The Seattle Seahawks had their last full practice today before their first preseason game. Tomorrow they’ll have a shortened practice that is essentially a walkthrough with the game on Friday evening.
Note: The publishing of today’s notes were delayed by a baseball no hitter. I’m not the least bit sorry.
Here are my notes from today’s practice:
Richard Sherman was given a “veteran day” today, but that didn’t stop him from having an impact. Since he wasn’t practicing, he followed Douglas McNeil around and coached him on technique through almost every rep of every drill.
Sherman has really taken a major role in McNeil’s conversion from WR to CB. McNeil still has a long way to go still before he’s ready to see regular-season playing time, but thanks to Sherman he’s already greatly improved.
Cornerback is an area where the team depth isn’t as good as advertised. This is especially true with Tharold Simon and Jeremy Lane out. If McNeil continues to learn at anything close to his current rate, he’s likely to make the roster out of training camp.
The nickel corner competition hasn’t been as good as I expected it to be. Mostly that is because Tye Smith just hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far in camp.
At this point, I see him as a distant third behind Burley and Blackmon. Blackmon might have a slight lead still, but Burley has been playing well and and is starting to get more and more time with the 1s.
I’m not willing to write Smith off though. He’s a rookie who is working hard and doing his best to learn. There is still time for all that hard work to show up on the field, but it simply hasn’t yet.
Kasen Williams’ recent performance hasn’t gone unnoticed by Seattle’s coaches. He’s getting reps with the starters now at split end. He’s been making plays as much as anyone at the position of far in camp, so now the coaches will see if he can do so against more talented defenders.
The guys he is taking reps away from, Jermaine Kearse and Chris Matthews, haven’t made many plays at all. Wilson has worked to the middle of the field to Baldwin, Lockett and Graham far more.
Much of that is the quality of Seattle’s outside cornerbacks, which is why getting Kasen reps against those guys is important. Playing against those guys will be great for Kasen’s development.
Today was Drew Nowak’s turn again with the 1s at center. There is still no word on whether he or Lemuel Jean-Pierre will start on Friday.
I suspect it’ll be LJP, and that Nowak will get significantly more playing time than any of the team’s starters. Nowak needs the experience, and having him play about half of the game at center is a great way to get him that.
Keavon Milton was with the 1s at left guard again today. While it is tough to say anything definitely because they practiced in shells today, Milton looks like he’s going to be worse than Paul McQuistan ever was as a pas blocker. Lets just say that I’m skeptical that Milton has the slightest chance of winning that job.
Lost in all the talk about center and left guard is the fact the Russell Okung is quietly have a great training camp. He looks quick, strong and powerful; more like he did in 2012 than in recent seasons.
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