Seahawks OTA takeaway: Tre Brown is active at CB while Devon Witherspoon is limited

RENTON, WA — The Seahawks held their second OTA Open practice for the media Thursday afternoon at Virginia Mason Sports Center. They will now rest for the weekend and then meet again on Tuesday. The next session open to the media will be on June 1.

Here are eight quick ideas from Thursday’s workout.

1. The following players did not attend practices: Safety Jamaal Adams (quadruple), Inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks (Knee), Linebacker Nick Bellor, Outside linebacker Alton Robinson, Outfield linebacker Mario Edwards Jr., Receiver D.Eskridge, Receiver DK Metcalf, Punter Michael Dixon and Tarik Wolin, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.

The new names on that list are Eskridge and Metcalf. Both took part in training on Monday but are not believed to have missed Thursday’s training due to injury. (Metcalf appeared in the studio on Fox Sports’ “Undisputed,” which was filmed in Los Angeles, Wednesday morning. Outside linebacker Darrell Taylor trained Thursday after missing Monday’s session.

Inside linebacker Bobby Wagner and nickel cornerback Kobe Bryant were in the inside lane but were not involved when the drills moved outside. Other players removed from practice include cornerbacks Isiah Dunn, Lance Boykin and James Campbell, receivers Cady Johnson and CJ Johnson, nose tackle Latrell Bumphus, right tackle Abe Lucas, and defensive tackle Brian Moon.

Coach Pete Carroll has not been made available to the media after training, so there is no official word on any of the absences or limited participants.

2. The most dramatic battles of attitudes that we can observe in these practices are in the secondary stage. Devon Witherspoon continues to be a seven-on-seven first-round draft pick, but participates in all defensive build-ups, positioning drills and walks. And he was getting more work after working out with assistant defensive back coach DeShawn Shead.

With Witherspoon Ltd and Woolen nursing a knee injury, the rest of the corner team are getting valuable exercise reps. Third-year veteran Trey Brown swings back and forth between left and right cornerback, as does Artie Burns, who re-signed with the team on Tuesday.

3. Brown looks closer to the player he was midway through the 2021 season playing left wingback opposite D.J. Reid. Despite being undersized for an outside corner at 5-foot-10, Brown was always active with the ball in the air and had a couple of nice passing runs on Thursday. The first came on a deep third down ball against receiver Aesop Winston Jr., and the second occurred in the end zone against Noah Fant. Geno Smith threw both passes.

Michael Jackson had to battle Burns, Browns and Sidney Jones to keep his left cornerback job last season, so fighting to play is nothing new for him. He also does plays on the coaching field. Defensive coordinator Clint Hurt said both Jackson and Brown have responded well so far to having the five best players in their block.

“They were already naturally competitive players anyway, so it wasn’t like we needed to do something to light a fire under them,” Hurt said. “But I think it’s human nature, when someone of that stature comes into a room, it’s only natural to stir the bowl a little bit. I think it’s good.”

Speaking specifically about Jackson’s mental make-up when it comes to competition, Hurt said, “A lot of people, they kind of relax and go on cruise control. Mike Jackson hasn’t been like that in the time we’ve been here. He’s always had a consistent work ethic and has always been Humble. To see the strides he’s made in the past year, which was a pleasant surprise to everyone, his work ethic always spoke for it. He’s a big, strong kid who’s in the corner and his game just keeps getting better. I love seeing the confidence from him that we’re seeing now.”

4. On offense, receivers Cody Thompson and Dariki Young continue to be active in practice, playing on the ball. Thompson re-signed with the team in April after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury.

“Cody did an amazing job,” Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron said Thursday. “Last year, he’s really been moving forward with all his hard work. (He’s) a guy who’s come close to him trying to do the right thing all the time, and he’s been showing up on the field. He picked up right where he left off when he went down with an injury. (I) was really proud to see him He fights back and I have that resilience to not let that injury in the past affect how he handles this off-season. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

5. A seventh-round pick in 2022, Young only ran 31 tackles and caught just two passes for 24 yards last season, but he’s been active most of the season on special teams and was up for reps when called upon. Line up linebackers, catch pop passes in the backfield and run in the traditional ways on the field. Being versatile increases his value to the offense.

The lack of Eskridge and Metcalf in practice meant a lot of passes coming Young’s way. There have been some mixed results, either due to good defending or being sacked by midfielders, but you can see he gets every chance to prove what he can do, which is good for his chances of contributing at some point this season. Thursday’s practice ended with Young catching a touchdown pass from Drew Lock.

“Dareke is getting better and better at receiver and the track going and a few different things,” said Waldron. “Coming out of college, (it was) a different style of offense that he was in in his later years. He’s just going to continue to grow and improve. He’s smart, tough and reliable, so he’ll continue to find a way to get on the field.”

6. After veteran player Evan Brown took on every first-team rep I saw on Monday, fourth-round winner Olu Oluwatemy took a look there on Thursday. But Waldron said there’s nothing quite as readable as far as the depth chart goes. They are experimenting across the offensive line at this point in the off-season.

“We’re a long way from finishing either cast,” Waldron said. “Training camp, we’ll have a better idea of ​​how we want to split those up. Right now they (Brown, Oluwatimi and Joey Hunt) mix and match like all the offensive linemen. (We) mix and match a few things until they have a good feel and understanding. Good for offense. As we get closer to boot camp, we’ll start to tone down how we want to handle the actual reps when we’re facing each other all the time.”

7. There is no contact allowed during this phase of the offseason, so defensive backs must be careful in chasing the ball through the air. With that in mind, rookie defensive back Jonathan Sutherland made a nice jump interception of a Locke pass at seven-for-seven. Sutherland was listed as a strong safety but also practiced with nickel corners.

“It was a beautiful play,” Hurt said. “Really well played.”

8. Like Witherspoon, first-round receiver Jackson Smith-Njegba participates in walks and positional work but nothing that involves facing an opponent during an outdoor workout. Smith-Njigba is also like Witherspoon in that he makes sure to get extra work after training. On Thursday, Smith-Njigba joined a handful of receivers who are paving the way with Smith and Lock.

“He’s done a great job with the work he’s been able to do so far,” Waldron said of Smith-Njegba. “You see a lot of his natural talent really on display, especially in some of the one-on-one drills, one-on-one work. Excited to continue working with him and watching him progress throughout the OTAs and into training camp.”

(Photo by Trey Brown: Joe Nicholson/USA Today)


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