5 Takeaways from Day 2 of Seahawks mandatory minicamp
The Seahawks kicked off their second mandatory minicamp Wednesday. Linebacker K.J. Wright and safety Bradley McDougald spoke with reporters after practice to share some insight.
Here are a few takeaways:
1. It’s ‘the circle of life’ for K.J. Wright.
With Earl Thomas’ holdout looming over camp, it’s easy to forget about contract situations with veterans. Linebacker KJ Wright, who turns 29 this summer, is also entering the final year of his deal and knows there’s a level of uncertainty about his future with Seattle. But Wright is also enjoying spending time with the newest linebackers.
“It’s just fun to re-start something and just rebuild with new guys,” Wright told reporters. “For me to be in a position to show my leadership abilities, to show the guys how to play the game, because there’s a lot of guys that haven’t played a lot of football. For me to be in the position I have, going on eight years, it feels good to share my knowledge, share my experience, my scars with these guys. So me and Bobby (Wagner) are just running the show, showing guys how it’s supposed to be done and just keeping the standard going.”
Wright is the senior-most player in the group of 11 linebackers currently on the roster. Asked if it’s awkward to coach up younger talent knowing they’ll eventually push for his starting role, Wright said he embraces the role of teacher.
“I’m gonna share everything that I’ve got,” Wright said. “It’s the circle of life.”
2. Is it misguided to say this defense faces low expectations?
This Seahawks defense enters the year without longtime veterans Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril. With Thomas in a holdout and safety Kam Chancellor dealing with a serious neck injury, Seattle could be short five Pro Bowl-caliber names on that side of the ball.
“On the outside yeah, (expectations) may be bad,” Wright said. “But me, and this defense going forward, we expect the standard to be kept very high. Just because those guys have left doesn’t mean it should be a bad defense. My coach, Ken Norton, has come back. And we have a lot of history together and so I want to make sure that his first year as defensive coordinator is an outstanding year.”
3. Linebacker Shaquem Griffin is an eager pupil.
Rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin was one of the more high-profile players in this year’s draft class. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll stressed post-draft that Griffin isn’t just a feel-good story (he became the league’s first one-handed player when he was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round) but that he’s also in camp to compete for a spot on the final roster. And Wright indicated Wednesday that Griffin has immersed himself in the offseason training process.
“I love it, I love it man,” Wright said of working with Griffin. “He sits right beside me in the meeting room and he wants to learn. He’s very excited to just get going and I was going over film this morning just watching technique (with him), how you should play, ‘Don’t line up right here, line up right here, even though the coach says so, just trust me on this.’ So it’ll be good. It’s fun working with him.”
4. Bradley McDougald credits Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.
After the Seahawks wrapped up their first minicamp Tuesday, Carroll spoke with reporters and shared praise for safety Bradley McDougald, who has stepped in at both free and strong safety with Chancellor and Thomas absent.
But it’s those two players to whom McDougald credits his improvement.
“I give credit to Earl and Kam, especially Kam,” McDougald said. “Kam worked with me a lot last year – as a lot of people know, I (filled in) for him last year when he went down, he was in my ear, I used to go to his house. We still keep in contact. But just pulling away different things from those two guys right there, it (contributed) a lot to the success I had last year. (I’m) just trying to follow in their footsteps and keep things going.”
5. McDougald absolutely puts costumes on his dogs.
This was a very weird question to ask and was admittedly more for our 710 ESPN audience. But McDougald joined Danny, Dave and Moore on 710 ESPN Seattle shortly after signing a three-year deal with the Seahawks in March. When the trio got a bit personal with McDougald and talked about his life off the field, McDougald dove into a conversation about his two french bulldogs. Host Jim Moore jokingly asked whether the Seahawks safety dresses his dogs up in costumes, and McDougald surprised the group by asserting that yes, he does, and if other players don’t, “they need to wake up.”