Monday in Hawkville: Players rest the day after the defense didn’t

The players are off today, Aug. 6, but there was enough from Sunday’s mock game to warrant an off-day look back:

FOCUS ON

The defense. The whoa-guys always are ahead of the go-guys when training camp starts. The gap is just a little wider at the Seahawks’ Bing camp because the defense is hitting its stride as the offense is trying to find its.

That was apparent – again – during the 80-play mock game on Sunday.

“I thought the highlight of the day was the defense in general,” coach Pete Carroll said after the two hour-plus session that was held in full pads on a 90 degree-plus afternoon.

There were, of course, statistics to support Carroll’s assessment of the obvious. Each of the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job got five possessions. Four were three-and-outs. Five others ended on downs (there was no punting). One ended on an interception.

And the defensive efforts that led to the offensive frustration proved to be a Sunday afternoon smorgasbord: Second-year linebacker Mike Morgan had the interception, on a Matt Flynn pass intended for rookie tight end Sean McGrath; second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith broke up a first-down pass on one of the three-and-outs; Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas blitzed and pressured Tarvaris Jackson into throwing an incomplete pass and second-year tackle Pep Levingston (inside) and rookie linebacker Kyle Knox (outside) combined for a “sack” on one of the possessions that ended on downs; second-year safety Jeron Johnson had a near interception and third-year cornerback Phillip Adams tipped a third-down pass incomplete on another series that ended on downs; and second-year cornerback Byron Maxwell tipped away Jackson’s deep throw to wide receiver Deon Butler on another possession that ended on downs.

But the main course was Bruce Irvin dishing up crow for all the experts who mocked the Seahawks selection of the rush-end in the first round of April’s draft.

“Bruce had a couple of really cool plays,” Carroll said.

On back-to-back snaps, Irvin displayed a boggling bust to pressure and “sack” Jackson and then tipped the third-down pass incomplete. But his even-better effort was chasing down Marshawn Lynch at the end of a 70-yard run.

“That’s not a surprise,” Carroll said. “He can fly.”

PLAYER WATCH

Golden Tate. The coaches are waiting for one of the wide receivers to step up as the replacement for recently released Mike Williams opposite Sidney Rice, and Tate is stating his case with his actions.

“The guy I’m really excited about is Golden,” Carroll said of the team’s second-round choice from last year’s draft. “Those of us that have watched him for three years, his quickness and his control in and out of his breaks is by far the best it has been.

“I don’t know what happened in the offseason, but he’s just lighter on his feet and quicker than he has been. We’re thrilled about how he’s coming along.”

UP NEXT

The players return from their off day on Tuesday to begin preparing for Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.

The club also has moved into the game-preparation portion of camp, with the start of practice being switched from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The walkthroughs also have been switched to before practice.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY

State routes 520 and 167 will be closed this weekend, limiting fans’ options to reach CenturyLink Field for the 7 p.m. game against the Titans on Saturday. The club is urging those attending the game to plan accordingly.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Definitely, and I pretty much think he’ll tell you the same thing. He looks like he’s ready to go. He ran the ball well today. The line did an exceptional job blocking for him. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but as of right now he looks like he’s ready to go.” – Jackson, when asked if Lynch appeared to be in regular-season Beast Mode this early in camp


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