Seahawks training camp takeaways: Brandon Marshall shines, Bradley McDougald all-in at SS
The Seahawks closed out their final open training camp practice with some impressive plays from wide receiver Brandon Marshall, plus interviews with quarterback Russell Wilson and safety Bradley McDougald.
The team will get some lighter work in Friday before taking off for Los Angeles, where they’ll face the Chargers for their second preseason game at 7 p.m. Saturday on 710 ESPN Seattle and 97.3 KIRO Radio FM.
Here are a few takeaways:
Impressive catches for Brandon Marshall
Brandon Marshall is good at football. We know you know that. But Thursday’s practice served as a reminder that the 34-year-old Marshall can still lean into his size and savvy to pose a constant threat in the red zone. Marshall has managed to increase his reps every day in his comeback from surgery to repair an ankle and toe injury and got in a good day of work. Quarterback Russell Wilson found Marshall in the end zone a couple times. The pair connected on one particularly impressive reception, in which the 6-feet-5 Marshall beat out cornerback Dontae Johnson for a touchdown.
Wilson told reporters after practice that his connection with Marshall, whom the team signed in late May, continues to develop every day.
“He looked exceptional today,” Wilson said of Marshall. “He’s played a lot of football and he knows how to get prepared, he knows how to play at the highest level. He looked really, really good today, made a lot of great catches, caught that ball in the end zone, he’s showing up. So, he’s working his tail off…
“It’s one of those things, you can throw it anywhere and he’s going to catch it. That’s a good thing. He makes the quarterback look good, that’s for sure.”
Despite losing that battle to Marshall, Johnson has continued to get work with the starters and second team (though it’s worth nothing that starting right cornerback Byron Maxwell has returned from a groin/hamstring injury and is expected to play Saturday). Johnson missed quite a bit of offseason work recovering from a broken bone in his foot, but is in the thick of the competition since returning. Wilson mentioned Johnson by name when talking about the ongoing battle in the secondary.
“That’s going to be an interesting battle to see throughout training camp,” Wilson said. “You’ve got Dontae, who’s played a lot of football. Actually, (he) went to NC State, so I used to play against him when I was younger, too… then you have Maxwell, who’s done so many great things across the league, and obviously for us. You’ve got (Shaquill Griffin) locking it down (on the left side)… I think it’s going to be very interesting to see who fills in and who plays… I think we’re going to be very good at the cornerback position.”
Injury updates: Two running backs make a return
Rookie running back Rashaad Penny remains out after undergoing surgery to repair a broken finger, but Mike Davis (toe) returned to practice Thursday, and C.J. Prosise (hip) got in a full day of work after he was a late scratch from Seattle’s preseason opener on Aug. 9.
Players dealing with longer-term injuries remained out, including Doug Baldwin and Dion Jordan. Joining them out of action Thursday was wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who was kicked in the calf on a play during Wednesday’s practice.
Bradley McDougald is all-in at strong safety
Throughout the offseason, the Seahawks have been swapping veteran safety Bradley McDougald between free and strong safety as they work to look at second-year FS Tedric Thompson and SS Delano Hill. So far, Thompson appears to have earned the starting nod at free safety (with Earl Thomas still holding out), meaning McDougald is looking more like Seattle’s starting strong safety.
The veteran told reporters he’s adjusted his mindset accordingly.
“At this point, yeah, I’ve totally transitioned my mind to strong safety,” McDougald said. “I mean, I know free safety… and as long as you have two safeties who really know the defense and are smart and versatile, you can kind of play them either way. And I feel that with Tedric. Sometimes I’m too far away to line up in the strong safety, I can put him down there and I play my position. You want that balance, and I think Tedric has that. But going into (the season), I would say (I’m playing) strong safety.”
McDougald said he’s spoken with both Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and has leaned into Chancellor for advice.
“I still meet with Kam, I still try to get up on him as much as possible. He’s living a different life right now, so I try to respect his time. But as much as I can soak in from him, I still try to. I still try to pay heed to the man who paved the way. So I try to keep in contact with (Thomas and Chancellor) as much as possible.”