Curtis Allen’s training camp notes (10th August)

This is a guest post by Curtis Allen

The Quarterback Competition

It remains a tight battle with Geno Smith still getting first crack at reps with the #1 offense.

After warmups and some drills, Smith took the starting offense through some scrimmaging while Lock worked a bit with the second team on another field.

However, as the practice progressed and the team came together — Pete Carroll mixed it up a bit, rotating in some of the top WRs like Lockett and Metcalf to work with Lock and also giving him some reps with the top offensive line.

I am certain it would be shrugged off as contingency planning to make sure he could mix and match for the Saturday preseason game against the Steelers but I think it is becoming evident that Carroll really wants to see Lock playing with the top players to get a taste of what he can do with them.

That can also be seen by the drills that Carroll had the team run today. Almost all of them called for passes and good decisions by the quarterback.

They started with a red zone drill. Geno had a nice touchdown throw to Lockett (with great protection as Lockett cleared traffic) and what probably should have been another one to Metcalf if not for yet another brilliant play by Woolen to fight the ball loose (see below).

Lock was more than his equal though. He had an absolutely brilliant touch throw to Lockett for a score. Lockett was lined up to his right and streaked down the sideline. Lock lofted it perfectly into Lockett’s arms in tight coverage. A complete dime.

If that wasn’t enough, he had another touchdown to Lockett on the very next play. Although to be fair, this was the easiest touchdown throw Lock ever had. Lockett had pantsed his defender and gave Lock a wide open target for a pillow-soft toss to him for an easy score.

The passing continued in a ‘third down’ drill. The offense had all of their plays as third downs. Third and 4, third and 7, third and 10, that kind of thing. Didn’t matter if you converted, the next play was a third down with a new distance. Their job was to convert them, the defense’s job was to stop them.

Geno Smith got the first crack with the starting offense vs the starting defense. It was a mixed bag.

On one play, Metcalf was lined up to Geno’s right against Bryant. He completely smoked him and was wide open for a quick slant. Geno did not process the play fast enough and got “sacked” by the defense.

However, on the very next play, Geno hit Will Dissly in the seam for a beauty.

Later in a similar drill, Smith found Metcalf in the middle for a nice gain. He followed it up by staring Lockett down on a third and long and then overthrowing him on the sideline.

He hit Ken Walker with a nice little seam pass that he took and rocketed down the field on. He was then off target on a third and 6 crossing route to Cody Thompson.

You get the idea.

Lock sparkled with the 2’s against the 2nd string defense.

The first play was a third and 10 and Lock had his countdown clock working perfectly. As the rush collapsed the pocket, he saw the middle of the field had been vacated and bolted. He got his 10 yards and slid untouched.

He hit Colby Parkinson on a third and 4, scrambled to his right and hit Penny Hart on the sideline on a third and long and found Cade Johnson with a laser for another first down.

Later in a similar drill, Myles Adams burst through the line. He coolly sidestepped him and delivered a strike.

He was not perfect though. Shortly after, he was flushed from the pocket and when moving right, was inaccurate with a throw to a receiver. It would not have been a first down anyway. But Lock threw it at his feet and it was not pretty.

At the end of the drill Lock was “sacked” but this one appeared to me to be a great job by the defense, more than anything Lock did or did not do. The coverage was tight and the pass rush bottled him up.

I would give Lock a slight edge in scoring today’s practice. He did not make any foolish decisions (one pass looked bad but his receiver slipped and fell) and he stayed in the pocket an appropriate amount of time. That is another way to say his processing was better than Geno’s today.

But he again used his legs to make things happen and the TD throw to Lockett was a standout. I guarantee Pete Carroll will remember that one.


— Play of the day:

Tariq Woolen hand fighting with D.K. Metcalf. It seems like every practice Woolen is doing something impressive. On this one, Metcalf gets two hands on the ball but Woolen refuses to give up and ends up forcing the incompletion.

— Honestly, what I took from this is, this shows that Metcalf is going to get regular practice work in probably his weakest area: contested catches. Both Woolen and Cobe Bryant have demonstrated an aptitude for ball skills so far in camp. Even if they do not get on the field immediately, this can only help the team by getting Metcalf some top-flight practice in this area.

— Speaking of the young corners, I would rather not have Sidney Jones and Artie Burns both injured but this could be a blessing in disguise. It is very possible Pete Carroll will be forced to give his rookie corners all the snaps they can handle in practice and in preseason with the top defense. This could advance their development and bear unexpected fruit later in the season and next year.

— With that in mind, of note is Cobe Bryant did get some work in at nickel but also moved back out to his traditional LCB role later in practice. I appreciate widening your skillset and contributing to the team any way you can, but with the injury situation at corner, it may be most beneficial to have Bryant just focusing on LCB for now.

— Boye Mafe came out early and worked on handfighting drills for pass rushing once again. It is nice to see he is taking his role seriously and working hard to improve. Again, a couple players eventually joined him in the drills but Mafe was clearly a cut above.

