Clayton: Quick look at the Seahawks ahead of training camp

Jul 19, 2019, 12:31 PM
russell wilson, seahawks...
For the first time, the Seahawks held their mock game offsite in Bothell. (Getty)

Rookies reported to the Seahawks Wednesday. Veterans check in next Wednesday and training-camp practice begins on Thursday.

You can feel the buzz of football each day. The Broncos are in camp with their entire team. Meanwhile some players, like safety Rafael Bush, are making decisions on their career (Bush retired from the Buffalo Bills Friday).

As we await the veterans and the start of camp, let’s take a quick look at the Seahawks:

• The Marquise Blair hamstring injury has to be a concern. At the end of the minicamp, the safety position was already thin because of injuries. Lano Hill missed OTAs and minicamp because of a hip injury and Bradley McDougald was out following patellar tendon surgery. Then Blair went down. It’s too early to panic about the extent of Blair’s injury. Remember, the rookies reported a week earlier than ever before and the players aren’t going to be asked to do much other than conditioning and studying in meeting rooms. But figuring out who starts at the safety positions is one of the keys to camp.

• Rookie offensive lineman Phillip Haynes also landed on the physically unable to perform list because of an unknown injury. Haynes was one of the stars of the offseason program. He jumped ahead of Ethan Pocic and Jordan Simmons and was working as the No. 3 guard. As good as he looked in the offseason program, you can see he could eventually emerge as the starting guard of the future. You would expect he could add 10 more pounds of muscle and get into the 330-pound range. They need him to be healthy.

• Give Russell Wilson credit for taking care of the offense. He had skills players with him on the field in Los Angeles and Mexico. Wilson has a young pass-catch crew and by working with them weeks before the reporting date, the players come in better prepared for camp and closer as a unit. Wilson deserves credit as a leader.

• The big thing fans need to watch at training camp is the offense. Even though this franchise under Pete Carroll is built around defense, it’s the offense that has to carry the team until the defense comes together. Last year, the Seahawks averaged 26.8 points a game for the season and 30 points a game in the final eight games. What will be noticeable early on are the receivers, who have have more size and height and speed than in years past. Offense dominated the OTAs and minicamp.

• Looking at some of the tweets coming from Mexico from Wilson’s practice, Gary Jennings, the third-round pick, looks to be in incredible shape. Jennings didn’t do much in OTAs and minicamp because of a hamstring injury. He and D.K. Metcalf look strong and fast.

• Through the preseason, the Seahawks will have to sort out the distribution at the running back position. Chris Carson, who rushed for 1,151 yards is clearly the starter and Rashaad Penny is the backup. Carson had 247 carries. Penny had 85. Clearly, Penny will get more carries. Backup Mike Davis left to go to the Chicago Bears. He had 112 rushing attempts. Many of them will go to Penny. The key is having a healthy Carson, who sat out OTAs and minicamp because of a knee injury.

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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