As always, here are three impressions from training camp today from Seahawks beat reporters Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
1, Receiver Phil Bates had a standout practice. He caught a deep touchdown pass down the sideline in which he had a couple defensive backs in his face, and he also caught another deep touchdown in which he caught the ball in the corner of the end zone and toe-tapped before falling out of bounds.
2, The receiving corps made some nice plays, but this practice was noticeable for the number of drops — or at least passes that Seattle’s receivers should catch. Jermaine Kearse, Arceto Clark and Zach Miller all dropped open passes they’d usually catch 10 out of 10 times.
3, It’s hard for the untrained eye to pick up how an offensive lineman plays, and it’s even harder during training camp when the contact at the line is minimal. But guard James Carpenter had a couple of noticeably jarring and impressive blocks.
And from Condotta:
1, One thing striking through three practices is how stable the front-line lineups are. Injuries — and one notable holdout — mean backups are playing with the first unit at a few spots. But for the most part the lineups are pretty darn stable from day to day. Skill spots will always rotate some, but the starting WRs are Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse in a three-WR set, the TE is Zach Miller, the QB is Russell Wilson, the TBs are Christine Michael and Robert Turbin, the FB is Derrick Coleman, and the offensive line is, from left to right, Alvin Bailey (subbing for Russell Okung), James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy and Justin Britt, with Michael Bowie out for the moment.
Defensively, the No. 1 base defensive line is Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel inside and Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett at ends, Bobby Wagner at MLB, K.J. Wright at WLB, Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell at the corners, Earl Thomas at FS and Jeron Johnson at SS with Kam Chancellor out. And with Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith out, Mike Morgan is the SLB.
2, Much harder to gauge are some of the backup positions. One spot where so far there hasn’t been much change is at cornerback, where Jeremy Lane works consistently as the nickelback and Tharold Simon and A.J. Jefferson as the second-unit outside corners. Phillip Adams continues to work as the backup nickel. The backup safeties have usually been DeShawn Shead at free safety and Dion Bailey at strong safety. But in Bailey’s case, that’s working behind Johnson who is filling in for Chancellor. Right now, though, any guess of who fills out the roster in the secondary has to include all the players mentioned above.
3, Percy Harvin is expected to be the team’s main kickoff returner. But when the team worked on returns early in practice Sunday, others who got some attempts were Christine Michael, Doug Baldwin, Bryan Walters, Paul Richardson, Jefferson, Adams and newly-signed receiver David Gilreath. When the Seahawks did full team kickoff drills, Harvin got the first return, Baldwin the second and Walters the third.