Back in action following a day off, the Seahawks opened the second week of training camp with their fourth open practice.
What went down at the VMAC on the eve of the first padded practice of the summer? Here's five observations from Monday's session:
1. Standing head and shoulders above Seattle's other skill position players, Colby Parkinson enjoyed a dominant afternoon.
On a day where the offense again struggled to find the end zone, the one major bright spot came in the form of Parkinson, whose size, fluid athleticism, and soft hands were on display throughout practice.
Battling for playing time against Gerald Everett and Will Dissly, Parkinson turned in one of the longest plays of the day for Seattle's offense. Reeling in an out route from Geno Smith, he turned up field with plenty of green in front of him along the sideline and cut back inside, showing surprising burst for a 6-foot-7, 265-pound tight end and picking up 30 yards before the whistle was blown.
Where Parkinson really shined was during the red zone period and 7-on-7. He made three different catches during the team's first red zone session, including snagging a touchdown reception from Smith where he high-pointed the ball over cornerback Gavin Heslop. When the team flipped the field for 7-on-7, he dominated the session, catching a trio of passes and bringing in a contested touchdown pass running down the seam with a safety draped all over him.
Given his size and athletic profile, Parkinson figures to be an intriguing weapon for new coordinator Shane Waldron to deploy in his scheme. If Monday was any indication, he's going to be a real problem for linebackers and linebackers alike inside the 20-yard line and could become a favorite target for Wilson in those situations.
2. Damarious Randall and Tre Flowers continue to state their case for playing time at cornerback.
While the offense hit on a few big plays to Parkinson as well as a 50-plus yard connection from Wilson to Tyler Lockett, Monday once again belonged to the defense in large part due to stellar cornerback play. And unlike the previous three open practices, after racking up pass deflections in bunches, they started to manufacture turnovers.
First, during a situational 11-on-11 drill, Wilson dropped back on a one-step drop and quickly attempted to connect with running back DeeJay Dallas, who was split out wide and ran a quick out. Reading the throw perfectly in coverage, Randall jumped the route and undercut Dallas as he approached the sideline, intercepting Wilson and racing 45 yards before finally being caught inside the 10-yard line for a near pick-six.
Moments later during red zone work inside the 20-yard line, Wilson targeted Metcalf in the end zone with Flowers all over him. The fourth-year corner managed to get his hand on the ball and pop the pass up into the air, allowing for safety Quandre Diggs to run under it and record a diving interception for the touchback. Flowers did allow a touchdown to Metcalf later in the practice, but he finished with two pass breakups and overall had his best day of camp thus far.
3. Offensive line shuffling continues, particularly at the tackle and guard spots.
On Saturday, the Seahawks had Cedric Ogbuehi working with the first-team offense at right tackle, while Brandon Shell slid back to the second unit. Those two flipped places again on Monday by design. But Ogbuehi still wound up seeing some action at left tackle on the first team with Jamarco Jones getting "rolled up," according to Carroll. In addition, with starter Duane Brown still standing on the sideline as a bystander, sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe saw his first reps of camp working with the first team.
Meanwhile on the inside, Seattle had starting center Ethan Pocic back for limited work during team sessions after being hampered by a hamstring injury in the first three open practices. With Gabe Jackson receiving a veteran day, Phil Haynes stepped into the lineup in his place at right guard, while Jordan Simmons and Tommy Champion saw the bulk of the playing time with the second unit.
Whenever Brown returns, the Seahawks starting line should be mostly set in stone with the right tackle battle between Shell and Ogbuehi being the lone exception. But during this first week, key reserves have received invaluable practice time and depth looks to be steady at most positions for coach Mike Solari's crew.
4. Undrafted rookies start to make a bit of noise with padded practices on the horizon.
Few undrafted rookies stood out with limited opportunities in the first three open training camp practices. But that changed in a big way on Monday, starting on the offensive side of the ball.
During the team's first red zone period, former South Dakota State standout Cade Johnson turned in his first big play of camp after a quiet start, motioning across the formation to the slot and springing open into the flats to catch a quick five-yard touchdown from backup Geno Smith. Two possessions later, running back Josh Johnson bounced an off-tackle run outside, darting past a cornerback at the second level to eventually find the end zone for six points.
Defensively, with Jamal Adams still not practicing awaiting a new contract, safety Aashari Crosswell saw extensive action with the second-team defense at free safety and made a couple of nice plays in the secondary. Most notably during the first red zone period, tight end Tyler Mabry looked to have a touchdown in the back right corner of the end zone, only for the former Arizona State star to punch the ball out of his hands as he fell to the ground for an incompletion.
All three players face an uphill climb to make Seattle's 53-man roster at positions with excellent depth, but each has a bit of momentum heading towards Saturday's mock scrimmage and the first preseason game in Las Vegas.
5. Jason Myers doesn't look like he's missed a beat since a dominant 2020 season.
Specialists have an interesting schedule during training camp practices, as Myers, punter Michael Dickson, and long snapper Tyler Ott spend the vast majority of their time on a side practice field working tirelessly at their respective crafts. Most of the time, they're out of the limelight unless they are brought over for field goal work during a team session.
After going the entire 2020 season without a missed field goal and breaking Olindo Mare's franchise record for consecutive field goals made, Myers seems to have picked up where he left off. While he's missed a handful of the hundreds of kicks he has attempted during the first week, he's been near-automatic during team sessions and was at his best on Monday. Kicking from both hashes as well as the middle of the field, he went a perfect seven-for-seven in those drills, including connecting on a 60-yard field goal from the left hash.