Scrimmage: 'Anonymous' secondary steps up

All eyes were, of course, on splashy offseason acquisition Jimmy Graham and the rest of the Seahawks established stars but it was the big plays turned in by scrappy defensive backs fighting for a roster spot that wound up becoming the biggest story of Saturday's lively training camp scrimmage.


Renton -- It didn't look like it would be a great day for the vaunted Legion of Boom when All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman was beaten early on a fade route by Chris Matthews, drawing oohs and ahhhs from the estimated 2,500 fans in attendance at the Seahawks' annual training camp scrimmage Saturday.

With Byron Maxwell now playing with the Philadelphia Eagles, Earl Thomas in uniform but not taking part in the scrimmage and, of course, Kam Chancellor still holding out in a contract dispute, it was some new names stealing the show.

New addition Mohammed Seisay - a 6-2, 203 pound cornerback added via a trade with the Detroit Lions last week - made the splashiest play, high-pointing a pass intended for Jimmy Graham for the first of a handful of interceptions by defensive backs most Seahawks fans wouldn't recognize.

The pass was thrown by Russell Wilson - one of two interceptions he threw on the day - and appeared destined to be yet another spectacular catch by Graham. Instead, Seisay used every bit of his height, terrific body control and poise with the ball in the air to steal the pass.

During his post-scrimmage meeting with the media, Graham acknowledged Seisay's big play. "[Seisay] made a great play and didn't bite on the double move," Graham said. "It was a head's up play by him."

A little later it was another lengthy corner - Cary Williams - who showed terrific ball-skills in snatching an interception of his own.

Fortunately for a scrappy group of unheralded defensive backs trying to make this roster, the big plays were just beginning.

Free safety Steven Terrell "starting" in place of Thomas intercepted a deep ball down the left sideline from Tarvaris Jackson that was intended for Ricardo Lockette. Terrell made a couple of other nice reads, nearly intercepting a second pass later.

It was veteran cornerback Will Blackmon, however, who made the most impactful play on defense, undercutting a throw from R.J. Archer and returning it approximately 50 yards untouched down the sideline in front of roaring fans for the lone defensive score of the day. Reveling in the moment, Blackmon high-stepped the final five yards and danced a bit as he crossed the goal line.

Williams was signed to replace Maxwell opposite Sherman. Blackmon is considered the favorite at this point to win the "starting" role at nickel corner. Terrell and Seisay are very much fighting for their roster lives.

Saturday's big plays will certainly help their cause.

While the interceptions certainly gave Seattle's defense reason to be excited, the offense moved the ball effectively, at times.

Tight end Luke Willson made a beautiful catch in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown and wideouts Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse continued their strong training camps with nice grabs and runs after the catch.

Wilson made several early runs to keep the defense on its toes but the ground game wasn't as dominant against the starting defense as it might normally be. That was due in part to decision to hold Marshawn Lynch out of the scrimmage, rather than unnecessarily punish the star running back.

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