Notebook: With Russell Wilson away, Seahawks get look at backup QBs
For the first time in his eight-years with the Seahawks, quarterback Russell Wilson – who has started every game of his career – missed a training camp practice. The quarterback’s absence was for personal reasons. According to the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, Wilson traveled to Norfolk, Va. to attend a funeral service for his late grandfather, Dr. Harrison B. Wilson, who passed away Sunday.
Friday’s practice was just the second ever missed by Wilson; he missed Seattle’s first OTA practice of 2015 to attend a funeral with teammate Jimmy Graham.
Wilson is expected to play in the Seahawks scrimmage at Bothell’s Pop Keeney Stadium Saturday.
In the meantime, Wilson’s absence meant additional reps for Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch. Results were mixed; Smith, a favorite to win the backup job, worked primarily with the first-team offense and connected with tight end Jacob Hollister during a red zone drill. In another drill, though, a tipped pass intended for running back Travis Homer was intercepted by linebacker K.J. Wright.
“Obviously we’ve got to go watch the film and really see what (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) wants, but I think as far as I go I could’ve been a little bit more clean with some of the things, made a few more throws,” Smith said of his day. “We had a lot of great plays, but obviously you want to be 100 percent. You can’t be 100 percent, but you want to try to be 100 percent.”
Smith and Lynch, both of whom were high-round picks and former starters, have found themselves competing for a supporting role in Seattle.
“You just keep the same mindset,” Smith said of competing for the backup job. “You try and keep the same mindset. Obviously you’ve got a guy here who’s going to be the starter and who has been the starter. And Paxton and I, we’re competing really hard for this backup spot, right? But you always come out with the mindset that you’ve got to compete like a starter. Even if you are the backup, you’re always one play away. So, you never know. So, you’ve got to be really sharp with your reads, you’ve got to understand the offense just as well as the starter does, and when you go out there you’ve got to execute the same way.”
What this year’s defense can learn from 2013 unit
In a post-practice interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, cornerback Shaquill Griffin said he noticed something important when watching Seattle’s 2013 defense: constant, total effort on each play.
“They played every down like it was their last down,” Griffin said. “I can honestly say that. You’ve got coaches that tell us you don’t know what could be next so take one play at a time. But they honestly lived by that, besides just saying it they lived by that code. And from the time the whistle was blown to the end of the game, they played their butts off.
“I feel like that’s the type of defense we need to be. We’ve got to be able to do things right longer than other teams. Most games now in the league, there’s no blowouts, it’s down to a couple points and it’s about who does right the longest. And that’s what we preach. But now we’ve got to live by it instead of just talking about it. We’ve got to be able to live by it. The 2013 defense did that day in and day out, each game, one game at a time, one play at a time, actually. They made it happen. And I feel like that’s what we have to do. We have to do right longer than everybody else and continue to just stay on teams and be able to play hard each play. And that’s what we’ve been working on. We got to be able to finish a lot better, because we’re always in the game and in that fourth quarter, that last couple seconds, something tends to fall off, and we can’t have that this year.”
The Seahawks will have a later-than-normal practice time Saturday. The team will host a 1:30 p.m. scrimmage at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell. You can catch the full broadcast over the airwaves on 710 ESPN Seattle, or stream it on 710Sports.com or on the 710 ESPN Seattle mobile app.