RENTON — After the fourth full practice of training camp for the Seahawks on Monday, the two men competing for the starting quarterback job were in complete agreement about one thing — the defense got the better of the offense.
“I feel like today was one of those days where I feel like they might have gotten the best of us a little bit,” Geno Smith said. “But you know, you expect that sometimes.”
Added Drew Lock: “This was the first day they got us. I told them they were hooting and hollering today, and it hadn’t been that loud yet. So that was the first time that, you know, I was really hearing them today.”
Those assessments seemed to be putting it lightly.
During team sessions, the offense, to be blunt, got little done in the passing game.
Safety Jamal Adams kicked things off by batting down a Smith pass for DK Metcalf on the first play of 11-on-11.
A few minutes later, during an eight-play red-zone drill, the offense did not score a touchdown with just two short completions and committed two procedure penalties.
Along the way, linebacker Uchenna Nwosu recorded a leaping interception of Smith in a seven-on-seven drill.
Typifying the day, in a late team session, Lock found a wide-open Noah Fant about 15 yards downfield — a rare time there appeared to be an easily available receiver — only for Fant to drop it.
There are, of course, the usual caveats that it’s an early camp practice and the team is not in pads — that will happen for the first time Tuesday — nor is there live tackling once pads go on, which mutes the impact of the running game.
Still, the defense was unquestionably dominant throughout with the offense not scoring a touchdown in any team session.
“I feel like they came out with a little more juice than we had today,” Smith said on a day both quarterbacks had been previously scheduled to talk to the media for the first time during camp. “You could see them talking smack. They had a lot of energy.”
At one point the offense’s frustration seemed to boil over when Metcalf got into it briefly with defensive end Darrell Taylor, throwing what was just slightly more than a love tap after the two exchanged words before they were quickly separated.
“It’s about how we respond,” Smith said. “So I look forward to tomorrow’s practice.”
While the defense was particularly stifling Monday, it’s fair to say that it has had the upper hand — if not always quite so thoroughly — throughout the first few days of camp.
Some fans might read that and think that their worst fears are being confirmed about the team as it heads into its first season since 2011 without Russell Wilson.
But with safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams back on the field Monday, the Seattle defense — a largely more-proven group than the Wilson-less offense — could reasonably be expected to be ahead right now.
And accurately assessing the offense is going to be impossible until it’s determined who will be the quarterback — a question that remains unanswered and likely will be for some time.
All that’s evident so far is that Smith remains ahead, continually running the No. 1 offense while Lock runs the second unit.
In fact, Lock has not gotten a snap with the first-team offense in a team drill since the first day when he got a couple.
That might seem like a surprise given that the competition has been portrayed to be wide open. But coach Pete Carroll has also not specified how reps will be divvied up making it hard to read much into how the QBs have been used.
Lock said it hasn’t bothered him to work almost solely with the second team so far.
“I mean, of course, every quarterback wants the one reps,” Lock said. “I think that process will take care of itself. I’m going to keep doing everything I can with the twos, leading those guys, letting them feel me every single day, feeling like it’s most important rep not only to me but to them as well and that will help this team grow being able to have such a good one-two punch with the ones and the twos.”
Carroll has consistently said Smith is in the lead with his better command of the offense due to being with the Seahawks for four years and in his second year with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
Lock, one of eight players/picks acquired for Wilson, said Monday that he feels like he’s where he wants to be in his knowledge of the system, saying: “It was awesome to be able to have a set playbook, keep studying over this little summer break. And when I got here Day One, I was ready to roll. You know, I didn’t have any questions. I was ready to go.”
Lock said he also feels improved from the spring in his footwork, saying that Seattle’s offense calls for him to do some different things with his feet than he did in Denver.
“A lot of it [his work in the summer] was trying to time up footwork in these different pass plays,” he said.
As for Smith, he was also confident of what he’s done in camp so far.
“Honestly, I feel great when I’m out there,” Smith said. “I feel like I have complete control over what I’m seeing. … I feel like my reads and getting the ball out on time, being early, being decisive, all those things that you want to do feel like I’ve been doing them. And, obviously, there’s some times where you wish you could have a play back here, there. But you know, that’s the reason for practice.”
The reality Monday appeared to be that it’s a good thing there’s a lot of practice left — and a lot of time to still sort out the quarterback competition — before Wilson and Denver come to town to open the season Sept. 12.