Observations from Hawks Training Camp
Since many of the Wait For It Seattle readers have short attention spans and thus can’t handle a longer post, I will present my observations from Hawks Training Camp (Wednesday, July 31st) in bullet format.
*Note: any inaccuracies can be attributed to my three year old son distracting me. Or my 61 year old father distracting me. They aren’t my fault obviously.
- Even though he struggles in the clutch and can’t always read a defense well enough (don’t even mention his lack of accuracy), Tavaris Jackson can put some heat on the football. In watching QB drills, Jackson was absolutely firing the ball to the receivers and it didn’t matter the route. Physically, T-Jack is fun to watch. In drills.
- Speaking of arm strength, if there is one thing Russell Wilson can do it is chuck the deep ball with accuracy. On Wednesday, he threw an absolutely beautiful bomb to Chris Harper down the sideline and another nice one to Golden Tate. Remember this? (Skip to 1:10 mark)
- The inflatable course for kids is no challenge whatsoever, even if I had to sign a waiver. Through two runs, Lincoln resembles a running style more like Barry Sanders (refusing to go straight as he circled around the inflatables so he didn’t have to get out) than Christian Okoye.
- Chris Harper looks like he can play. The 6’1 rookie out of Kansas State made plays yesterday and has the size to be a force on offense. He had a great double move on the Wilson deep ball. Russell Wilson confirmed my belief that Harper was playing well by citing him on Mitch in the Morning today in an interview. The problem is that we can’t really except much of Harper come regular season time. Most rookie WRs are pretty limited in their production (Doug Baldwin being the most recent Seahawks exception). Golden Tate had 21 catches in his rookie season. If Harper could do that, my guess is that we would all be thrilled.
- As other writers have pointed out and Richard Sherman confirmed this morning on Brock and Danny, Bryan Walters is having a good camp. To be honest, I had to look up the roster to figure out who he was after I noticed he kept getting separation from the corners in drills and making catch after catch. Walters is someone to keep an eye on in preseason games as he battles with Stephen Williams and other potential signings (Early Doucet?) for the last receiver spot.
- Brady Quinn was running read option. Hilarious.
- The process to get into practice was ridiculously more efficient and fast than two years ago when I attended. This was much appreciated with a three year old. It also meant that I didn’t have breakfast and had to turn to a pulled pork sandwich from Metropolitan Grill at 9:45 a.m. You can either view that as awesome or repulsive. I prefer awesome.
- The presence of an original Jon Kitna white jersey was appreciated. Nice work sir.
- The presence of the most recent blue Seahawks jerseys before the current version was not appreciated. You don’t realize how ugly those blue jerseys were until you get the best jerseys in the league as we currently have. (P.S. picked up a Russell Wilson jersey at the Nike employee store recently. I convinced my wife it was worth it because it was only $68. She got some socks so we’ll call it good).
- I find the “kicking field” to be hilarious. As everyone else struggles through drills, 7 on 7’s and full scrimmage two-minute drill, Jon Ryan, Carson Wiggs and Steven Hauschka basically “F” around on the kicking field. It is no surprise kickers and punters struggle to blend in to the locker room. Thank god Jon Ryan is hilarious.
- Love the signing of O’Brien Schofield. While still early in his Hawk days, he showed great speed coming off the edge in getting to Russell Wilson. Love his potential filling in for Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin early on.
- While watching 1 on 1 drills with corners and receivers, it is clear how physical Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are. Crazy physical. Will Blackmon, Jeremy Lane, and Ron Parker would give a little shove as the receiver started his route, but Browner and Sherman absolutely mauled the receivers so they couldn’t run their route at all. It almost wasn’t fair. I guess if you are Jim Harbaugh, it isn’t fair.
From Niner blog in October 2012: “Well, I wouldn’t use the words ‘locked up,’” he said. “There’s another word I would use. But, we’ll take that up with the officials in New York, and get their view of it. That’s the only position that we can be in.”
Harbaugh said he wanted clarity on what Seattle’s corners could get away with in coverage before the teams met again.
“Yeah, I think that’s just an important thing to address,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, what is this all being defined as? Is it physical play? Is it within the rules? I think that’s the biggest question, is it within the rules what’s happening? We have to ask that question. We have to know what the interpretation is.”
- Spencer Ware is going to push for a spot on this roster. Ok, that was sort of an obvious and dumb statement. I should say this: the running back/fullback position will be interesting to watch come preseason games. Michael Robinson is a team leader and a Pro Bowl caliber fullback (not to mention Marshawn’s guy), but Spencer Ware has an interest skill set. He stood out to me for his quickness and overall speed during practice. I wonder if the Hawks would keep five backs. Seems unlikely especially with the injuries to tight ends and receivers.
- Marshawn Lynch looks fast as hell. I was worried about him breaking down a bit after last season. I’m less worried now.
- Antoine Winfield is tiny in comparison to Browner and Sherman. I guess I didn’t realize how small Winfield was. He is clearly the slot corner. There is no way, even if Sherm and Browner got hurt, the Hawks put him on the outside. It just isn’t their style of play. Winfield is 5-9, 180 lbs. He looks like he is 5’3 next to Browner.
- People have been commenting that the defense is dominating the offense and this appeared to continue on Wednesday. Wilson was rushed consistently and didn’t have receivers open during the two minute drill. But you know what would help Russ? Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Zach Miller. While obviously Harvin won’t be back, those other two are arguably the best targets for Russ. Don’t worry for now.
- Some guy had a “Team Blitz” t-shirt on. Take his man card now.