Curtis Allen’s mock game notes

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen…

Tonight, the Seahawks took another step in their offseason preparation with a mock game at Lumen Field. The starters on each side of the ball lined up against the backup units, and the difference in talent was very clear, as the starters showed why they are starters.

The Quarterbacks Were Impressive

Geno Smith continued his camp run of good play. He was able to take what the defense gave him, pick his moments of when to scramble and throw the ball away and live to fight again, and had several downfield throws that were excellent.

With Tyler Lockett a precautionary scratch, Smith found D.K. Metcalf more than once deep down the field, including a ball that was perfectly placed but Metcalf could just not haul in. He also demonstrated some chemistry with game star Cody Thompson.

He also effectively mixed short quick timing type passes with some deeper throws, while audibling to counteract the defensive formation:

If Geno is able to keep this level of offensive mastery into the regular season, the offense truly is going to live up to its billing.

Drew Lock did not have as good a night, but all things considered it was a decent showing for him. The defense regularly beat the second-string offensive line, putting Lock under all kinds of pressure. He regularly understood where his hot reads were, but his receivers were not always there to bail him out. At one point he threw an absolute bullet to Griffin Hebert on a rhythm timing pass, but Hebert could not complete the catch and that killed a drive.

Lock was “sacked” at least three times, with two of them being impressive plays by the defense. On one, Reed and Dre Jones both beat their inside men and met at the quarterback. Another, Boye Mafe powered past the tackle and (with the red jersey for QBs rule in place) was able to strip-sack Lock with a quick swat that proved more effective than he was likely planning for.

However, he shook off some early play that was unfortunate and pieced together a decent performance. He was able to move the offense down the field, and when his athleticism was required on a play, he was up to the task. On one play, both Jones and Mafe made good reads on play-action and, not getting fooled, gave chase after Lock. But they were unable to beat him to the sideline, and Lock was able to turn upfield and get some extra yards. He also found Jake Bobo in the seam for a ‘game winning’ touchdown pass.

Lock seemed calm, collected and measured in his game tonight. He never panicked, nor made that rash decision that he has become known for. He showed us his arm talent when the chances came, and steadily got stronger as the game went on.

At this point I would say the offense looks very good. But they are winning on talent and freshness. Once teams get a look at their tendencies and start adjusting, the Seahawks will need to come up with some fresh looks and keep them guessing.

The Defensive Backs Competition Is Heating Up

With Riq Woolen still on the PUP for precautionary reasons (Pete Carroll has confirmed he will be back soon), the door is still wide open. And let me tell you, the players are responding.

Devon Witherspoon spent most of the game at the nickel spot the Seahawks had been deploying him in practices, with Jackson at Woolen’s Right Cornerback spot and Tre Brown at Left Cornerback.

Witherspoon looks the part. He is tough, authentic and is not afraid to take chances when he sees a play developing. On one play, he was covering a zone and the ball was thrown his way. Instead of retreating to cover the receiver, he chose the more aggressive (but ultimately correct) play of diving in front of the receiver to make a play on the ball. He got fully horizontal and got enough of a hand on the ball to cause the incompletion.

You can see why they like him at nickel. A combination of his toughness, instincts and the occasional play choice that is ‘if you don’t make this play, the receiver is going to be running for days’, the Seahawks have gotten themselves a player.

What makes the position group so intriguing is the incredible depth. It was on display tonight, as Artie Burns had the best night of the group with several passes defensed. A forgotten player in this group, Burns really shined tonight.

Coby Bryant started out as a safety in the second-string defense, and later moved to a strong safety type role in the first-string defense, blitzing the passer and providing a right-on-the-line presence in run support.

This defensive backfield has all kinds of options. It is possible the Seahawks can draw from this group to strengthen this team via a trade.

Rookie Notes

Kenny McIntosh had a mixed bag kind of night. He ran well, provided his quarterback with options, and had a couple runs that were quick and tough. At one point, he cut outside and a linebacker attempted to arm-tackle him by the shoulders. McIntosh powered through it and gained a few more yards before ending the play with a friendly smack at Bryant, providing downfield last-gasp tackling coverage.

