Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

August 4, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Camp Carroll 2.0, Day 8

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Thursday, Aug. 4
Afternoon: Pads

Play of the day: Defensive tackle Alan Branch has been overshadowed by the Seattle's other, higher-profile free-agent signings. Branch played only about 300 snaps with the Cardinals last season, obscured in the Cardinals defensive line rotation, but the Seahawks believe he can emerge as a force on their defensive line. One practice is too soon to draw any conclusions, he showed an ability to get in the backfield. During seven-on-seven run-game drills, he got in the backfield and collided with Marshawn Lynch, knocking him to the ground.

Noteable absences: Walter Thurmond has not practiced yet this week because of a sprained ankle, and defensive end Chris Clemons is dressing, but not participating in all drills. Clemons underwent offseason surgery on his ankle, and recently suffered an infection. The team is being cautious in his return. DE Dexter Davis also did not practice. WR Deon Butler, TE Cameron Morrah, DB Roy Lewis and DT Colin Cole are among the players who have not practiced since training camp began.

Position spotlight: Quarterback

Click to keep reading as we put a microscope on the men under center.

Let the overanalysis officially begin. I almost began my story that will be published in Friday's paper with an observation about Seattle's difficulty with the exchange. And it's true, the Seahawks did have repeated troubles with the center-quarterback exchange Thursday both with starter Max Unger and backup Mike Gibson. I thought I could make that a metaphor of sorts for the fact that the transition from one quarterback to the next hasn't been exactly seamless here in Seattle. After all, Tarvaris Jackson was named the starter before he could even practice.

The reason I didn't use that is because I thought that would be blown out of proportion, and some people would oversimplify it to come away with the impression that Seattle signed a quarterback who had trouble simply getting the ball from the center. Yes, clean snaps were an issue during Thursday's practice. No, I don't expect that to continue.

There's going to be an overanalysis of this position even though there is no competition at starting quarterback.

For the record, I thought Jackson looked like a competent quarterback who was practicing with this teammates for the first time. He made some nice throws, he looked natural in the instance I saw when he pulled down the ball and ran. He also admitted himself he missed Mike Williams on a go route, showing that he'll have to develop a better understanding of where his receivers like the ball.

Jackson looks much more natural and fluid rolling out than Charlie Whitehurst has in his time here.

Charlie Whitehurst has been very up and down through the first week of practices. I thought he looked very rough for the first practice and a half, extremely erratic throwing the ball. He was better over the weekend, but he was again largely unimpressive on Tuesday.

Josh Portis, the team's undrafted rookie, struggled with accuracy during the first few practices, and he's still getting comfortable taking the snap under center, but he looked much better on Thursday. You can definitely see the potential that caused the team to not only sign him, but keep him as it chose to cut Zac Lee, the other undrafted rookie quarterback Seattle signed.

Some other observations:

• Doug Baldwin, the undrafted rookie receiver from Stanford, deserves attention as a possible slot receiver. At 5 feet 10, it's easy to overlook him in that forest of Seattle's 6-foot-something receivers, but he's got great footwork. In a one-on-one pass drill, he got safety Earl Thomas to bite on a route and then broke outside. It was impressive.

You can see why Seattle drafted cornerback Richard Sherman of Stanford. He stands 6 feet 3, and general manager John Schneider loves those tall cornerbacks. He's still new to the position, though. And he got beat deep by receiver Dominique Edison after failing to jam him at the line. Later in practice, Sherman made a great play on a pass Jackson tried to throw to Sidney Rice. Sherman came over the top to bat it away.

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After watching a few training camp videos, I'm very excited to see how our offense looks. With solid receivers, 2 great tight ends, a rock...  Posted on August 5, 2011 at 1:34 PM by Sandul. Jump to comment
These guys blew it not getting McNabb  Posted on August 5, 2011 at 1:17 PM by 40 BIGDZZZY 40. Jump to comment
This Tavaris Jackson experiment is gonna be shorter than taking the run-and-shoot into Chicago in 1990. So one practice is enough to write him...  Posted on August 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM by ex NC fan. Jump to comment

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