Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Impressions from Mora's first practice
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
RENTON, Wash. -- A voluntary minicamp in April is no time for exhaustive personnel evaluation, particularly with a new coaching staff introducing new players to new concepts.
We'll stick to a few first impressions, written in pencil, after the Seahawks held an organized practice for the first time since Jim Mora succeeded Mike Holmgren as head coach:
This is a bonus camp for Seattle (teams with new coaches gain an extra camp). The Seahawks are practicing once per day through Thursday. It's a chance for veterans to take their classroom work to the field, and for the rest of us to guard against overanalyzing.
- Matt Hasselbeck's back injury is a fading memory. We'll check back after the quarterback inevitably takes a few hits during the preseason. For now, though, Hasselbeck seems to be moving well and throwing about the way he might expect under the circumstances. He'll be sharper after working with T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the other receivers more.
- Hasselbeck said he's "not going anywhere" when asked about the Seahawks possibly drafting a quarterback in the first round.
- Players affirmed new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's promise to simplify terminology. That's one reason receiver Nate Burleson said he wasn't worried about missing team portions of practice to protect his surgically repaired knee. Burleson said Houshmandzadeh discussed among themselves the smaller learning curve.
- Left tackle Walter Jones was one of 11 rehabbing veterans held out of practice as a precaution. His absence was felt. Watching practice, it was tough to argue against Seattle adding an offensive tackle early in the draft.
- The Seahawks need improvement from second-year defensive end Lawrence Jackson. He made a very favorable impression in pass-rush drills and team drills.
- Brandon Mebane was disruptive lining up as a three-technique defensive tackle while newcomer Colin Cole manned the nose. Cole looks the part. He's huge.
- The defensive staff in particular delivered on its pledge to increase energy levels, but Mora was more reserved than I might have expected. He said he was taking in the big picture and didn't come into the camp with an agenda to be energetic.
- Newcomer John Owens affirmed his status as a blocking tight end when he dropped a pass.