He also had a fumble and came up gingerly after the play. He hobbled to the sideline and into the blue tent. He emerged shortly after with a wrapped and iced knee, and Pete Carroll said it was a sprain of unknown severity.

Zach Charbonnet was a full participant in warmups but only got a couple reps, out of precaution after dealing with a shoulder injury.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a fairly quiet night, with two catches and a punt return. But he looks like the player who has lit up training camp so far. At one point, the Seahawks lined him up in the slot, and he took off like a rocket, drawing coverage and leaving the flat completely open for Cody Thompson to slide in for a nice gain.

Cameron Young did not get a ton of snaps but did have a play where he plugged the middle and gave the running back nowhere to go.

Derick Hall ran with the second team defense and looked good but not great. Still feeling his way through things a bit. At one point he did have a great speed rush that got around Stone Forsythe easily.

Other Notes

Jarran Reed looks like he has put on good weight and was handling the Nose Tackle role well in this game against the second-string unit.

Dre Jones was likewise a problem for the second-string line. When he wasn’t disrupting, he was absorbing double-team attention and allowing teammates to come free to the quarterback.

Not much from Tyreke Smith but he had a nice-looking bull rush to move Abe Lucas back.

Jake Bobo had a sneaky-good seven catches, mostly with the third unit, but stepped up to play with the second unit and had the game-winning catch. He looks like an intriguing option with his height and playmaking ability.

Jason Myers missed a 51-yard field goal try and made a 47-yard try.

Jamal Adams looks to be in good spirits even though he is still on the PUP list.


  1. ShowMeYourHawk

    Cheers, Curtis! That final line provides adequate shade this summer. 😂

  2. PatrickH

    Thanks Cha for the write up. A few questions. Was Mafe the 1st string OLB opposite Nwosu? I gathered from your notes that Reed and Jones were the two big DL starters, but how often did they line up with 3 big DL, and was Edwards the third guy?

    Did Devin Bush and Julian Love play any snaps? How did they play?

    • cha


      Most frequent #1 lineup was

      Edwards-Reed-Jones with Mafe & Nwosu flanking them.

      Mafe looked really good.

      Bush and Love were with the 1s also. I didn’t notice anything outstanding about them. Both are having the ‘quietest’ camp for these two guys I’ve heard. I’d like to hear more from PC about them.

      • Patrick Hui


      • Elmer

        I know he’s hurt, but is a healthy Taylor working his way into the expendable or tradeable category?

  3. Palatypus

    Nice. Great job.

  4. Mick

    Thank you cha.

  5. Big Mike

    Thanks so much cha. Encouraging report on Lock in case Geno misses time.
    Assume Bobby sat this one out?

    • cha

      No he played quite a bit. They blitzed him on occasion and one play he got right through and into Lock’s face.

      • Big Mike

        Nice. Thanks

  6. GerryG


    I ditched Twitter, for numerous reasons, nice to see some video clips.

  7. Palatypus

    This explains a lot.

    One of the big differences between a real game or even a preseason game compared to a mock game format is that as the head coach, Pete Carroll has the final say on darn near everything. And Carroll would be the first to admit he had a lot of fun with that extra power, occasionally changing the outcome of plays or a spot to get set up a situation he wanted to see play out. A couple of examples included changing a spot to give a first down to keep the No. 2 offense on a field; throwing his red flag to challenge a ruling of a runner being down by contact, then ruling to overturn the call, making it a fumble recovered by the defense (a good chance to practice a sudden change situation; and finally, deciding to decline an offensive penalty that should have negated a long run by third-string quarterback Holton Ahlers. That final one led to a funny moment, with referee Carl Cheffers, after conferring with Carroll, announcing “the penalty has been declined?” with genuine surprise in his voice.

    • cha

      The joke going around was ‘Pete actually found a way to win a challenge!’

  8. cha

    Brad Spielberger, Esq.
    Like the Cowboys’ approach to safety. Three talented players that excel in different areas, making $19M per year combined on recently signed deals
    1:39 PM · Aug 4, 2023

    This is how all teams should approach it. Always lots of good players in that $4-$8M/year range. Its like 3 guys for the price of 1 Jamal Adams
    1:45 PM · Aug 4, 2023

    • Palatypus

      We should be able to throw a challenge flag on a contract. Like, the opposite of the franchise tag.

