Seahawks training camp, Day 5: Russell Wilson shows his burst is back
RENTON – In a commercial for his Nike cleats that were released earlier this summer, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson puts 49ers defenders on skates – literally – with his change-of-direction and elusiveness in the open field.
That ad came to mind for one teammate after a play Wilson made in Friday’s practice.
Wilson scrambled to his right and gave a subtle-yet-effective pump fake before turning up field and turning on the jets. There were no exaggerated slips from defenders, no disco lights and, as always, there was no contact allowed on the quarterback. But it was another indication that Wilson’s burst is back after knee and ankle sprains severely limited his mobility all last season.
“Skates!” one teammate was overheard yelling after Wilson juked a defender and sprinted downfield.
“That was your commercial,” he told Wilson as he ran back towards the huddle along the sideline.
After hiring a full-time trainer and adhering to a strict diet, Wilson reported to camp at 208 pounds, less than what he weighed last summer. He told “Brock and Salk” Friday morning that he “definitely” feels faster as a result of the work he put in over the offseason.
It has showed over the first five days of training camp, particularly on this play.
Here’s what else I saw Friday:
-Blair Walsh was a perfect 8 for 8 on the field goals attempts, by my count. He hit from four times from 33 yards out (which is an extra point) and his long was 51. As noted on Thursday, he’s been much better of late after an inconsistent offseason and an iffy start to camp.
-Yet another long run by running back Chris Carson, a rookie seventh-round pick who has been one of the standouts of camp so far. That came towards the end of practice. On an earlier run, he showed nice balance to keep his feet after being pin-balled by a few defenders.
-Rookie third-round pick Shaquill Griffin got some reps at right cornerback with the No. 1 defense. That was because Jeremy Lane didn’t practice for reasons unknown. Second-year cornerback DeAndre Elliott got some work covering the slot in nickel situations while Mike Morgan worked with the starters at strong-side linebacker in base.
-Rookie second-round pick Ethan Pocic worked at right tackle in place of Germain Ifedi, who didn’t practice a day after taking a punch to his face during a fight with Frank Clark. Pocic took over once Ifedi left practice on Thursday. I imagine the Seahawks would have wanted to give Pocic a look at right tackle with the starters at some point anyways. Ifedi’s absence means it’s happening now.
-Didn’t see any issues between players in this practice. Carroll made it clear while speaking with the media Thursday that he has no tolerance for what happened between Clark and Ifedi. It’s a safe bet that he made that point even more clearly and sternly with his team. Defensive coordinator Kris Richard said Clark was disciplined by the team.
-Backup quarterback Trevone Boykin had a better Friday than Thursday, when he misfired on several throws and committed a mental error. He had a nice throw on the run for a touchdown to tight end Marcus Lucas on Friday.