Relax, It’s Training Camp


Jul 27, 2013; Renton, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Spencer Ware (44) fights for extra yards while being wrapped up by Seattle Seahawks strong safety Winston Guy (27) during the 3rd day of training camp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp has finally started and with it the daily training camp reports, which is simply reporters covering a team’s practice. When you think about it, that’s just a little bit nuts. During the season we don’t see reports on who’s looking good in practice, unless it’s from a sideline reporter who is desperate for content or when discussing a depth player who will have to step up due to injury.

However, because football has been away so long, the hunger for news about our favorite football teams is so palpable you could stab it with a fork. (Why do knives get all the metaphors?) As a result, we get reports on every single little thing that happens and we lap up the tidbits of information because it is better than the off-season void. To be fair, there has been some substantial news  for the Seahawks, it has just been bad news regarding Seattle’s biggest off-season acquisition.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to criticize anyone. Keith does training camp notes here and I think they are good and worth reading, largely because he keeps things in perspective. I’m also not taking aim at Field Gulls because I am definitely a fan of what they do over there as well. However, for the purposes of making my point I’m going to borrow the tweets from this article published yesterday on training camp. It’s not that I don’t like the enthusiasm about the Seahawks players, and there is a lot to like, I just think we should rein it in a bit around this time of year.

Tweet 1: @Brady Henderson: “Carroll mentioned that Bryan Walters, a Kirkland native, is having a great training camp.

This is reasonable. This is what we really should be hearing. X player is having a good camp. That being said, I would heavily bet against Walters making this team so this is more of a nice story than a relevant note.

Tweet 2: @Curtis_Crabtree: “Early reviews on O’Brien Schofield seem to be really positive. Carroll and LB coach Ken Norton raved about him.”

This is still within the realm of reason. Schofield definitely has some talent and first impressions are important. Even if they did rave about him, it’s hard to take it too seriously. It’s not like they are going to say he was awful.

Tweet 3: @DavisHsuSeattle: “Rob Rang on Ian, says Kearse looks like the best player on the field at times.”

These tweets are the sort of thing that I take issue with. Kearse may have had a good play or two but there is no time when he is the best player on the field or particularly close to it. This time of year creates so many inflated expectations about players. There is very little you should be expecting from Kearse.

Tweet 4: @DavisHsuSeattle “someone inside Hawks thinks Mayowa is a like a little “mini-Chris Clemons”…wow.- per Rang.”

I like Mayowa and he was part of my “Obscure Seahawks Bi-Weekly” series earlier in the summer but that comparison is ridiculous. I’m not blaming anyone because everyone is just relaying what they’ve heard, but that doesn’t mean the comparison isn’t absurd.

I suppose I sound like a football Grinch and I really don’t want to make anyone less excited, but people need to keep in mind how infrequently training camp stories end up becoming a reality. We want to hear them because we hunger for news and want to be ahead of the curve and it’s understandable.

Russell Wilson is a huge exception to what I’m saying here given the glowing reports he received last year, but people tend to always say good things about incoming rookies. A player’s track record on the field should always tell you a lot more than reports on how they practice in training camp. Coaches are incentivized to provide positive reports and so are reporters and that’s largely what you are going to see.

If Mayowa and Kearse go on to starring roles on the Seahawks in 2013, I will happily eat crow. That’s a part of what we at 12thmanrising do. I called for Matt Flynn to start last year, for example. However, while I will be wrong from time to time I think the odds are with me when I advise Seahawks fans to look at past performance as opposed to current training camp reports.

I enjoy these reports too but remember that we are talking about practice, not a game. Not a game, practice.