      • Palatypus

        The Disenfranchise Tag.

        • Big Mike

          I’m crying here…………….

          • Palatypus

            Enough with this double secret probation.

            It is time to end the suffrage.

  9. samprassultanofswat

    Beginning to hear some good things about Boye Mayfe.

  10. bv eburg

    And just like that we are down to 1 healthy running back in DeeJay Dallas. And we haven’t even played our first preseason game yet. Jeez this team is snake bit at RB.

  11. TomLPDX

    Excellent stuff Curtis, thanks for the report!

  12. Stuart

    Can someone please tell me why we use the Fangio 3/4 when the teams that do use it all have horrible defenses yet the teams like the 49ers and now Jets have a different version that is superior and the teams using that format all have excellent defenses?

    If your going to emulate something, its seems to me a no brainer that you would copy the best, not the worst…

    I love our Hawks but i fear our version of the 3/4 is aweful. We have talent on our D now so if we finish in the bottom of the league again, would they keep the same style and hire a new D coordinator or scrap this version of this 3/4?

    • PatrickH

      You can blame McVay for this. As I understand it, McVay and the Rams figured out how to break the Seahawks’ single-high-safety cover 3 defense with deep crossing route and passing concepts like the dagger concept. To counter this, the Seahawks evolved toward the two-high-safeties quarter-quarter-half defense. The fundamental issue with two-high-safeties coverage is that the defense is one man short in the box against the run, because one of the safeties is deep rather than in the box. Playing the Fangio 3-4 in principle (if executed properly) forces the run toward the outside gaps. This buys time for one of the safeties to recognize it’s run rather than pass and for him to come downhill to fill the remaining outside gap.

      Since deep crossing routes and dagger concept takes time, a team can still run the single-high-safety defense if that team has great pass rush (49ers, Cowboys) or great man-coverage CBs (NY Jets, although the Jets has good pass rush as well).

      • Rob Staton

        I’d rather blame the Seahawks I think

        When they re-set in 2018 they had Clark and Reed on the D-line. Clark had just had a 13 sack season and he’d got 32 in three seasons. He was reaching the peak of his powers and it felt like all they had to do was build on the Clark/Reed foundation. Instead, they decided the price was too high for Clark and traded him away. Suddenly they had no foundation and were building from scratch. They were now throwing darts at LJ Collier, Ansah and Clowney to cobble together a D-line.

        I think if they’d just paid Clark (which they kept saying they wanted to initially) and added Clowney via the trade like they did, they could’ve had a freaking awesome pass rush in 2019. Imagine Clark and Clowney as book-ends that year. That could’ve been a very different season in 2019.

        • PatrickH

          Agree. I was a bit tongue-in-cheek when I blamed McVay. I think JS/PC over-estimated their ability to find pass rushers in the draft, hence their decision not to pay Frank Clark. Hopefully Dremont Jones, Nwosu, Boye Mafe, DT, and Derick Hall will work out for the Seahawks. It was really too bad MacDowell and Jalen Carter had their character issues.

        • Connor

          I agreed with what you are saying at the time of all of those actions, but all of those guys have been on other teams where they wouldn’t even be the best pass rusher on that team, and none of them lived up to expectations. We could easily be in a situation where all them got paid and our d-line was still the main issue. Clark, Clowney, Reed, all disappointments since their time in Seattle.

          • Rob Staton

            Clark has set records for playoff sacks

            Clowney in 2019 wrecked games

            Reed was a good player in Seattle

    • PatrickH

      Basically, playing with two-high-safeties coverage allows a team without good pass rush to still have an average, okayish pass defense. This is reflected in the fact that the Seahawks was ranked 17th in pass defense by footballoutsiders’ DVOA metric, despite starting Mike Jackson and two rookie CBs last year. Their run defense, though, was a different story.

