PRACTICE REPORT: Washington Dazzles, Whitehurst and Losman Flounder

With the Navy’s Blue Angels high up in the clouds breaking the sound barrier with their acrobatic aerial show for Seattle’s annual Seafair and music ranging from hip-hop to rock booming from the sidelines, Sunday’s Seahawks Bing Training Camp practice at Husky Stadium took on a special flair; however, the sporadic play on the field couldn’t match that same special feeling. 

RUSSEL WATCH
Seattle’s newly signed cornerstone for its offensive line has hit the ground running.

Rookie Russell Okung took numerous repetitions during team drills in just his third day of practice as a Seattle Seahawk.  Working a lot on his pulling technique today, Okung showed off good footwork and agility.  All indications point to the Oklahoma State product taking over the team’s starting spot at left tackle in mere days and could be game-ready by Seattle’s preseason opener Thursday at Qwest Field against Tennessee. 

TROUBLES FROM THE POCKET
If today was any indication of the future, it’ll be a long season for the Seahawks should starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck miss time this season.

With Hasselbeck not partaking in the team’s limited contact scrimmage, backups Charlie Whitehurst and J.P. Losman stepped into the spotlight.  Both were unable to find any rhythm in the passing game, but what plagued them the most was their inability to go through their progressions quickly.  The two combined were sacked three times and were flushed out of the pocket three other times.

Currently, Whitehurst is penciled into the second position on the depth chart, but his tendency to swallow the football coupled with a hitch that occasionally appears in his throwing motion might demote him.  Like the college version of Tim Tebow, Whitehurst drops the football below his shoulder and winds up.  Unlike the old Tebow throwing motion, it doesn’t happen every pass play for the 28-year-old Whitehurst.  Oftentimes when he fell into that habit today he was late on his passes and many of them fell to the turf as incompletions. 

SEAHAWKS CAN LEAN ON LEON IN 2010
Leon Washington is back.

After suffering a broken leg last season as a member of the New York Jets, the running back’s trademark mobility and electric speed were questioned.  If those questions haven’t been answered yet during training camp, they were today.

Prior to the team’s scrimmage, Washington flashed his elusiveness.  During seven-on-seven drills, the 5-foot-8 running back hauled in a short pass over the middle and turned up field.  Meeting him were numerous defenders, but the speedy Washington stutter stepped and cut his way through them as they pulled up due to the drill’s limited contact.

On a run up the middle, Washington hit the hole hard and got into the secondary.  Slipping past would-be tacklers, he cut to the right and scampered down the sideline while fans in the Husky Stadium stands applauded. 

PLAY OF THE DAY
Whitehurst drops back to pass and airs it down the left side of the field.  About 20 yards from the line of scrimmage along the left hash mark, a leaping Deon Butler snags the ball out of the air.  Butler’s defender goes for the ball as well, but the second-year wideout from Penn State wrestles the ball free while in the air and is able to hold onto it while crashing to the turf.

Can’t get enough NFLGridironGab?  Follow SeahawksGab Editor Devon Heinen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DevonHeinen.


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