With Week one behind them the Seahawks are now focused on next weeks practice which will permit them to wear pads during practice. The donning of pads will brings a real football element to the looming positional battles.
Here are some quick highlights from todays practice.
Kyle Fuller has been handling the center duties while Ethan Pocic is easing his way back into practice after missing the first two days of camp. Pocic started 14 regular season game and the wildcard loss to the Rams last season. Fuller participated in nine games mostly at guard with one lone start at center on November 15th at LA.
The center position is a unit head coach mentioned could go down to the wire in regards to naming a starter. Another offensive line position battle will be at right tackle according to Carroll.
He did do well, we don’t have any doubt about Cedric’s (Ogbuehi) movement, ability, strength, all of that. He just has to grow and develop as the player that you can count on a regular basis which he’s hasn’t had a chance to do that yet. I’m going to tell you something flat out, I messed up last year. Cedric looks like a left tackle, he was drafted in the first round, has played left and right tackle, but I wanted him to develop as a left tackle. He wanted to be a right tackle to tell you the truth. He said that and I didn’t give him enough credit for how important it was for him to compete at that spot. When we talked in the exit interview at the end of last season, we talked about it, and I felt like I didn’t do a good enough job knowing what was important to him to give him a good shot. I promised him I’m going to give him every chance.
He’s worthy physically, and smart enough, he just needs playing time and to gain control of his game and he’s going at it. Brandon Shell is a terrific right tackle; we have no problem with B Shell in our starting right tackle but now Cedric is going for it. He’s trying to get that job from him and it’s good, old-fashioned competition. They’re going to battle it out and the best man is going to win. I promised Cedric he was going to get that shot, knowing that he can still help us at left tackle if we need it. I just felt like I didn’t do a good enough job and it was really good for me too because it snapped me back into competition. Competition is everything around here and I missed that opportunity last year to give him the opportunity to show off where he fit. You can hear me, in all of these positions, it’s affected me because that’s my roots, and I just screwed it up. I didn’t do enough so I’m going to do better.”
TOUGH COMPETITION IN DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD
Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had the play of the day when he battered a sure touchdown ball intended for tight end on the far left field. Witherspoon elevated twisted his body and swatted the sure td. The play brought cheers from the defensive player .
He’s physically right. He’s fast enough. He’s athletic enough. He’s fluid. He’s tall and long and has great reach. His feet move like a smaller guy. He’s got all the things we’re looking for, and I’ve seen him play enough. I’ve booked out all things that he’s ever done since being in the league. There’s enough of a reservoir of playmaking and play learning that gives you the thought that he could step right in and take this job. But the hard part is there are other guys he’s got to get through, there are other guys too. We feel very comfortable, that’s why we went after him when we did and did a really in-depth research job on him. He hasn’t really had the support, and consistency of the starting position to really know how he’ll handle it. He’s just had spurts. In my mind if he can earn the job, it’ll be like a first-time starter to me. We’ll build on him. I’ve been sitting with him in a meeting room, just trying to make sure that he knows where we’re coming from, and what’s going on. He’s off to a good start, but it’s competitive now.”
ON ADDING ADDITIONAL PLAYERS IN DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD
Carroll was asked if the team has any intention of adding extra defensive backs between now an the start of the season.
“You can always add. But right now I’m looking at the guys we have and I think with Tre (Flowers) battling over on the other side with D.J. (Reed) and with Pierre (Desir) and Tre Brown, he’s just getting going. Tre Brown has not done anything to discourage us right now from being in the competition as well. It’s going to take us weeks, and we’ve got weeks. We got games; we’ve got time to figure this out. We will not hurry this decision up, there’s no reason to. I think the competition is really good. A variety of styles, sizes and shapes, and we’ll tailor our stuff to them. We’re not going to try to make them be something that they’re not. Right now, it’s gathering information on the guys, that’s all. I have got my own study going, that I’ll keep on going throughout camp so I can stay abreast with how they’re developing, it’s really one of the things I have the most fun with.”