— Jake Curhan started with the ones but as practice progressed Abe Lucas moved into the spot.

— Nick Bellore is not a punchline. In the linebacker drills he breezed through the agility drill and destroyed the blocking sled, turning it on its side. The other linebackers gave it a token push. Make all the “I’m in the ‘get off my lawn’ phase of my career” jokes you like. He’s here to show the kids how a professional practices.

— Jamal Adams had a seriously head-scratching moment today. Lining up in a scrimmage, he was out of position and had to be adjusted by Cody Barton to a spot to Barton’s right – not unlike where the MIKE would line up. But once he got set and the ball was hiked, he had a brilliant play. It was a run to his side and he easily knifed through traffic and if he had been allowed to fully tackle in a game situation, he would have blown up the runner for a loss. I’m not sure whether to call that a positive or a negative but the end result was good.

— Pete Carroll appears to be begging one of the young wide receivers to step up and be a punt returner. They all bobbled or mishandled at least one punt in practice today. I get why they had Freddie Swain and David Moore taking punts in previous seasons with a seeming mandate of ‘for goodness sake, just don’t cough up the ball.’

— It looked like Travis Homer pulled something in a run, maybe a hamstring or groin. He limped off and didn’t return but also did not immediately seek out the trainers.

— Ryan Neal did not practice but no longer had the boot on. The ankle injury may not be as bad as thought.

— Now Tyreke Smith appears to have hurt his other hip. He did not participate in practice once again. I am grateful the NFL has adopted the rules allowing players to go on Injured Reserve and come back to play in the same season. With the depth the Seahawks have, he may be a nice choice to stash on IR for a few weeks until he gets up to speed.


  1. CaptainJack

    There is really zero logical reason to give geno so many snaps with the ones.
    Lock should play the entire first half Saturday. Mix in geno and Eason at the end.
    Of course geno will player early and often because the Seahawks have literally zero idea what they’re doing right now.

    • Rob Staton

      They want Lock to earn the job

      Which is completely fair

    • God of Thunder

      They don’t want to hurt the locker room by insulting Geno Smith. He’s been here, and he knows the playbook. He has toiled with a lot of the players as backup. He deserves the chance to lose the starting role.

      As is said of the law, it mustn’t just be a competition, it must look like a competition.

      • JimQ

        I really suspect Smith will play in the 1-st half and Lock in the 2-nd half. Next preseason game, reverse the starters. In that way a good “comparison” of performance can be used to establish QB-1 & QB-2, who should then be given some extra time in preseason game 3 and if all goes well, the “winner” will be the 2022 season QB-1. This tactic would make sense to me.

    • AlaskaHawk

      It is a competition and may remain so for quite awhile. Got to give those quarterbacks some room to make mistakes during preseason.

      I’ve just seen that ABC is carrying the preseason Steelers game. I shouldn’t be so happy to see a preseason matchup but it’s not a given that it gets shown in Alaska. I’m going to pretend its the superbowl matchup all over again.

      • Big Mike

        Since it’s a preseason game the officiating won’t be completely skewed to the stealers.
        If you all will recall last year after NY took forever to finally decide rapistberger actually fumbled and thus we got the ball, the very next snap we got called for holding to kill any chance we had of capitalizing on the turnover. Even the color guy (Collinsworth?) said flat out there was no hold. Remind you of Madden saying the same on the phantom holding call on Sean Locklear in XL*?
        Screw the stealers and screw the NFL for doing this crap.

        NEVER forget what the NFL did to us in XL*

  2. bmseattle

    Thanks so much for these write ups.
    You do a great job and getting this kind of info is very much appreciated.

    Nice to hear that Lock is continuing to get chances and is (mostly) taking advantage.
    We’ve got the skill players to really help him succeed.

    the CB stuff is exciting, as well.

  3. 10to80

    Thanks CA, great write up.

    I agree with the Pete take, and I think PC would love to ‘win’ the trade by seeing Lock start and succeed. It would make the point about what Pete wants at QB–one of the guys rather than THE guy making all the money.

    Interesting to see who will be he best QB on the field Sat night.

    And if this keeps up, the CB’s might not be waiting for their opportunity. If they get the snaps, prove themselves, we know Pete is not afraid to start them.

    And Boye too. Liked that little inclusion. With Bryant, Woolen, and Walker, Mafe kind of gets lost in the shuffle a bit. He’s got serious potential.

    • Peter

      I’ll agree that Pete’s preference is a qb who is more a cog than the wheel.

      But if we’re being honest RW/PC were hand in hand in their tenure together. RW didn’t have to change much about his game….while Pete lives for the big time 4th quarter heroics.

      I like to think after the season most people will see how much they both needed each other.

      Also. Per the money. Whether it’s Levis, van dyke, or other (heck even Lock,) if you find a good enough qb you will be shortly gearing up to making them the guy getting all the money.

  4. Elmer

    Now it’s reported that Penny has an injury. “Not serious…. just taking care of him.” Right.

