Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas stand out in Seahawks’ mock game
RENTON – The Seahawks held a mock game on Monday, which they do every year during the week leading up to their first preseason game. Here’s what stood out:
Wilson stayed hot
Russell Wilson has been especially sharp over the last few practices and was again on Monday. He was accurate and played mistake-free while also making things happen with his feet, again showing the mobility that was missing during an injury-filled 2016 season. One throw was particularly impressive. Wilson was sprinting to his left and threw an on-target dart towards the sideline for a completion, which is not an easy throw to make for a right-hander.
His numbers, according to the team’s unofficial stat-keeping: 15 of 18 for two touchdowns and no interceptions. The six drives he lead resulted in two punts, two touchdowns, a field goal and a kneel-down to end the game with a 17-3 score in favor of his side.
A couple things to keep in mind here: the No. 1 offense was mainly facing backup defenders and vice versa, so starters didn’t play against starters in this game. It wasn’t full contact and there was no contact at all allowed on the quarterback. So some plays that would have resulted in sacks were allowed to continue, like Wilson’s long completion down the sideline to C.J. Prosise. It was an environment that was pretty conducive to the starting quarterback looking good.
But this was a continuation of how Wilson has looked of late.
“Yeah, he’s had a couple really good few days back to back to back,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s really on it. He’s changing his reps a little bit. We want to get him a more reps to make sure he’s getting enough turns. Since we’ve done that he’s really picked up. He’s doing great, he’s in good shape, and he’s working the ball around really well.”
Thomas’ diving INT
Earl Thomas made a diving interception of a tipped pass from backup quarterback Trevone Boykin. It was initially ruled incomplete before officials changed it to an interception, perhaps with some influence from Carroll. Thomas started alongside Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and rookie Shaquill Griffin in Seattle’s secondary. Griffin was playing right cornerback in place of Jeremy Lane, who had been working with Seattle’s No. 1 defense until sustaining what Carroll described as a “minor soft tissue thing” that has kept him out the last few days. Carroll said he should return soon. DeAndre Elliott was the third cornerback in nickel while Bradley McDougald rotated in at both safety spots. Elliott was involved in a wild play late in the game when he knocked a pass from Austin Davis out of the receiver’s hands right as it arrived. Backup cornerback Pierre Desir caught it on the fly for an interception.
Kearse’s twisting TD
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse made a tremendous adjustment to catch the first of Wilson’s two touchdown passes. Kearse was running up the seam and had to turn back across his body just before falling to the ground because Wilson’s throw was slightly behind him. With Tyler Lockett sitting out, Doug Baldwin, Kearse and Paul Richardson were the top three receivers with Seattle’s No. 1 offense. Plays like the one he made on that catch will help Kearse hold onto his role as one of Seattle’s top receivers following a down year. Wilson’s other touchdown was to backup J.D. McKissic.
Joeckel, Ifedi sat out
Seattle’s offensive line was without two projected starters. Luke Joeckel, who’s in line to start at either left guard or left tackle, didn’t play because of what Carroll called soreness (he’s coming back from major knee surgery). Right tackle Germain Ifedi remained out following the punch to the face he took from Frank Clark last week. George Fant started at left tackle, Rees Odhiambo was at left guard and rookie Ethan Pocic played right tackle. Oday Aboushi worked in with Mark Glowinski at right guard. Carroll said of Joeckel: “Yeah, he’s just a little sore from all the work. We just want to make sure and not to push him too far knowing that this is a big day coming up. He’s done everything up until now. He’s done really well. We really like him in both spots. The experiment of can he play both spots, can he be a starter in both spots, yes is what we feel. We’re really excited about that and we are going to see how it fits together with the other guys. George Fant has done a really nice job and George is making a real plea to be the left tackle for us. Things are going very well in that regard.”