Seattle’s fourth OTA of 10 it will hold is in the books. Today’s was the second open to the media. And as we will do after each, here are five impressions from Times Seahawks beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
First, five impressions from Jenks:
1: The linebackers have made a lot of big plays — even if they haven’t been a complete unit yet. Bobby Wagner picked off Russell Wilson last week, and K.J. Wright did so this week. Wright also dove and batted down a pass across the middle on Monday. The Seahawks, though, haven’t had linebacker Malcolm Smith yet (ankle surgery) and Bruce Irvin wasn’t at Monday’s open practice after having hip surgery.
2: Play of the day: Russell Wilson rifled a deep pass down the middle of the field to rookie receiver Paul Richardson. Richardson has been limited in team activities early this offseason, but he participated on Monday and hauled in the long touchdown pass from Wilson. Richardson is blazing fast, and he split the defensive backs right down the middle with his speed. It’s that ability to stretch the defense that made him so intriguing to the Seahawks, who drafted him in the second round this year
3: Jordan Hill received some time at defensive tackle when Seattle was in nickel. That role was filled by Clinton McDonald last season. McDonald had 5.5 sacks last year and became a valuable pass-rushing piece, but he left this offseason as a free agent. The Seahawks liked Hill’s ability to generate a pass rush when they drafted him in the third round last year, and he’ll get a shot at filling McDonald’s vacated role.
4: Rookie offensive tackle Justin Britt worked with the first-team offensive line at right tackle because Michael Bowie appeared limited. Bowie got the first-team reps during last week’s open practice. Britt and Bowie are battling for the starting right tackle position, although Bowie has the inside edge because he’s in his second year and started there when Breno Giacomini was injured a year ago.
5: Benson Mayowa looks bigger. Last week, we talked about how offensive lineman James Carpenter looked like he lost some weight. This week, we’ll talk about how Mayowa, Seattle’s second-year defensive end, looked like he had gained some. Mayowa said a couple weeks ago that he had gained about 10 to 15 pounds this offseason. He’s listed at about 252 pounds, and he played at 242 a year ago. Mayowa hardly played last season, but he struggled in the preseason and when he did play against bigger, stronger linemen. At one point last year he had a shot at sacking Cam Newton, but Newton simply shed the smaller Mayowa.
And here are five from Condotta:
1: The big news today was the absence of Irvin and another Seahawk having a hip surgery, following Percy Harvin last year and Kam Chancellor earlier this off-season. Irvin Tweeted he’ll be back by camp, and with no official word from the team, we’ll have to go with that for now and assume it’s not that big of a deal. With Smith also out, as well as O’Brien Schofield (who is mostly playing defensive end but can fill in at LB), the SLB spot today was often taken by Mike Morgan when the first unit defense was out there. Morgan’s probably not a real top-of-mind guy to a lot of fans but he did play in every game last season, primarily on special teams, the kind of role that can go unnoticed but isn’t discounted by the coaches. With the drafting of Kevin Pierre-Louis, though, the linebacker position will be that much more competitive this year for the roster spots after the starters and Morgan is a guy who will have to likely fight hard to stay on the team. So these could be critical reps for him heading into summer break and training camp.
2: I’ll piggyback what Jayson said about Mayowa looking more physically stout this season. And he appears to have put that weight on without losing a step. I watched him for a while during the defensive end drills and his first step during some of the bag drills was pretty impressive. He was almost always faster than whoever he was paired with (the drill is done with two players going at once). And I watched one play where he dropped into coverage to guard Luke Willson and seemed to hold his own. Mayowa has a big chance this season to work his way into legit playing time and so far, appears to be making an impression.
3: As Jayson noted, Bowie was out much of the day — not sure the situation but didn’t appear serious. That had Britt working at RT throughout with the No 1 OL which otherwise was the same as we have seen — Britt, J.R. Sweezy, Max Unger, James Carpenter and Alvin Bailey working right to left (Bailey in for Russell Okung, who is out til training camp). We’ve all written about Carpenter, but he continues to look better. From what I could see, he took the same amount of snaps as all the other starters, his endurance not appearing an issue right now. Britt also usually worked with the No. 2 OL so he got a lot of snaps today. The No. 2 OL right to left was usually Britt, Stephen Schilling, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Caylin Hauptmann and Garry Gilliam. As for where a few other OLs are playing? Greg Van Roten got a lot of time at center today, with Bronson Irwin at right guard, Jared Smith at left guard and Nate Isles at right tackle.
4: Jayson also stole my thunder on Richardson turning in the play of the day. We haven’t seen him much, but what we’ve seen gives every evidence that he will be a factor with the WR corps this year. Harvin also has looked great so far — he had a trademark sidestep past Jeremy Lane at one point to break into open field. All of it gives more ammo to the idea that the WR corps could be better this year than last season. Wilson said as much afterward in the video I linked, saying he thinks the receivers have been the most impressive position group of the OTAs. There are going to be some good battles for the final spot or two — or simply to remain on the practice squad. We didn’t see much out of CFL signee Chris Matthews today. But Wilson mentioned that he had a big day Friday, appearing to finally begin to make his claim for a job after he missed rookie mini-camp with a hamstring issue. (Worth noting, though, that today’s session was largely dominated by the defense. As Jayson wrote above, K.J. Wright had an interception and the offense was far from clean throughout).
5: Tarvaris Jackson was back today after missing the open OTA last week and he and Terrelle Pryor shared duties with the No. 2 offense behind Wilson — and each at times got some work with the No. 1 offense today, as well. Pryor continues to need to be a little more consistent with his throwing. We didn’t see Keith Price or B.J. Daniels do much today. Seattle hasn’t had five QBs on its roster during the Pete Carroll era, and it’ll be interesting to see how long the team continues to carry that many.
6: And I’ll add a sixth. With Marshawn Lynch out, all the TB duties are going to Christine Michael and Robert Turbin. Not sure I’d read much into anything there yet, but Michael definitely got a lot of work today with the ones.