First of all, for folks who have had trouble logging on to the comments section, here are instructions to do so that I’ve been given from our web specialist Laura Gentry. Problems commenting on the new blog system?1) Clear your browsers cookies (Instructions here)2) Access the blog post you were trying to comment on.3) Click the “log in” link at the bottom of the comments.4) Log in with your News Tribune account. You will automatically be redirected back to the comment.
Also, there's just one practice today, an afternoon practice. So I’ll have a report later this evening. I’ve compiled a few questions that have been piling up for the past few days, and do my best to answer them for you down below. Thanks for the questions.
Fuzzman55 asks: “Great job on the blog, Eric. Two o-line questions from me.
1. Any word or thoughts on when Solari and Mora are going to settle on the final five starting o-lineman? We’ve been hurt with a lack of cohesiveness over the last couple of years and I’m anxious to get these guys playing together as a unit.
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2. How does Rob Sims look? I’ve heard conflicting reports, from he had one of the best offseasons, to struggling a little bit in training camp. Sims is always seems to be a tease and I’m curious what you think.”
Williams: On your first question, I don’t think they will settle on five guys until after the second preseason game. Traditionally teams play the first unit at least a half the third preseason game in order to get them prepped for the first regular season game. So I think by the second preseason game the Seahawks will have settled on who they like for the starting five.
Also making the decision process a little harder for offensive line coach Mike Solari has been the injuries to Walter Jones and Chris Spencer, so the projected starting five is not getting a whole lot of time together in camp.
As I’ve written earlier, Rob Sims continues to impress so far in camp. He hasn’t missed a practice. He’s been playing strong and confident. And he’s picked up the system well. If he can stay healthy, I think Sims could have a great season, which is important for him as he enters the final year of his contract.
Freedom X asks: “Is Redding the monster presence that Pro Football Weekly is saying he is? (”Unblockable in pass rush drills.”)
Williams: Redding is. He appears to be the classic, good player competing on a bad team, and seems to energized with the change of scenery. The Seahawks have him penciled in to start at left end, moving Patrick Kerney to the more traditional right end for a pass rushing specialist. And Redding also has played some defensive tackle in passing situations.
An added benefit has been the veteran leadership Redding has provided in camp.
Tompage asks asks: “Eric, How about a roster analysis? I think there some guys that are locks at this point in training camp like Forsett, and Big Red Bryant. Interested in how it pans out at this point.”
Williams: I think I’m going to wait until after the first preseason game to do another roster analysis. I think that will provide a more accurate picture of where players are at, allowing them to play against live action for the first time.
HawksKD asks: Did Hasselbeck look any better this practice? He looked to be struggling at yesterdays evening practice.
Williams: Hasselbeck has been up and down so far in camp. I think part of it is just getting comfortable with the new, offensive system and the different check downs and read progressions he’s being asked to do. And I think also Hasselbeck is getting used to the different personnel the team brought in during the offseason. I wouldn’t make anything of it at this point. I think Hasselbeck will be fine once he gets more familiar with the system.
Dukeshire asks: “Eric - How is Nick Reed getting along? Is he getting many reps? Beyond technique, does he seem able to hold his own against such physically bigger players? Thanks again.”
Williams: I’ve been impressed with Nick Reed so far. I thought he would disappear once the team put on full pads, but he’s still been able to use his quickness to get to the quarterback on passing downs. As expected, he’s struggling holding point on run plays to his side. But I think he has a chance to stick around on the practice squad. Also, with the Seahawks running some 3-3, he’s a perfect guy as a blitzing linebacker coming from inside or off the edge.
Pdway ask: “Has Schmitt not looked good in camp so far? Who is getting majority of the 1st unit reps at FB?
Williams: Both Schmitt and Justin Griffith have been getting time with the first unit. This should be one of the tighter position battles in camp. I still think Schmitt has the edge right now, but Griffith is gaining. Schmitt has shown flashes, making some impressive lead blocks on running plays and catching the ball better than expected coming out of the backfield, but I’ve been impressed with how well Griffith is moving. Griffith had reconstructive knee surgery only 10 months ago. He also seems to have a knack of making those key plays that may go unnoticed, but help keep a drive alive. And he knows the offense well.
Tompage asks: “Eric, I have a question about the switch of positions for Kerney. First of all, I had a chance to talk with Cory Redding while he was signing autographs for the kids after practice on Monday night. After that conversation, and after reading some of the articles about him, he is already one of my favorite players, and he hasn’t even played a down yet. I am excited about how Cory can help our team as a defensive left end.
Redding on the left side means Kerney moves to the right. Isn’t there a learning curve as far as technique is concerned? We saw Sims have trouble trying to change from left guard to right guard; he said all the foot work was opposite. Is it the same for a pass rushing end? For example, doesn’t a spin move need to spin the other way? A spin move generally spins to the outside so a spin move from the left end position goes clockwise and a spin move from the right end position goes counter clockwise. Kerney has commented on the position change as it relates to going against the other teams left tackle, but not in terms of the changes to his technique.
Williams: First off, as someone posted in the comment section, Patrick Kerney did play a considerable amount of his time while in Atlanta as a right end, so he should have a comfort level there.
Further, guys work on pass rushing from both sides of the line all the time, so the adjustment won’t be as hard as an offensive linemen, who has to be aligned with what the guy next to him is doing, and also work on a series of steps that is totally different than what he’s doing on the other side of the line. So switching from one side to another is much tougher on an offensive lineman than a defensive lineman. Basically, all the defensive lineman is thinking is how best can he get to the quarterback as quickly as he can.