As will be our custom during OTAs and camps this year, here are five impressions of the day from Seahawk beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
1, One thing the Seahawks always bring up when talking about rookie wide receiver Kevin Norwood is his ability to make contested catches on jump balls. That attribute was noticeable during Monday’s practice, with Norwood hauling in a number of catches, including a jump ball in the end zone while practicing a Hail Mary situation. Norwood is 6-2 and 200 pounds, and Seattle’s scouts really liked his knack for going up and making contested catches. That could separate him in a competitive and crowded receiving corps.
2, Greg Scruggs played both defensive end and defensive tackle on Monday. Scruggs is one of those “redshirt” guys you’ll hear Pete Carroll and his coaches talk about because he missed all of last year with an injury. Seattle’s coaches like versatility, particularly when it comes to mixing and matching along the defensive line. Scruggs, at least at this point, looks like he could give them that. He lined up as a defensive end in base defense situations (mostly first and second down) while sliding inside during passing situations.
3, The battle for “depth” spots in the secondary seems pretty wide open. At this point, the core of the Seahawks’ secondary is in place: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell. Jeremy Lane also looks to be the heavy favorite to lock up Seattle’s nickel cornerback duties, and Jeron Johnson should backup Chancellor at strong safety. But the safety spot behind Thomas, and the other cornerback spots behind Lane, appear all wide open with DeShawn Shead, Phillip Adams, Tharold Simon, Akeem Auguste, Terrance Parks, Chandler Fenner and Eric Pinkins battling for roles. Jefferson and Adams have both played four years in the league, while Shead, Fenner, Simon and Auguste were all with the Seahawks last year.
4, Play of the day: Percy Harvin caught a pass in the back of the end zone on a throw from Terrelle Pryor. What made the play standout, though, were two things. First, Harvin toe-tapped in the back of the end zone while securing the ball. And second, Pryor’s throw lofted over two crisscrossing defensive backs, DeShawn Shead and Terrance Parks, who both nearly got their hand on the ball.
5, Terrelle Pryor had his best day in the three days we’ve been allowed to watch practice, but he’s been inconsistent in the three practices we’ve been allowed to watch. Pryor hit Harvin for a touchdown on a well-placed throw in the back of the end zone, and he did the same with Norwood. But he has missed some throws he probably should have made, including a few on Monday.
And five from Condotta:
1, Second-round draft pick Justin Britt continues to impress. Today. he got much of the work as the starting right tackle with Michael Bowie nursing a shoulder injury. Coaches continues to talk of his maturity and ability to pick things up quickly. As Carroll noted, the real test comes down the road when pads go on — the physical readiness of players is harder to assess in these situations. But Carroll said today that “all the indications” right now are that Britt is what they expected and could have a big role this season. Alvin Bailey continues to run with the ones at left tackle with Russell Okung out, as well, with usual starters James Carpenter and J.R. Sweezy at guard and Max Unger at center. The No. 2 offensive line today was, right to left, Britt (when not with the ones), Stephen Schilling, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Caylin Hauptmann and Garry Gilliam. Hauptmann is also on the No. 1 field goal unit.
2, As Jayson mentioned, Norwood had a good day, and continues to appear to also be what the team expected. And goes without saying the heated competition for the last spot or so on the roster at WR. Bryan Walters has been reported to have good days in some of the OTAs we haven’t seen, and had a few nice plays today, though he also had a drop in the late going. He worked consistently with the No. 2 WR rotation today alongside Norwood and Ricardo Lockette, with Paul Richardson and Sidney Rice out and Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse the No. 1s.
3, As Jayson mentioned, Pryor had the best day of what we’ve seen from him, getting a lot of work with Tarvaris Jackson not here. Jackson and Russell Wilson took all the snaps except for the last series, which went to B.J. Daniels, who completed mid-range passes to Cooper Helfet and Lockette, and then on third down — with the starting units on each sides barking from the sidelines — hit Arceto Clark over the middle for a touchdown. Keith Price didn’t get any work, possibly still bothered by the groin injury he had earlier.
4, Carroll again singled out LB Korey Toomer saying he is “probably the brightest guy of the whole camp. His speed is really obvious.” Toomer is playing strongside linebacker and had at least one sack today coming off the edge on what again was a day largely dominated by the defense. There was at least one “pick six” when Michael Bennett tipped a Pryor pass that was picked off by Bobby Wagner and returned down the sideline. Richard Sherman appeared to cost Earl Thomas a pick when he leaped to bat away a pass that likely would have landed in the hands of Thomas. We could hear Sherman apologizing saying that he jumped and saw Thomas and “I was like ‘oh no.”’
5, As Jayson noted, there was a lot of work today on specialty situations, such as Hail Mary’s. There was also a drill where a rusher broke immediately through to get Wilson on the run, forcing the receivers to have to react to where Wilson was going. It’s the kind of thing we see the Seahawks do so well during the season — Wilson scrambling and the receivers reacting and understanding where to go to take advantage of their quarterback’s ability to escape the pressure. Such plays look completely improvised on gameday. But as the Seahawks often note, they are also the result of lots of work in practice. And we saw some of that today.