Sports Out West

Seattle Seahawks minicamp recap: Lynch appears, rookies impress

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The Seattle Seahawks concluded their three-day minicamp on Thursday in the best way possible by receiving their Super Bowl XLVIII rings.

With minicamp and the ring ceremony complete, attention will now turn to training camp and the 2014 season. The Seahawks will not reconvene as a team until July 25, but minicamp has set up several storylines for training camp and beyond.

Marshawn Lynch’s potential absence was the big news coming in, but he ended that by showing up on Tuesday. A few rookies and sophomores also grabbed headlines with strong showings in practice.   

Marshawn Lynch avoids holdout

Despite reports that the Seahawks expected him to miss the mandatory camp, Lynch avoided a fine by choosing to appear at camp. Lynch didn’t practice due to a sore ankle and his biggest contribution was playing peacemaker in a scuffle between the secondary and wide receivers, but his presence alleviated some concern that Lynch would hold out or even potentially retire.

Lynch’s contract situation is not over, as he could still hold out of training camp in an attempt to get a larger contract in what is likely his last elite year as a running back. It’s widely expected that the Seahawks will begin the transition from Lynch to Christine Michael this season and could even cut Lynch in the 2015 offseason without a restructure.  

Injury Update

All of the Seahawks’ key pieces should be ready for the season, but there were important players who were unable to participate in minicamp. Sidney Rice is going through the most serious rehab coming off a torn ACL, but should be ready by training camp, where he’ll have to earn a roster spot.

Russell Okung, Malcolm Smith and Kam Chancellor are also recovering from surgeries for various injuries, but should be ready by July 25. Bruce Irvin underwent hip surgery earlier this month and may miss the majority of training camp.

Percy Harvin is fully healthy but sat out the second half of Wednesday’s practice. Pete Carroll said he didn’t want Harvin working out three days in a row at this point, so it will be interesting to see if that plan continues into training camp.   

Speedy offense taking shape

Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle says that this is the fastest Seahawks offense ever. With players like Harvin, Paul Richardson and Luke Willson all on the field at the same time, it’s not hard to imagine why.

We got a brief look at how the Seahawks might utilize this speed through bubble screens and other plays designed to get Seattle’s athletes the ball in space. That should only open the field up more for Lynch and Michael (a dynamic athlete himself) in the run game, as well as scrambling room for Russell Wilson.

Cassius Marsh, Garry Gilliam push for playing time

Both rookies were praised by Carroll throughout minicamp and are on their way to earning roster spots and even significant playing time. Marsh has brought the relentless motor that made him standout at UCLA to rookie camp and minicamp while also looking explosive and flexible.

The team hoped Marsh would bulk up before the year started (his playing weight fluctuated between 260 and 300 pounds in college) so he could potentially move to the interior. Marsh is reportedly up to 262 pounds and resembles Michael Bennett more and more with every practice.

Gilliam is an interesting project player who has impressed Tom Cable and company so far. With the discovery of Garrett Scott’s heart condition and Okung’s injury, Gilliam has had the chance to take a lot of snaps at left tackle during minicamp and has made the most of the opportunity.

Originally a tight end at Penn State, Gilliam possesses great athleticism for a tackle. Gilliam won’t be a starter heading into the season, but he could be a great depth piece for a line that has a few injury-prone players.   

Jesse Williams poised to return from injury

Last year, Carroll thought Jesse Williams’ career might be over before it even began due to knee problems. Williams’ rehab has gone better than expected, and he was back on the field during minicamp, impressing the coaching staff.

Williams has lost about 15 pounds, which should help him avoid further injury. He obviously has the physical skills to make an impact on the defensive line, but it will be in a fierce battle for a roster spot, particularly after the Seahawks added Kevin Williams last week. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press 

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.
  • Paddy

    I hope some of the young guys can step up this year. It was kind of disappointing last year that Scruggs, Hill, Williams, and Simon were all unable to get healthy and contribute in any way. I was disappointed Michael couldn’t get past Turbin on the depth chart as well. Hopefully this is the year where those draft picks start paying off in big ways again (add Marsh, Richardson, Norwood, Staten, etc. to the mix).