Seahawks training camp takeaways: Secondary swaps, up-and-coming receivers
The Seahawks wrapped up their second day of training camp Friday, which included a few more reps for young defensive backs and some highlights from wide receivers. The team will take a day off tomorrow before resuming practice Sunday.
Here’s what you need to know from Day 2:
More shuffling in the secondary
With Earl Thomas in the midst of a holdout, the Seahawks turned to Tedric Thompson for first-team reps at free safety Thursday. Thompson continued to get work in with the starters Friday, but was occasionally swapped out with Bradley McDougald to allow second-year player Delano Hill reps at strong safety.
While head coach Pete Carroll has frequently championed competition at every position, Seattle boasted the three returning starters in the secondary for seven consecutive years: cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, and free safety Earl Thomas.
This year things are, quite obviously, different. Veteran Seahawk Byron Maxwell will return as a starter at right corner, while second-year pro Shaquill Griffin will get his chance to start at left cornerback. But the safety situation is less settled. Bradley McDougald, one of the team’s most versatile defensive backs, will presumably start at either strong or free safety – a move that will be decided by the performance of Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, and Maurice Alexander.
The shuffling is certainly a change, but head coach Pete Carroll doesn’t mind solving the puzzle.
“It’s a blast,” Carroll told reporters Friday. “Because we’re trying to figure out what unique qualities each guy brings and then how we will bring that to the surface. We haven’t seen Mo Alexander much yet. He’ll be two more days before he’s cut loose out here. And he’ll bring something special too. So it’s going to be a process and we’ve got to be patient with it. Make sure we watch real well, listen real well and evaluate properly, and continue to connect with these guys to bring out their best.”
Young receivers get more time
Friday featured a few big catches from Seattle’s younger receivers. Chief among those is 2017 seventh-round pick David Moore, who drew cheers from fans after reeling in a deep pass from quarterback Russell Wilson.
“Thrilled to see that today,” Pete Carroll said. “Particularly to get him going. He’s a real natural athlete, a real natural ball player. Got good instincts and feel, and he’s really strong. Weighs 215 pounds or something like that. You don’t think he’s as big as he is.
“He came form a real small school and had a background not quite like the kind of stuff we play now. So he’s got a lot of potential to grow into our stuff. But he’s got enough ability that we’re looking for ways to get him the football. If you noticed, today was a good exmaple of that, to try to show what he can do so that we can make that evaluation too. I don’t feel like we got that done totally last year… just couldn’t come along fast enough. But now he’s ready, and it was a very exciting day out there for him today.”
Wide receiver Marcus Johnson also reeled in an impressive catch, this one along the sideline. Though the pass wasn’t from Wilson, the veteran quarterback took notice.
“(Johnson) is a special player,” Wilson said. “He’s worked hard, he stays late, he gets here super early. He’s dedicated. We talked all offseason. He makes a lot of plays, looks really good so far… today he showed up in a big, big way (and) made some crucial plays down the field.”
Seattle originally acquired Johnson as part of a March trade that sent defensive end Michael Bennett to the Eagles.