Observations From Seahawks Second Training Camp Practice – Sports Illustrated

Back in action for a second straight day to kickstart the 2022 season, the Seahawks held their second training camp practice on Thursday with several noteworthy guests in attendance, including psychologist Angela Duckworth and legendary linebacker K.J. Wright, who announced his retirement earlier in the day.
Recapping an eventful second practice in sweltering heat, here are five quick observations from the VMAC:
1. Both quarterbacks rebounded from a rough first day with a decent practice.
Early on in Wednesday's session, it looked like Geno Smith and Drew Lock were set to repeat their struggles from one day earlier with accuracy issues. Smith uncorked a five-yard throw into the turf on his first series during the team session, while Lock threw a few passes behind the intended target. But both signal callers settled in starting with their second series respectively, finding a groove with lengthy completion streaks.
For a second straight day, Smith took the majority of the first-team reps, hooking up with receiver Marquise Goodwin on a 20-yard dig route. One play later, undrafted rookie Kevin Kassis beat Marquise Blair on a crosser and the veteran hit him in stride, allowing the former Montana State standout to race down the sidelines for the longest play of the afternoon. As for Lock, while he underthrew a couple of downfield throws and didn't see a wide open Colby Parkinson running down the seam on one play, he enjoyed a stretch completing six out of seven passes, including a 20-yard hookup with tight end Noah Fant and a pair of completions on dig routes to rookie Dareke Young.
2. Back healthy, Young hits the ground running going from Division II to the NFL.
In terms of physical traits, the 6-foot-2, 222-pound Young possesses a blend of size, speed, and quickness few receivers offer coming into the league. But making the jump from a small school to the next level presents unique challenges and it can take time for a Division II player to adapt to the steep climb in competition. After missing most of OTAs and mandatory minicamp with a hamstring injury, however, the Lenoir Rhyne product has made his presence felt in the first two days of camp.
“Everything that we have seen looks good," coach Pete Carroll said after practice. "You can see that he’s a different receiver in that he has a real well built big frame, he’s a big strong kid, and he plays with it. The 83 looks pretty good, I keep thinking of Rocket [Ricardo Lockette] every time we see him. He made good first impressions.”
After drawing the ire of receivers coach Sanjay Lal for not being lined up properly on a play during their offensive install period, Young bounced back in a big way during team drills. With the Seahawks primarily working on third down conversions, the rookie emerged as Lock's favorite target in the intermediate game, snagging four passes that all would have been good for first downs. Running crisp dig, curl, and pivot routes, he already seems to be earning the trust of the team's new quarterback, a positive sign as he vies for a roster spot.
3. The first crack at the starting right tackle job is going to the incumbent.
While there's clear and obvious optimism about Seattle's incoming draft class, as expected, rookies will have to earn the opportunity for first-team reps. Though there are exceptions to the rule such as DK Metcalf and Damien Lewis, first-year players rarely come in as immediate starters. In the first couple days of camp, only left tackle Charles Cross has been receiving extensive reps with the starters, while other rookies have been seeing action with second and third-team units.
This includes right tackle Abraham Lucas, who has started off his first camp playing with the second unit behind Jake Curhan, who started the final five games last season. The former undrafted signee out of California performed admirably in those contests, helping Rashaad Penny go off for four 130-plus yard rushing performances down the stretch. The Seahawks certainly will give Lucas his shot to shine and win the job, but from the outset, Curhan will have the first opportunity to impress and try to fend off the third-round pick to retain his job.
4. 35 years young, Al Woods shows no signs of slowing down in the trenches.
Nobody knew what to expect from Woods when the Seahawks re-signed him prior to the 2021 season. After all, the veteran nose tackle sat out the entire 2020 season as a COVID opt out and at 34 years of age, it remained uncertain how much he had left in the tank. But the year off has worked wonders for his longevity and after turning in arguably the best season of his career with personal-highs in tackles and pass deflections, he looks poised for another outstanding season anchoring the middle of Seattle's defense line.
This time of year in non-padded practices, offensive linemen can't actually block defenders, so plays made my defensive linemen should be taken with a grain of salt. But at 330-plus pounds, Woods showed off his underrated burst knifing through the A-gap in team drills and devouring rookie running back Ken Walker III five yards into the backfield, drawing cheers from teammates and coaches. A few plays later, he put his wheels on display chasing down Travis Homer, running 45 yards downfield to greet the back near the end zone.
5. Tabbed as raw coming into the league, Tariq Woolen may be ahead of ETA.
Coming out of the offseason program, fourth-round pick Coby Bryant has been a trendy pick to push for a starting spot at cornerback right away as a rookie and the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner has turned heads early on in camp. He's certainly in the mix to see first-team reps in upcoming practices. But Woolen, who only played cornerback for two seasons at UTSA, has made it impossible not to keep eyes glued on him in the secondary with a fast start of his own.
Towering over his teammates at 6-foot-4 with 33 1/2-inch arms and putting his 4.26 40-yard dash speed on display for all to see, Woolen has been making big plays every day at practice. After registering a breakup on Tuesday, he turned in one of the highlight plays from Wednesday's session, staying stride for stride with explosive receiver Marquise Goodwin on a vertical route. While Lock's throw could have led Goodwin a bit more, the former Roadrunner extended his long arms and swatted the pass away, erasing a potential touchdown to the applause of teammates and coaches. Challenges await him in coming weeks, including matching up with DK Metcalf, but it's time for the other rookie to be put in consideration as a player who may be ready to contribute earlier than expected.


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