The Seahawks have officially concluded their first week of training camp, and Mike Salk and Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” are here to break down the surprises, disappointments, and highlights.
Most pleasant surprise?
Brock: Ethan Pocic
The Seahawks selected offensive lineman Ethan Pocic with their second pick (No. 58 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6-feet-7, 310-pound former LSU center offers the versatility offensive line coach Tom Cable loves from his players. Brock, who liked what he saw from the rookie on tape pre-Draft, says Pocic has has hit the ground running.
Salk: Thomas Rawls
The third-year running back is bringing the energy to Seahawks camp with his return from a fibula injury that cut short his 2016 season. Salk likes what he’s seeing from Rawls, especially when it comes to his on-field persona: “If it’s the running back’s job to set the pace in practice, then Thomas Rawls should be the starting running back on this team.”
Brock: Frank Clark
Thursday saw defensive end Frank Clark punch guard Germain Ifedi (who was not wearing his helmet at the time) in the face after a scuffle broke out during practice. Both players were sent to the locker room following the fight, and spent the next day watching practice from the sidelines. Head coach Pete Carroll expressed his disappointment, saying “there’s no room for fighting” in football, and defensive end Michael Bennett agreed that the fight crossed a line.
“The biggest disappointment in the first week is that you took a shot on your own teammate,” said Brock. “It just crossed a line. Still it’s five days later and I’m still shaking my head.”
Salk: Frank Clark and Germain Ifedi
Salk was also disappointed with the brawl between Ifedi and Clark: “Anytime you miss three practices because you’ve been fighting without helmets on in the middle of camp, you have to win the most disappointing.”
Outside of Clark and Ifedi, the biggest disappoint this week for Salk has been running back Eddie Lacy and Seahawks rookies — though he was softer in his criticism.
Most memorable soundbite?
Brock: Russell Wilson on “Brock and Salk” Friday (Listen)
After facing criticism about his relationship with teammates — in particular, cornerback Richard Sherman — Wilson joined “Brock and Salk” to talk about the rumor:
“We’ve always had an amazing relationship in terms of the professionalism and how we go about our business. We get paid to help our team win, and get paid to work hard, and get paid to do everything we can in the offseason to make sure we’re ready to roll. And that’s what we really care about. We also care about each other’s families, you know, and I know he’s got kids and I do too now and it’s like we’re here to help each other’s families, too. We’re not here to focus on anything else that anyone else is talking about. I think he kind of addressed it, but I think more than anything else we’re focused on helping our team win.”
“I thought it cut through, was totally honest, [and] wasn’t a cliché,” Brock said.
Salk: Oday Aboushi on “Danny, Dave and Moore” (Listen)
Salk particularly enjoyed the conversation new Seahawks lineman Oday Aboushi had with 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” about his volunteer work in Sudan.
“We go down with a group of maybe 30 people… and we pretty much do cleft lip and palette surgeries. And we’re there for a week, and we’re able to do 189 surgeries in 7 days. We go there on a mission and we turn and burn from the first day.”
Where is there the most competition?
Salk: running back, backside of wide receiver group
The stiff competition at running back is good news for a team that saw its running game hampered by injuries last season. Included in that rotation is Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, Alex Collins, C.J. Prosise, Chris Carson, Mike Davis, Tre Madden, and J.D. McKissic.
“I don’t even know how you make a decision with them at this point,” Salk said, adding that rookie Chris Carson has been especially impressive. Salk isn’t the only one watching Carson; Doug Baldwin called him, ‘the most polished of any rookie at that position that I have ever seen.”
Sherman is the obvious starter at left corner, but with DeShawn Shead opening camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, defensive backs Jeremy Lane, Neiko Thorpe, and DeAndre Elliot have a chance to win the job at the right spot. Lane is a favorite for the starting role, but he’ll have to fend off rookie Shaquill Griffin.
Who passes the eye test — and who fails?
Brock: Pass — Jimmy Graham; Fail — Blair Walsh
A fully-healthy Jimmy Graham is making the most of camp with a couple of highlight reel catches. Meanwhile, kicker Blair Walsh appears to have some nervous energy, making him a fail on the eye test for Brock.
Salk: Pass — Russell Wilson, Oday Aboushi, Chris Carson, Cyril Grayson; Fail — Germain Ifedi
A slimmed-down Wilson had a good first week, as did Aboushi, who is competing with Mark Glowinski for the starting job at right guard. Germain Ifedi, on the other hand, is standing out for all the wrong reasons.
“Every time he’s out there he’s looked like he’s struggled,” Salk said.
Salk: George Fant
Fant put on more than 20 pounds this offseason, and the former college basketball star looks much more comfortable at left tackle than he did in 2016.
Brock: Kenny Lawler
Lawler has also bulked up for the 2017 season. The second-year wide receiver gained 20 pounds, and according to Brock, looks like an entirely different player: “If you put a jersey on his with a different name, you wouldn’t know it was [Lawler].”
Most memorable play?
Salk: Frank Clark and Germain Ifedi fight
“Nothing is every going to compete with Frank Clark coldcocking Germain Ifedi in the face,” said Salk. Outside of that, Baldwin’s play on cornerback Demetrius McCray takes the cake.
Brock: Jimmy Graham
Graham’s spectacular one-handed, juggling catch is hard to beat.