    Thank you for all that you contribute. Very much appreciated.

  5. Vince

    How do the receivers not named Tyler or D.K. look? Most the reports I’ve been reading make it sound like Marquise Goodwin is solidly in the lead for the WR3 spot.

    Needless to say it’s a troubling thought that a guy barely hanging around in the league may be outplaying all the kids we drafted over the last few years.

    • Peter

      It seems that way because dee Eskridge is often injured.

      For some good news though maybe Melton and even Young get extra game time.

      Love young as a player and hope he can develop. Would be awesome if there’s something there.

      Just me but I thought Melton looked really good playing with a sub par qb. Sneaky good route running.

  6. UkAlex6674

    Has Mafe character concerns re hard work – should we expect anything other than him to take his work seriously?

    • Rob Staton

      Mafe has seemed all about hard work to me

      • UkAlex6674

        That’s the vibe I have been getting also, so a little surprised/worried by the comment in the great write up.

        • Peter

          I see how that could read that way. But I doubt Cha meant it that way.

          Being a nerd I watched as many interview clips on our draftees as possible and PJ fleck had nothing but glowing reviews for Mafe at his time in Minnesota.

    • Mick

      I did’t read into cha’s comment that he had any doubt about Mafe’s work ethics, just that it’s nice to see a young guy working hard.

      Thanks for the report, cha, much appreciated here.

    • cha

      No concerns whatsoever.

      He just came out about 20-25 minutes before everyone else and got some extra work in, just like he did the first day I was there. I thought it was worthy of commendation.

  7. L80

    Just a heads up but NFL Network will be broadcasting the game Saturday at 6:00 pm central time.

  8. Big Mike

    Thanks cha. Encouraging news about Ryan Neal. He will be needed to play SS plenty this year.

    • TomLPDX

      That was encouraging news. Hopefully he doesn’t have to go on IR at all and be ready to play.

  9. GoHawksDani

    They should start young CBs even if they’re a bit raw. Do it smart, but the more gametime they get now the better it’ll be next year. And both showed potential based on what I read.
    I also hope K9 gets the start ahead of Penny. Penny likely will be out of league in the coming years with all those injuries.
    I’d also start both rookie OTs. Better to get the hang of it with Geno/Lock as a QB than with a high draft pick rookie next year

    • AlaskaHawk

      I agree with both thoughts. The players really start to look good from midseason to playoffs.

  10. TomLPDX

    Thanks for the insights CHA. I have to admit as I was reading your write-up and got to this:

    — Jamal Adams had a seriously head-scratching moment today.

    My first thought was “Just one!” Glad he was able to recover and make a nice play.

    • Peter

      Feels about right that the later round rookie is giving the all-pro cues on where to line-up.

      I know we’ll never see the LOB again. But it would be nice if your highest paid players were doing the pre-snap alignments and leading their positional groups.

      • Big Mike

        But the important thing is that Alan has him looking good at the post game presser and that the designer coffee cup is still part of the ensemble.

        • Peter

          Big Mike

          I don’t understand what part of “look good feel good,” you’re not getting.”

          The important thing to me is that he gets as many opinions on a broken finger as he needs to feel comfortable missing 1/3rd of the season and the really important part….neal isn’t on IR so the safety play doesn’t suffer too badly.

          • Big Mike

            You mean the safety play improves don’t you?

            • Peter

              Either I suppose! Doesn’t suffer= equals neal playing beside Diggs.

              Improves= also neal playing beside diggs.

  11. Peter

    Saw the video “no to Roquan Smith.”

    100% agree Rob. Absolutely loaded class for LB’s so that was the time to get one.

    Agree as well that it feels as if the braintrust is finally getting that you can’t put a patch on everything with pointless trades. This team, any team, is rarely one player away from changing their destiny. Yes a few teams have done it by acquiring the right QB. I’m old fashioned and like great LB play but Roquan Smith isn’t going to change this team’s fortunes for the better and has a greater potential by way of costing a high pick for setting the team back.

  12. Big Boi

    I was thinking about these “helmets for the helmets” the players are all wearing and how silly they look, but at the same time I’m not hearing much about concussions so far. Except for Sydney Rice smh. I guess we should be grateful he was wearing the Guardian Cap or else things might have been really bad? Kinda weird.

  13. God of Thunder

    The ones started all their scrimmages in 3rd down mode?

    Make it third and long. Why not mimic the situation they’ll be in when the regular season kicks off!

    • Peter

      Nightmares of running back draws for two yards before a punt.

  14. Gaux Hawks

    My favorite observation?

    “Nick Bellore is not a punchline.”

    Thanks Rob, Cha & Co.!

  15. Big Boi

    I hope tomorrow night we see a lot of DeeJay Dallas, and whoever Josh Johnson and Darwin Thompson are. Meaning 99%. If Travis and Penny are both out, last thing we need is run KWIII 15 times in a meaningless game and end up hurting him as well.

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