  13. cha

    Keeping DT position fully stocked

    Aaron Wilson
    #Seahawks are signing defensive tackle Roderick Perry, per a league source. Perry worked out for #Dolphins on Saturday
    6:53 AM · Aug 6, 2023

    • Palatypus

      I’m trying to decide how excited I am about this. It’s somewhere between getting handed a warm glass of milk and not being late for work.

      • ShowMeYourHawk

        I believe the term you’re looking for is “whelmed.”

        • Palatypus

          Thanks! I forgot that one.

    • Rob Staton

      This is very much giving off a vibe now of going into a charity shop, desperately hoping to find a fantastic suit hidden among the rubbish

      • cha


        That and Bryan Mone will not be ready anytime soon.

      • Palatypus

        There’s nothing but old Russell Wilson jerseys.

      • James Z

        I concur! I shop charity shops for most of my daily garb. It took me 3 years to find the right hoodie for under $6 to replace my threaded and stained old one and I still don’t like it like I did my other one. It’s a good strategy maybe for clothes, but for NT’s, not so much…

        • Palatypus

          I’m having this vision of Rob in a thrift store stumbling upon some of Bootsy Collins and George Clinton’s old clothes. Then he goes home and takes his bride to the planet Frankenfunk.

  14. samprassultanofswat

    Obviously the Seahawks have NOT found what they are looking for at the DT(NT) position.

    This sound is dedicated to the Seahawk front office in search of that Nose tackle/defensive tackle.

  15. cha

    Riq Woolen is practicing today, he’s off the PUP.

    • Big Mike

      Good news!
      Now let’s get the RBs healthy.

    • BK26

      It’s weird how much better that makes me feel. Ready for them to start playing games so we aren’t just dissecting practices.

    • cha

      Pete Carroll says they’re going to have him do warmups and walkthroughs for a week or so. Don’t expect to see him play Thursday vs Minnesota.

      • Palatypus

        Good, put Spoon on Justin Jefferson.

        • Chase

          Jefferson won’t play either, although that would be a fun test

  16. ErickV

    ThatFranchiseGuy uploaded the Seahawks deep dive on YouTube. It’s honestly a really good look at the state of the roster from an outside perspective. One of the things I’ll be watching for is whether Tariq Woolen can clean up some of the glaring weaknesses in his game like run defense and covering horizontal routes. Looking at our schedule, I see this as a 9-8 team same as last year.

  17. Blitzy the Clown

    Awesome write up cha! It’s a good read for a thirsty 12.

    Other than some questions about the health of the RB room (just read McIntosh is out a couple of weeks with a sprained knee), the offense sounds like it’s pretty damn good. I think Jake Bobo just might make the team, what with Eskridge suspended for the first 6 games and DYoung with a groin problem or something. I read about Bobo’s nice game (and TC from) Corbin Smith. Sounds like we’re pretty solid at WR.

    It also sounds like an embarrassment of riches at DB with 6 players competing for 4 spots — Brown, Bryant, Burns, Jackson, Witherspoon and Woolen (who’s been cleared to return). Maybeeee you keep 5 because there’s some positional flexibility, but with Diggs, Adams, Love, Blount and a hungry looking Reed in the safety group, I dunno where the spot comes from. I think the least of them gets traded, maybe for a player, but more likely for a mid round pick in 2024.

    Some random thoughts:

    Never thought I’d say this, but I’m excited to watch Charles Cross
    Boye Mafe might push Darrell Taylor off the roster by season’s end
    Jarran Reed might be better (and a better scheme fit) than we’re expecting
    Do we have something in Drew Lock?

    • cha

      I’d really hope Lock gets significant time in each preseason game. At least half of #1, almost all of #2 and half of #3.

      It’s the only way to see what the Seahawks really have. If can be something more than a backup.

  18. cha

    Pete praised Coby Bryant at safety in the mock game.

    “Probably the guy that jumped out was Coby. Had some really good smacks…didn’t hold him back from making his hits and it was obvious. Really serious about work in dime package and safety.”

    • Big Mike

      We know Adams won’t play for at least half the season and maybe longer while collecting his 18.1 million and sipping on his 6k coffee cup so we need to make sure we have depth at the position and Coby looks promising.

  19. Elmer

    Having to go to PK v. Nigeria. Not a good sign?

