Heaps’ top 5 Seahawks observations after Saturday’s mock game
With no Seahawks preseason games before their Sept. 13 opener against the Atlanta Falcons, it’s much harder than in a typical year to get a grip on the state of the team.
Luckily the Seahawks held a mock game Saturday at CenturyLink Field, and former Hawks quarterback and current 710 ESPN Seattle host Jake Heaps was there to observe. He opened up Monday’s edition of Tom, Jake and Stacy by sharing the five things about the team that stand out to him after that mock game and taking in several practice sessions in recent weeks.
You can hear the full discussion between Heaps and co-host Stacy Rost in the podcast at this link or in the player below.
Let’s take a look at what Heaps had to share.
Jake Heaps’ five Seahawks thoughts
5. Rookie RB Deejay Dallas has played himself into more playing time.
Heaps said he expects Dallas to “push” fellow University of Miami product Travis Homer for playing time in Seattle’s backfield in 2020.
“This is a player who through all of practice, through all of camp has been sure-handed, he has a background in receiving, but also he’s been extremely impressive with his effort on every running play and his ability to make cutbacks and to hit the hole quickly and efficiently,” Heaps said.
For more on Dallas, read Rost’s post looking at the keys to success for the rookie RB in 2020.
4. Receivers need to be more sure-handed.
Heaps noted that players who you wouldn’t think would have trouble hauling in catches had that exact problem Saturday, and it’s something that needs to be shored up for the Seahawks’ offense to reach its potential.
“Offensively they looked sharp outside of a few drops here and there,” he said. “Russell Wilson needs his playmakers to be sure-handed in order for this offense to truly be as explosive as it’s capable of being.”
3. Wilson already knows who his security blankets will be.
A lot of attention this offseason has been on second-year receiver DK Metcalf, who Heaps has said he expects to make the Pro Bowl. But for those who may be concerned that the lack of attention on Tyler Lockett is a bad sign, fear not.
“Don’t worry – when the lights come on, Tyler Lockett is showing up in a big way,” Heaps said. “On third down, Tyler Lockett was absolutely a security blanket for Russell Wilson, connecting many times, and he was the featured receiver during the scrimmage.”
There was a surprise answer on Wilson’s No. 2 security blanket, however: Greg Olsen, the veteran tight end Seattle signed as a free agent this offseason. Heaps said Olsen “came up big” on third down during the scrimmage Saturday.
2. There should be little concern about the Seahawks’ defense.
Another thing talked about at length this offseason is how the Seahawks spent so much time in their base defense in 2019. Whether or not that continues this year, Heaps seemed to indicate the defense will at least be a lot more interesting to watch.
“Pete Carroll and (defensive coordinator) Ken Norton Jr. trying to be creative,” Heaps said was one of his observations. “From what I saw there was a lot of creativity, highlighting players that bring dynamic strengths to the table.”
Heaps said he noticed three players in particular that were being highlighted: Jamal Adams, Marquise Blair and Bobby Wagner.
1. The defensive line remains the No. 1 concern for the Seahawks.
Yes, the defense itself may have more wrinkles to it, but the D-line is something Heaps said still needs work.
“Pass rushing, it was OK but it wasn’t necessarily featured by anyone in particular from the defensive line group,” he said. “And then in the running game, that’s an area of major concern. So a lot of things that we’ve talked about from a depth perspective across that defensive line, to me that stood out as still a major area of concern. I believe that they still have work to do, that they still have to address as they’re going through training camp and heading into the season.”