No pads in practice today, and the team appears to be taking it easy and intentionally slowing things down. I’m guessing that this is in part because tomorrow is the “mock game,” and partly because of the mounting injury list. It unfortunately means that there wasn’t as much to see and write about in these notes.
DT Jesse Williams got the day off again today. Its expected that he’s going to need lots of days off because of his knee, so there’s no reason to worry unless these days off start to string together.
Including Williams, there was 19 players sitting out today, and a 20th, WR Greg Herd, was injured during practice. That’s 22% of the roster. This is getting concerning, though I expect to see players begin to return to the field Sunday after the day off on Saturday. Pete Carroll said that a lot of the guys could play if they needed to. He mentioned Bobby Wagner (sore shoulder) and Jeremy Lane (bruised foot) specifically. He said the team is resting guys because this is the time to do that.
The other Williams, WR Stephen Williams, stood out again today. He got reps in the slot in 7 on 7 drills, and his 6-5 size created some interesting mismatch problems. It’s not usual to see a guy that big in the slot, and it instantly made me think of Marques Colston of the Saints. That’s probably an unrealistic expectation for Williams, but it was interesting to see him get reps there.
I finally got a good look at O’Brian Schofield, and I suspect he’s not going to be “automatic cut” that everyone is expecting. I know his salary stacks the deck against him, but he’s a natural fit athletically for this defense. Good (not great) lateral movement, and capable of short distance explosive movements. He also stopped a drill to ask questions to make sure he was doing what was asked of him correctly the first time. The coaches love that sort of thing. He’d be good depth, and might push Smith for his job, but he wont remind you of Wagner or Wright in terms of potential production.
Speaking of watching the LBs, watching Ken Norton Jr. coach is a real treat. I know we always talk about the players, but the coaches deserve mentions here as well. Norton is probably the coach I enjoy watching the most out of all I’ve seen over the years. If you get a chance at practice, just watch and listen, I guarantee you’ll learn something.
The defense won today. All three QBs struggled, even Wilson who threw a pick to Earl Thomas. Jackson and Quinn both struggles to complete passes. It was a rough day for the offense all around.
James Carpenter got more reps with the #1 offense at LG than he’d been getting. It’s been fairly clear from the beginning that he was going to take that spot back at some point, and it appears it’s going to be sooner rather than later. JR Sweezy got the 1st team reps at RG today.
Alvin Bailey got some reps with the 1st team at LT. (Don’t worry, there was nothing wrong with Okung, it was just the way the rotations was set up today.) That’s a good sign for him, and shows how much he’s impressed so far in camp. I think he could definitely end up as the #3 OT when the team cuts down to 53.
Tomorrow is the annual “mock game.” Practice starts at 1:pm, and will consist of offense vs. defense in various game situations.