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Clayton: 10 observations from first 3 days of Seahawks camp

Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (wrist) was active in practice Monday. (AP)

The Seahawks had their first padded practice Sunday. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer worked his offense, featuring more of an emphasis on running the ball and throwing more to the running backs.

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Let’s look at 10 observations from the first three days of camp.

• This is a faster team, both on offense and defense. With the team getting younger, there seems to be a focus on getting faster athletes. The speed is especially noticeable at wide receiver. Cyril Grayson and Marvin Bracy are track stars. Marcus Johnson and Jaron Brown run 4.4 40s or faster. Keenan Reynolds is fast. The question, however, is whether any of them can make the 53-man roster.

• Strongside linebacker Barkevious Mingo said this is the fastest group of pass-rushers he’s been around. He runs a 4.58 40. Frank Clark, Marcus Smith and Dion Jordan run in the 4.6 range, and Rasheem Green showed good speed in Sunday’s practice.

• One scary sight, though, is seeing Jordan on the sidelines after recovering from his third leg operation in 18 months. He’s supposed to miss only a couple of weeks, but if he isn’t healthy, the Seahawks have a big void in their pass-rush. Clark is also limited in practice following hand surgery, and with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril gone, the Seahawks need to keep looking for pass-rushers.

• Tedric Thompson showed great range at free safety. He came across the field Sunday and made an impressive interception off of Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll noted last week the Seahawks have some good coverage players at safety.

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• Fifth-round pick Tre Flowers, a safety in college, continues to look the part at cornerback. He’s tall and angular and is looking smoother in man coverage. Neiko Thorpe is ahead of him as the fourth corner on the depth chart and is having a great camp, but Flowers could be a factor if there is an injury.

• Brandon Marshall isn’t going to rush back from his toe and ankle surgeries, but he says he’s making progress. The veteran wide receiver admitted he might have rushed his recovery by doing too much too fast on his own. The Seahawks training staff is working with him closely and letting him do more each day.

• Wilson continues to impress Marshall. In OTAs, Marshall said Wilson is a top five quarterback. Now, he calls him a top three quarterback. It’s pretty clear this is the best quarterback Marshall has been around.

• After looking exceptional in the OTAs, seventh-round pick Alex McGough has shown inconsistency in the early camp. That shouldn’t be a surprise – young quarterbacks do have growing pains. Should be an interesting battle between McGough and Austin Davis for the backup QB job.

• Running back Chris Carson remains the headliner in camp. He was the star of the OTAs and mini-camp. Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise are running and catching the ball well, but it’s still Carson who has the best chance of starting.

• The offensive line looks more powerful than last year. Line coach Mike Solari is stressing leverage and power and the blockers are winning more battles in blocking drills.

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John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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