Here are today’s impressions from Seahawks practice from beat writers Jayson Jenks and Bob Condotta.
1. The role of second-year tight end Luke Willson once again just got more important with Tuesday’s injury to fellow tight end Anthony McCoy. Coach Pete Carroll said the early indications are that McCoy’s Achilles injury appears serious; McCoy missed all of last season with an injury to his other Achilles. That forced Willson into immediate action, and he served as the backup to Zach Miller. If the early indications about McCoy’s injury hold up, Willson will be equally important this year. The Seahawks view Willson as a tight end capable of stretching the field with his speed, and he finished last season with 20 catches for 272 yards and one touchdown.
2. Rookie right tackle Justin Britt appeared to have a rough day during Tuesday’s practice. Carroll said the Seahawks matched up Britt opposite veteran defensive end Cliff Avril to make it as hard on him as possible, and it showed. It was another reminder that Britt has a long way to go, something offensive line coach Tom Cable said last week. And it’s part of the reason the Seahawks brought in veteran right tackle Eric Winston on Tuesday.
3. As was the case in June, it appears that defensive tackle Jordan Hill is the front-runner to fill the role left behind with the departure of Clinton McDonald. McDonald, a defensive tackle who signed with the Buccaneers in the offseason, was a real weapon for Seattle in passing and third-down situations. He had 5.5 sacks last season, more than defensive end Chris Clemons. That spot proved important for the Seahawks last season, and Hill has continued seeing time in that role so far this offseason.
And from Condotta:
1. With James Carpenter sidelined for almost the entire practice with a calf issue — it didn’t appear serious — Caylin Hauptmann got all the reps with the starting offense at left guard. And right now, he seems like a pretty sure bet to make the team. Cable, asked earlier this week to name a nonstarter who has caught his eye, mentioned Hauptmann first and said he “has really progressed from spring.’’ Cable also mentioned Lemuel Jeanpierre and Stephen Schilling in noting that he feels pretty good about the interior of the offensive line. As Jayson noted above, the signing of Winston indicates they don’t feel quite as good about the depth at tackle.
2. I thought this might have been the best overall practice for Terrelle Pryor, who got most of the work at quarterback behind Russell Wilson. Tarvaris Jackson got some, too, so it didn’t appear to be an injury issue that had Pryor getting most of the work. He was on the money with a few deep throws, once notably on a long TD pass to Paul Richardson. His noted mobility came into play on that one as he stepped up into the pocket and delivered a good pass. A couple of times, he also broke loose for what would likely have been long gains running the ball — plays usually are whistled dead pretty quickly when QBs break free. The team really trusts Jackson, and he’s one of the more respected players in the locker room. But if today is any indication, Pryor appears to be making an impression with his play and Seattle might have a big decision on its hands whether it keeps two QBs or three — and which two if it keeps only two.
3. It’s still just the fourth day of camp, the time of year when the team can work on some specialty situations in drills. One thing I noticed the defensive linemen doing in early work today was lining up and then dropping quickly into coverage and then being thrown passes. Sort of fun to see the likes of Brandon Mebane moving back and catching passes and turning and running. Teams practice this kind of stuff all the time — this wasn’t an unusual drill or anything. But it was a reminder that when you see defensive tackles get the occasional interception — McDonald got one last year, for instance — they have had some practice at it, with NFL teams using this time of year to prepare for everything.