Seahawks training camp notes: QB "competition", secondary shining, offensive line observations
Seaside Joe 1242: Rounding up the news from the first week
In case you missed yesterday’s update after I send out the J.R. Sweezy e-mail, indeed the Seahawks only signed Sweezy to a one-day “retirement” contract. That’s what I get for rushing out a bonus e-mail to promote the podcast I recorded with Thad Wenatchee on Friday, which you can watch here. We talk about the current roster and what to expect moving forward to 2023—like which positions are going to be prioritized in the draft?
I think we already have a pretty good idea, even beyond the obvious situation at quarterback.
And despite quarterback competitions usually being the biggest story at a respective training camp where one is happening, the dominant news on Friday was Seahawks fans settling into the finalization of DK Metcalf’s three-year extension with Seattle.
Unsurprisingly, Pete Carroll called Metcalf a vital part of the team’s core and compared him to Kam Chancellor in how well liked and respected he is as a football player. Metcalf won’t be slowing down his progress just because he got a $30 million signing bonus, as he still has a lot left to prove. Having something to prove as a late second round pick who should have gone in the top-10, Metcalf knows the effort it takes to make people regret doubting his abilities.
With or without a franchise quarterback.
Spotrac’s breakdown of the contract has this important language:
So for practical purposes, this is a 3 year, $58.2M contract, with a 1 year, $18M “option” thereafter. This $58.2M is all guaranteed for injury at the time of signing.
But nobody will ever call it a “three-year, $58.2 million contract with an $18 million option,” they will only ever refer to it as a $72 million deal. Which is fair! That’s what it is too, but we always need to be cognizant of “How much is guaranteed in the first three years” with any big contract because that is the heart of every deal; the majority of players will never play the final year or final several years of huge contract extensions.
With it only being a three-year deal, it makes it more likely that Metcalf will be a great player for the life of it.
Also, Metcalf’s agent Tory Dandy is having a great offseason. I guess for agents, it’s more of an on-season.
Metcalf’s deal It becomes the 3rd high impact, 3-year, simple structure WR contract from agent Tory Dandy this offseason (Chris Godwin, Mike Williams). Dandy also represents A.J. Brown, who wound up with 4 new years in Philly, as well as Marquise Brown/Deebo Samuel - who are certain to be next in this conversation.
Geno Smith gave him his props after the deal and that comes as no surprise, since Smith is looking for Metcalf to make him look good (again) this year.
So while Sweezy signed a one-day deal to retire as a Seahawk, maybe Metcalf signed a three-year extension to start the process of one day retiring as a Seahawk.
I am not able to attend Seahawks training camp, and you probably couldn’t make it there either. So let’s touch base with those who can be there and what the news is at the end of the first week of training camp.
Gregg Bell notes:
Geno’s day two struggles
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Though there has been talk in the first week of Drew Lock making some “typical Drew Lock errors” and maybe not earning the starting gig, it hasn’t been positive for Geno Smith either. Bell notes that “Smith struggled,” including THREE dropped snaps. Is that what happens when it’s been eight years since a team prepared for you to be the Week 1 starter?
If Lock can even just master taking a snap, turning around, and handing the ball to the nearest player, he could win the job blindfolded. In the first week of camp, it doesn’t appear that either quarterback can see the field.
Pete will probably have to use the term “old school football” a lot this season as a way to distract people away from saying “bad quarterbacks.”
Bell also praised cornerbacks Sidney Jones, Tariq Woolen, and Coby Bryant, as a lot of people have through the first week. I’m not comparing Seattle to the 2021 Bengals, but one underrated aspect of Cincinnati’s Super Bowl run was the patchwork cornerbacks unit of Mike Hilton, Chidobe Awuzie, and Eli Apple. All discarded by other teams, they had a stellar first season together.
Al Woods is a late blooming star
I find it annoying when people tend to “over-hype” a player because he’s “unusual” in some way, usually by age or size (lol’ing at “fat man touchdowns” is not my cup of tea), but in Woods’ case the hype is real. He had a career-year in 2021 and Woods didn’t even play in 2020. Out of nowhere, Al Woods is one of the Seahawks most valuable players. Imagine if he makes his first Pro Bowl at 35.
Dee Eskridge remains out
As I said in Friday’s podcast in one of my emotional moments, you just need to be out there on the field, Dee Eskridge. I know it’s out of your control, but no progress is going to happen for as long as you’re not practicing and at least one rookie receiver seems to be stepping up in your absence.
Tre Brown out
It’s probable that Sidney Jones is going to start. So far, Artie Burns is working opposite of him. But Coby Bryant has impressed and Tariq Woolen seems further ahead of schedule than expected. Does Justin Coleman have the nickel job locked up? Not yet, but that’s where he’s been starting early in camp.
And Ugo Amadi is regularly seeing the field as a third safety. Ryan Neal is the next-man-up after Jamal Adams, so that would be Quandre Diggs, Amadi, and Neal, with Coleman as a nickel.
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Corbin Smith’s notes:
On Geno Smith vs Drew Lock
For a second straight day, Smith took the majority of the first-team reps, hooking up with receiver Marquise Goodwin on a 20-yard dig route. One play later, undrafted rookie Kevin Kassis beat Marquise Blair on a crosser and the veteran hit him in stride, allowing the former Montana State standout to race down the sidelines for the longest play of the afternoon. As for Lock, while he underthrew a couple of downfield throws and didn't see a wide open Colby Parkinson running down the seam on one play, he enjoyed a stretch completing six out of seven passes, including a 20-yard hookup with tight end Noah Fant and a pair of completions on dig routes to rookie Dareke Young.
Smith noted some “underthrown” passes by Lock and missing a wide open Colby Parkinson. He may also have a good relationship developing with Dareke Young.
