defensive tackle Jesse Williams.
If there’s been a theme thus far, in my perspective, it’s been the high level of competition. It’s to be expected that a veteran team with a lot of holdovers from a successful season would practice well. But it was fair to be suspicious whether the players would bring the same intensity level. So far, it’s been exceptional. One example came in Wednesday’s practice, which focused much of the time on one-on-one competitions. Harvin and Earl Thomas were paired a few times, and on one, in a goal-line drill, the two were so intent on getting to an overthrown ball, it looked as if they both were on the verge of running into Lake Washington in the pursuit. Both were visibly disappointed they didn’t come down with it, but walking back, they slapped hands to congratulate the other on their effort.
Harvin later zipped around the defense in a team drill on a fly sweep that should become a staple gainer/decoy for the 2014 offense.
A lot of attention has been paid to receivers: Harvin’s first healthy camp, rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood, and even Bryan Walters, who shakes free, makes tough catches, and scores in the Red Zone, as he did a couple times Wednesday. But the most consistent big-play maker among the receivers group has been Doug Baldwin, who is having an amazing camp. Baldwin has shown the ability to get deep against the No. 1 defense, and never drops a touch.
On Wednesday, backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor not only threw some nice deep balls, but also connected on some of the short and underneath stuff that has not been his strength thus far. Darrell Bevell called it his best day at training camp and it clearly was. It seemed a good enough performance to force one to ask: What do you do with him? He’s shown how well he can scramble and run when flushed, but his accuracy questions seemed to make it unlikely he could dislodge Tarvaris Jackson as Russell Wilson’s backup. Would you keep him around just as a change-up guy who could run a bit from that position? It didn’t seem like a likely use of a valuable roster spot. But if he starts really connecting as a passer?
Given the lean manpower situation at safety with Kam Chancellor still out, good plays by DeShawn Shead on Wednesday had to be a welcomed sight. He’s a swing secondary guy who is certainly big enough (6-3, 220) to be valuable at safety.
On the down side thus far, the soft-tissue injuries are adding up, which Carroll said is a trend as teams get toward the end of the first week. It will be interesting to see how long James Carpenter (calf) and Bobby Wagner (hamstring) will be sidelined. With Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith still not back from surgeries, having Wagner sidelined has left the Hawks extremely thin at linebacker. That could be a concern as they take the field in a preseason game just a week from now at Denver.
–Here’s my practice report from Wednesday. We had interviews with both coordinators, and it was interesting how much the two are challenged by trying to score wins against their counterpart on the other side of the ball.
–TJ Cotterill chatted with Terrelle Pryor after Wednesday’s practice. I thought the best quote was: “I just want to be the best teammate I can be and help the guys as much as I can. I can’t worry about who is No. 1, who is getting more reps than me, who’s better than me. Those are out of my control.”
–Tony Drovetto at Seahawks.com compiled some clips from the ESPN SportsCenter Special broadcast from Tuesday’s training camp practice.
He also has a fun note about Wednesday’s visit of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.