    • Rob Staton


      They won on an off day

      • Henry Taylor

        More worried that Lauren James may face a 3 match ban.

      • Elmer

        Was the red card justified? I didn’t see it.

        So far I really like how Japan looks. But I’m a good counter indicator.

        • Rob Staton

          Yeah it was a horrendous stamp

  20. cha

    Not shocking news but still, not great to have lots of competition for the talent.

    “There’s definitely a need for interior defensive line depth across the NFL. A handful of teams I’ve visited will be looking for help there, either on the trade market or off waivers, as we get closer to cutdowns.”

  21. cha

    This is like the third time Bradford has had a chance to run with the 1s and they’ve opted for swapping sides with Haynes and plugging Curhan instead

    Bob Condotta
    Damien Lewis not practicing today, so Jake Curhan is with starters at right guard and Phil Haynes on left side.
    1:51 PM · Aug 7, 2023

    • Rob Staton

      Classic Seahawks

      • Big Mike

        Classic Seahawks

        So true.

        • Big Mike

          I will say in fairness it may be worth watching Bradford Thursday night to see if he’s just not ready for a run with the 1s yet.
          That said, moving Haynes seems far too much like “Classic Seahawks”.

          • Peter

            Classic seahawks will also include moving coby bryant around for four years till he goes to another team and *turns out* to be a really pretty good outside corner…..for that team.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      I don’t think Bradford has impressed anyone in camp so far. Looks like he’s headed for a red shirt year

  22. Palatypus

    Derek Carr is exited to play with “very violent” Trevor Penning. I am excited about very few penalties from Charles Cross.

    “He’s a very violent individual,” Carr said, via the team’s website. “He wants to be physical, he wants to assert his dominance in the run game, in the pass game, all those kinds of things. Cool thing too is, Cam [Jordan] came up to him, was talking to him about something after our set, and you hear him like, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, I got you. That makes sense.’ So as aggressive as he is, he’s also willing to learn and grow as a player. I’m excited about him. He’s a different cat, but you don’t want everyone to be normal in the front when they’re protecting you.”

  23. HOUSE

    I know it’s super early & hopefully it’s minor, but this could push Jerrick Reed and Coby Bryant into playing time in 3-safety sets. I know Pete was just praising Coby.

  24. Sea Mode

    Could they be banking on this with their relative disregard for the position this year…?

    Jim Nagy

    Compared to recent years, the 2024 DT class is loaded!

    • BK26

      I don’t think they consider the classes of future years when drafting. Especially with the last couple seasons, there is no way of knowing who is coming out vs. staying.

      Either way, they definitely don’t think that it is a position worth putting high-end capital into.

    • Mick

      With a bit of luck, they might be all gone before we get to pick.

  25. cha

    This is good news

    Jim Nagy
    Compared to recent years, the 2024 DT class is loaded!

    • ErickV

      That’s exciting, are there any players you’ll be checking out this college season ? The main ones I’ve heard of is Newton from Illinois and Maason Smith from LSU. Really hope Seattle goes heavy in the trenches next draft , although I can’t really complain with their BPA approach since we’ve had our best consecutive drafts in years .

      • Rushless pass

        Leonard Taylor out of Miami is a name to watch as well

      • cha

        I let Rob do the heavy lifting in scouting players.

        Finding Calijah Kancey last year was about the only ‘discovery’ I’ve made in ages.

  26. Blitzy the Clown

    Just finished perusing the 90-man depth chart and the safety group looks solid.

    Julian Love and Quandre Diggs starting at SS and FS respectively, with Coby Bryant and Joey Blount backing them up, and Jerrick Reed in reserve.

    I wish I could put a period on this observation, but it would be fan malpractice not to mention the albatross that is Jamal Adams.

    I don’t see how he makes this team better, let alone $18m better. Not to mention he won’t even play until weeks into the season.

    • BK26

      I agree with you. That depth is exciting. Seeing what Bryant can do has piqued my interest (and this is coming from someone who is tired of them moving players, tired of them getting cute).

      Adams just stands out. That contract is hurting the team. The picks that we could have had instead, the better use of resources, not having a player that you have to change your scheme for to TRY and find use for him.

