RENTON -- Prior tot the first practice of training camp in shoulder pads for the Seahawks on Monday, head coach Pete Carroll give many glowing reviews of several of the newcomers to the roster this season.
While it should be noted that only four practices together had elapsed and none had yet been in pads, Carroll spoke highly of both free agent acquisitions and draft picks that he expects to contribute to the team this season.
Much of that praise was centered on offensive linemen.
Carroll addressed both the additions of Brandon Shell and Cedric Ogbuehi in free agency as well as third-round pick Damien Lewis at guard.
"Might be my favorite acquisition because he looks so much the part," Carroll said of Shell's signing. "He's a big kid. got good body control. I mean, there hasn't been a thing about him that hasn't looked good. And his consistency and his technique is really, really, you know, a joy to see. I think he's going to be really good. He can get downfield. He can get on the edge and block and he's stout in pass protection so far.
"But if I've watched tons of film him because I've seen other guys and other teams that I've studied and all of that, so I've watched most of his season from last year, and he's just he's just really consistent. He's really consistent and he's physical enough to be dominant too. So I'm really fired up about that because that's a big move right there you know, to lose a tackle that played four years for us (in Germain Ifedi) and then come back and get a guy that really looks the part. He's going to be hard for anybody to move out of there. He's on his game."
Shell spent his first four seasons in the league with the New York Jets. He was a fifth-round selection by the Jets out of South Carolina in 2016 and signed with Seattle this offseason as the probable replacement for Ifedi at right tackle.
Ogbuehi was a former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals that has been getting work at left tackle as Duane Brown's reps are limited early in camp.
"He totally looks the part," Carroll said. "You know, he was (a) number one for a reason. He's got great feet, he's got great flexibility, it moves really well. You know, it's really a good get for us. It's hard to find guys that have the physicality to play left tackle. And he can do that. So we just need to get him in the system and get them really sharp with what we're doing and and see how it goes
Lewis is one of the few rookies that seems to have an obvious chance to win a starting job this fall. Lewis has been working with the first-team group at right guard and Carroll was effusive in his praise for him play so far.
"Damien Lewis, he's a special football player," Carroll said. "He's got a tremendous body for the position. Great body mass low. And he's really, really powerful. You can see him in positions already, you know, torquing and all that shows that he can return to balance really well, which is a real good trait for offensive lineman. He's really smart. He's studied really hard. The guys already can sense that you can count on him to know what's going on. And so he's off to a really good start. He moves well on the second level and he's done a nice job already to showing us that he can pull and get on the edge. So he's done nothing but good stuff so far."
Additionally, first-round pick Jordyn Brooks also got praise from Carroll.
"He really looks the part," Carroll said. "He's got a great body. He's built definitely than we've seen guys. Really big legs and hips and butt. Really low, low center of gravity. Really powerful guy and he's very quick and explosive. So he's already shown that a number of times. He showed some really good instincts playing off blockers which is not always a natural thing, but he used his hands real well. He's made really a really good first impression. He looks the part all the way."
Darrell Taylor return still not imminent:
Second-round pick Darrell Taylor remains on the non-football injury list as he works back from surgery this offseason to address a stress fracture in his shin.
Carroll said on Monday that his return still isn't close to becoming a reality.
"He hasn't run yet," Carroll said. "We haven't even let him run yet. We're really taking care of them and making sure that when he gets back he stays back. It's really frustrating for him. He was dying to get to camp, you know, and get rolling.They did a couple of procedures for him to make sure that they're doing everything they can early on so that he can really come busting back. When he jumps back out there we know he's going to be a factor. It's going to make a difference too just to see his speed on the field. We're really excited to get him back but we just kind of wait it out and be patient. It's going to be a bit just to ensure that.
Much like with L.J. Collier last season, Taylor's injury could set him back significantly as he tries to prepare for his rookie season in the NFL. Collier was basically a non-factor for Seattle last season after sustaining a bad high-ankle sprain in the first week of training camp and missing the entirety of the preseason.
Carroll said they hope to be able to get Taylor at least two weeks of work on the field before expecting him to be ready to play.
"We'd really like to get him two good weeks of work with us," Carroll said. "The race is on to get there. We'll see what that means.
“Two weeks at least to get work in would be what we want. If we get less we’ll go with what we know, and we’ve got to make sure he’s ready. We would not rush him back just to get him on the field. I won’t do that but we’ll see what happens. ... He's dying to get on (back). He would practice right now if we'd let him. So we're holding them back and I think he'll bounce back really quickly. He is doing a lot of conditioning work and stuff that he can do with the trainers and all that. But I would like him to see a couple weeks before we really counted on him in first game."
-- Defensive tackle Jarran Reed (knee) and wide receiver David Moore (ankle) both were back at practice on Monday after missing Sunday's workout.
Reed's knee flared up a bit during Friday's practice. Carroll said Reed just "overworked" a little bit and that it wasn't an issue. His return to practice was further illustration of that notion.
Moore tweaked an ankle in practice on Friday and sat out Sunday's practice as well.
-- Defensive tackle Poona Ford, wide receiver Freddie Swain (groin), guard Phil Haynes, cornerback D.J. Reed and linebacker Jordyn Brooks were the handful of players that sat out Monday's session for Seattle. Defensive end Darrell Taylor, tight end Colby Parkinson and running back Rashaad Penny remain on injured lists.
Photo Credit: Russell Wilson leads a huddle with tackle Brandon Shell and guard Damien Lewis looking on during Seahawks practice on Aug. 16, 2020. (pool photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)