Seahawks Tuesday training camp: Now is not the time to panic about the offense
Seaside Bonus: Artie Burns, Jake Curhan, Drew Lock, Dee Eskridge with news out of camp
On Tuesday afternoon, I posed this question to Twitter: Which player do you actually have more questions about since training camp started? The first answer was not a player, but a coach: Should Seahawks fans be worried yet about the Shane Waldron offense?
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Realistically, the time to question if Seattle’s headed for offensive ineptitude is not August 2, 2022. That should have already happened on March 8, 2022, the day that Russell Wilson was traded to the Denver Broncos.
I’ll keep coming back to this until I stop believing it to be true: Football is an individual sport (Quarterbacking) wrapped inside of a team sport (Everything else).
There are so many variables in play between the first day of the league year and the final team standing holding the Lombardi trophy that of course sometimes Trent Dilfer and Nick Foles reign supreme. And one time Buster Douglas kicked Mike Tyson’s ass. That’s sports, my love.
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Of course, the Seahawks have had offensive issues that needed resolving for years prior to Wilson’s requested exit and I have no doubt that some of those problems will continue to hamper Seattle’s progress down the field this season. The Seahawks have a rookie left tackle who needs run-blocking reps, a new starting center, an undrafted free agent at right tackle, a revolving door at WR3, and they’re probably doing everything in Pete’s power to not over-work Rashaad Penny.
Replacing the “Bill Murray” of Seahawks quarterbacks with the “Pete Davidson” of Seahawks quarterbacks will only exacerbate said issues.
Meanwhile, look at the defense they’re facing by comparison: Al Woods, Poona Ford, Shelby Harris, Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, and Justin Coleman are veteran starters, while Jordyn Brooks, Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Sidney Jones, Cody Barton and Artie Burns have taken their licks too and have the upside to be good-or-great.
Take Seattle’s top-two wide receivers out of this equation (some say that the switch at QB did just that) and this is an insanely lopsided matchup.
Should you be worried about the offense? Of course! But nothing that has happened in training camp has made me think that the offense is any worse than I expected once the plan became obvious almost five months ago. On the flipside, I would say that when the Seahawks play their first real offensive snaps of football—in Week 1 against the Broncos—there’s reason to believe that the offense will play better than what we’ve seen so far.
Because Penny and Ken Walker III should get their first best opportunities to shine, Jake Curhan will have had a full camp as the starting right tackle, Charles Cross will be that much further along in his development, and perhaps just maybe a third receiving option will have revealed himself by then.
We are now less than six weeks away from that day.
Today’s Bonus post is once again TOO LONG FOR E-MAIL so hit the banner above or go to SeasideJoe to read the whole piece there.
Now for what else happened at Seahawks training camp on Tuesday.
ICYMI: Part I of the “Are you biased?” survey was posted at Seaside Joe this morning. Monday’s training camp notes can be found here, while Saturday’s are here. Some training camp standouts here. And this is a comparison of Seattle and Denver’s supporting casts, before the news on Tuesday that Tim Patrick tore his ACL.
Also please subscribe to the Seaside Joe podcast for all the podcast episodes—there’s a new episode here (It’s the same that was posted at YouTube on Friday, but audio version).
My God this is a good website for Seahawks fans. My God.
“Can I at least panic about Dee Eskridge yet?”
Maybe but I’ll tell you why maybe not.
Eskridge has been coming out to practice with all the gear on but not getting onto the field of play. It’s discouraging for a recent second round pick to not be healthy enough to play in practice knowing how badly he needs the reps. However, if Eskridge turns it around after one or even three years of disappointment, he won’t be the first Seahawks receiver to do so.
Doug Baldwin was terrible in his second season, his first with Wilson. He rebounded in year three after the team had traded for Percy Harvin. A lot of Seahawks fans were ready to write off Golden Tate after his first two seasons in the league. He didn’t even have his dramatic statistical breakout until joining the Lions, his fifth year in the NFL. Tyler Lockett’s first three years in the NFL (including a painful end to his second season) were no indication of how great he’d be as a receiving over the last four.
Even Paul Richardson gave Seattle fans a little something to be excited about after three years of frustration.
We are one week into a season that has roughly 23 weeks of practices. Eskridge not participating now may not have any impact on how he does in the near future.