      People get posteriorly sore that it is still talked about, but he directing is affecting the team right now and will for the whole year. And not for the best.

      • cha

        Bryant – I think the Seahawks love his ball skills and want to get him on the field as much as possible. Having him play a Ryan Neal type role with a mix of nickel and safety might actually be fruitful.

        Adams – since I’ve created a Twitter account I’ve submitted questions to writers for mailbags and had some answered. All have basically shrugged and ‘what are you gonna do?’ No real answers at all.

        At this point I’d consider not even talking about a paycut but converting salary to incentives. Pay him $4m guaranteed and offer $7m in playtime and/or performance incentives.

        The Seahawks get $7m of room now and are hedged against a long recovery.

    • Big Mike

      Adams doesn’t make the team better at 1.81 million, let alone 18.1 million.

      • Blitzy the Clown

        Prez of rehabbin’ and cash-backin’!

  27. cha

    Aaron Wilson
    #Ravens hosted Jadeveon Clowney for a visit today

    Any interest on the Seahawks’ side?

    Feels like a John Schneider/Pete Carroll Special. Top player who has been dramatically devalued and has a ‘past’ with the Seahawks. At least make the call and see what you’re dealing with, fellas.

    Another inside presence would be great.

    • Big Mike


    • Rob Staton

      I think it’d be worth considering

      But I suspect bridges are burned there

      • cha

        I think he’d be a terrific fit as a DE in this defense.

        He’s regularly scored a 70+ PFF in run defense – which let’s face it, we all still have questions there – and he could job share with Edwards and let Mike Morris ease his way into a new position and playing with more weight.

        Imagine getting some early-down pass rush without any blitzing.

        And he’d be a very nice redundancy if Dre Jones gets injured and/or could flex outside and take a critical snap or two as a pass rusher late in the game when they need a play.

        • Brodie

          I agree that Clowney would be a nice addition, and I think Rob might be right about it being unlikely. I’m pretty sure he felt that we low-balled him (ie disrespected).

          In 3 weeks there are going to be 1,184 players looking for work at cut-down day. It will be interesting to see if they try to hold out cap space for DL help until then.

          It’s going to get really interesting leading up to August 29th. Will teams leak out that they plan to cut a player in hopes of getting trade offers?

          Chicago drafted 3 DT (including Gervon Dexter & Zacch Pickens) and has 8 on their current roster.
          Packers drafted 2 and have 10 on their roster.

          JS is probably (hopefully) looking at every team, gauging who they are likely to cut, and making a priority list. Maybe talking with teams who need secondary help or might be cutting an aging vet to clear the books going forward.

          Looking at our roster via OTC as an example, guys that are at or below the 51 cutoff include:

          Myles Adams
          Mike Morris
          Tyreke Smith
          Olu Olu
          Jerrick Reed
          Kenny McIntosh
          Jake Bobo

          So, that puts 5 of those guys as cuts or knocking someone with a bigger cap hit out (4 if you assume Cody Thompson is a cut). Any way you slice it, there is going to be a load of talent hitting the market on 8/29.

          • cha

            There definitely will be a little pocket change picked up if all those guys make the final roster. Maybe as much as $1m.

        • Rob Staton

          He would be a significant upgrade over Edwards

          I’d be well up for it

          But he never even gets linked with Seattle after 2020

          • Rob Staton

            I’ve done an article on it

  28. Palatypus

    Slow day.

    No Gnus is good Gnus.

    • Mick

      Well the nu about Eskridge fighting in practice isn’t such a gnu. I normally couldn’t care less about a practice or even game brawl, I’ve been in some myself in the past, but we’re talking about a guy who’s got 6 weeks suspension after domestic violence and allegedly has been through therapy. Fighting is another red flag and I just don’t see how we can keep him with the UDFAs doing good in practice. What a waste of a second round pick.

      • Big Mike

        And I’ll remind folks, we only had 3 picks that year so his busting has been even harder on future years for the team.

        (trying to resist the urge to bring up Humphrey)

  29. Forrest

    Shelby Harris goes to the Browns for up to $5.25M.

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