Lock got some love from the national media this week for connecting on these passes to a net.
Dear Jacob Eason… you’ve still got a chance!
Pete Carroll mentions “Ricardo Lockette” when discussing Dareke Young
“Everything that we have seen looks good," coach Pete Carroll said after practice. "You can see that he’s a different receiver in that he has a real well built big frame, he’s a big strong kid, and he plays with it. The 83 looks pretty good, I keep thinking of Rocket [Ricardo Lockette] every time we see him. He made good first impressions.”
As far as seventh round receivers go, it’s a lot of talk about Dareke Young and none yet on Bo Melton.
Jake Curhan over Abe Lucas so far
This includes right tackle Abraham Lucas, who has started off his first camp playing with the second unit behind Jake Curhan, who started the final five games last season.
Abe Lucas is getting his chances with the 1s and he may end camp as the starting right tackle. So far, Jake Curhan seems to have the lead and that’s fine too. Imagine if Curhan wins the starting gig and then has a great season; the Seahawks will then have at least three tackles who they really like, probably. Is this offensive line better than last year’s offensive line with Duane Brown and Brandon Shell? You tell me:
Tariq Woolen’s early bet to earn snaps as a rookie
Towering over his teammates at 6-foot-4 with 33 1/2-inch arms and putting his 4.26 40-yard dash speed on display for all to see, Woolen has been making big plays every day at practice. After registering a breakup on Tuesday, he turned in one of the highlight plays from Wednesday's session, staying stride for stride with explosive receiver Marquise Goodwin on a vertical route.
Tariq Woolen only started playing cornerback a couple years ago. George Fant only started playing football a couple of years before he was starting at left tackle for an NFL team. Anything is possible.
John Boyle’s notes:
Jamal Adams hand issues
"He just felt something that didn't feel right, so he has to get it checked out," Carroll said. "He's really concerned, he's really upset that he has to miss anything, but we jumped right at the chance to take care of it and see what's going on right now."
But Quandre Diggs is having no issues
"He had a fantastic first day," Carroll said… "Quandre looked great yesterday. You could not tell anything (about the injury). He had a couple of bursts in coverage opportunities that he was flying around the field. I think he logged the most plays in the day, so we cut it back a little bit today. He was full-go, that was great."
You have probably already heard that Jamal Adams has a broken finger and will miss a lot of practice. It’s unfortunate but there could always be worse news about Jamal Adams, as we know by now. Ian Rapoport said he has heard that Adams should be fine and be ready for Week 1.
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High praise for Jordyn Brooks
"He's a heck of a football player. There is no ceiling to his game, he is as good as a guy can be."
I have been pretty cautious with expecting a lot from Jordyn Brooks after he had a good, but mixed season in 2021. However, I’m ready to buy in and believe in him completely. It could be a Pro Bowl season based on how coaches expect him to thrive for Clint Hurtt.
Marquise Goodwin could have a role in the offense after all
Marquise Goodwin is 31 years old and heading into his ninth NFL season, but the former Olympic long-jumper is showing early in his first camp with Seattle that he still has world-class speed. And while Goodwin is a few years removed from his most productive seasons, including a 56-catch, 962-yard campaign in 2017, he is showing with his speed and ability to get open that he is very much in the running for a role in Seattle's offense. It also helps that he spent two seasons in Buffalo working with current Seahawks receivers coach and passing game coordinator Sanjay Lal.
The one position that gets overrated the most in training camp and preseason is WR and there is no close second. Receivers have the ability to make HIGHLIGHT plays but there are so many intricacies to playing the position well that we never see/hear about/know about and that’s what trips up most of those guys. So “standouts” are often wide receivers because they can turn heads while also being well behind other players in certain areas of development.
Right now, we know that Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are starting. We know that Eskridge is getting a roster spot, and probably Freddie Swain too. We’re also hearing that Marquise Goodwin, Young, and Cody Thompson have done a lot of good things in the offseason and now camp. That’s already seven receivers. Will Seattle even keep six of those guys?
Sidney Jones IV unchallenged as CB1
"Sidney is a playmaker, he is a field guy, he has great awareness, he's really smart, positions, sees well, reads well, has terrific hands, and plays the ball really well," Carroll said. "Now that he has showed us that he knows what is going on, knows how we want to play him, and how it fits in the scheme, now we are really trying to draw to his strengths and allow him to fit in.”
Carroll compared Coby Bryant to Jones, saying they “have a really similar makeup in their way.”
If the Seahawks keep six cornerbacks (Jones, Coleman, Burns, Bryant, Woolen, Brown), that would be one more than they kept last season. Where would that leave Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi as hybrid defensive backs? Do the numbers all fit in the secondary?
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Tim Weaver’s notes (7/27):
Smith’s early lead over Lock
In the competition to determine who will replace Russell Wilson as the team’s starting quarterback Geno Smith remains in the lead. Smith continued to run with the first-team offense today, while Drew Lock led the backups.
As you know!
Artie Burns starting opposite of Jones
Can Burns hold this role for the next six weeks and so on?
Phil Haynes alternating with Gabe Jackson
Underrated developing storyline could be Phil Haynes forcing the Seahawks to choose between him and Gabe Jackson. Would any team step up as a trade partner for Jackson, relieving Seattle of his 2022 base salary? I’ve been expecting that to happen since free agency but also Jackson is the current starting right guard so the team won’t be in a rush.
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I’m getting all my news from camp in a one stop. Great compilation.
I could well be wrong, but I don't think Curhan is a starting caliber RT in this league, to date. He is what Pete calls "a battler." Don't think he has the feet/lateral movement. That's why my guess is that this will be Lucas's job at some point fairly soon.