Drew Lock starting to get “rave” reviews?
I put “rave” in quotes because at this point you take what you can get and relatively speaking, Lock is the closest thing that Seahawks fans have to hope for the offense.
I wrote in my predictions that Lock would get positive comments from coaches and teammates as camp wore on and he hasn’t even played with the starters yet. Shane Waldron did say the words “He’s done a really nice job of picking up the offense” (sounds like “He’s ahead of schedule”) after practice.
There was some work with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and my feeling that Lock is the true QB1 could still be an announcement to come in the next month.
Love for Artie Burns is a surprise to my Steelers friend
As Gregg Bell points out here, Burns’ familiarity with Sean Desai as a cornerback on the Bears last season has helped expedite his progress as a potential Week 1 starter opposite of Sidney Jones IV.
It seems like Burns is a standout day after day and when I texted that to my friend who is a Steelers fan he responded: “Wow. Really?”
When I asked what his issues were in Pittsburgh, he said “Zone coverage and ball skills” but was quick to note that a) He loves Artie Burns as a person and b) He is indeed very fast.
The 25th overall pick in 2016, Burns started every game in 2017 but was demoted in 2018—a decrease in snaps from 974 to 308—then again in 2019, seeing his snaps decrease to only 66 over 10 games. He was not injured, he was a healthy scratch over his final six games with the Steelers. Burns then signed with the Bears but tore his ACL in camp, missing the entire 2020 season.
Burns played 254 snaps with Chicago last season and there’s little we can probably glean from that playing time. However, Burns is now finally in a position to spend an entire camp as a starter and to open a season as a team’s “CB2” for lack of a better term.
Seattle’s 2023 situation at cornerback is that Burns, Coleman, and Jones IV are all free agents. After letting D.J. Reed walk this past March, will the Seahawks be aggressive in attempting to retain every corner who has a good year for them? Probably not. Which is why it’s even more important that Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen don’t look as lost out there as the typical rookie would.
Josh Jones is older than Artie Burns
Though he’s had virtually no attention on him this entire time, Seahawks safety Josh Jones is emerging as a potential playmaker at a position with no presumed openings.
Not only did Jones get in position for an interception on Tuesday, not only was Jones credited with “baiting” Geno into it, but he’s been running with the starters for at least a few days now.
Dugar, Michael-Shawn @MikeDugarDefensive play of the day: Josh Jones intercepting Geno Smith, who tried to hit Noah Fant up the seam. Jordyn Brooks was right there with Fant, helped tip the ball in the air for Josh to grab.
A second round pick out of NC State in 2017, the 27-year-old safety struggled even more with the Packers than Burns’ issues with the Steelers, was on the Cowboys practice squad by year three, then he got the worst news of all: starting for the Jaguars in 2020.
Jones was a member of Indianapolis’s practice squad last season, spending six games with the active roster, before being waived by the Colts and claimed by the Seahawks.
Pete Carroll seems to have a like for Jones and Ryan Neal, plus we know that Diggs and Adams are safe. Where does this leave Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi? I think you and I both know the answer to that. Are we afraid to say it?
Amadi didn’t practice on Tuesday.
Jake Curhan is the starting right tackle
I can see the slow approach with Drew Lock. I don’t see why Curhan should be the RT1 day after day when Stone Forsythe has been with the team just as long. For Abraham Lucas, yes, the team needs to bring him along slowly too…which is why it would be an upset for him to be ready to start in the NFL in Week 1. Not necessarily a bad move, but an upset.
A round of applause for Marquise Goodwin, please
We may be living in a world where the Seahawks are heavily utilizing Artie Burns, Marquise Goodwin, Austin Blythe, Shelby Harris, Uchenna Nwosu, Sidney Jones IV, Josh Jones, Noah Fant, Quinton Jefferson, Drew Lock, Justin Coleman in the year 2022. This feels very much like a “chip-meets-shoulder” situation for Seattle, encouraging players to show their former teams that they’ve made a huge mistake.
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Nick Bellore’s football career might be the most fascinating football career
Coby Bryant also wearing a chip
The defense has a lot to be excited about, while the offense probably feels that until Lock is with the starters and Penny/Walker are allowed to truly go off, they haven’t even really hit the gate yet.
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