Let me preface this article by saying this is my first training camp experience but I feel like I walked away with a lot more information and insights into just how important these practices are. That being said, the Seahawks public practices are a great experience and I would encourage anybody who is even a tiny bit of a football fan to go. From the players, to watching Carroll run around and throw balls, to the eagle/hawk sitting on a pole watching over the entire practice, it was entirely worthwhile.
My first takeaway is that Russell Wilson deserves all the praise he has been getting. I didn’t believe it or want to, but after watching him with what I believe was the third string today, he has potential. There were several situations when I figured the play was blown and he was surrounded by players, his red jersey unseen, and he pops out and makes a great throw to an open receiver. He has all the arm strength that anybody has given him credit for and probably more. He deserves to be considered as a legitimate backup at this point.
Tarvaris Jackson looked okay in initial drills but then couldn’t complete a pass in seven-on-sevens. It was very strange. Most of his plays were running plays to Lynch. He did make a few nice throws however, but in the end showed the capability we all know he has with the same kind of panic-stricken decision making. Jackson is a known commodity.
Matt Flynn did not look so good in scrimmage drills but completed the majority if his throws in seven-on-sevens. Flynn looked in control. He suffered mainly from playing with the second string. I posted earlier on Flynn getting the start this Saturday and it would seem like Carroll also thinks that we need to see Flynn in live competition. I am looking forward to what he can offer at game time. Flynn has earned that.
Bruce Irvin is insanely fast. I cannot wait to see him tear offensive linemen apart. He made getting around linemen look easy. Basically, if he can’t run through you, there is no way you’ll stop his spin move. I foresee a lot of double teams in Bruce Irvin’s future. Also on defense: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman look like they are ready to punish anyone brave enough to catch a ball in the secondary. Thomas stalks around just looking for someone to cover. He makes it hard not to get fired up about our defense.
Seattle’s defensive team top to bottom looks ferocious. They are going to be a power in this coming season. Offense is clearly our weaker team, but should be a big improvement. Golden Tate made some impressive catches along with Braylon Edwards. Hopefully, Edwards has all of his drops out of him by this point. Terrel Owens was not at camp today, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, so no news on how he looks. Miller and Winslow look like they are going to play key roles in our new offense and with the receivers we have Flynn should be more than adequate. Ricardo Lockette is the only guy who is consistently capable of being a down-field threat while everyone else is mid- to short field. From what I could see, Flynn looks very comfortable with this setup.
These are my observations from training camp today. It was a very enlightening experience and I walked away even more excited about the 2012 season than I was before. (I didn’t even know that was possible.) While Carroll has been molding the defense to his image the last two years, I think this year fans will see an entirely different beast that exists to own the field. There is a sense of confidence and pride that you can feel from the players, a lot of which I think comes from the Seahawks fan base in general (and will also be the topic of a future post). At this point though, I don’t think there is any reason, barring unforeseen injuries, as to why the Seahawks can’t have a winning record and playoff berth this season.