“While technically it’s the end of training camp, by no means is it the start of the season,” Mora said. “In my mind we’re still going to be in a training camp mode until we get ready to play the Rams (Sept. 13 in the regular season opener).”
Gulp, and double gulp, said the look that washed across the usually smiling face of left guard Rob Sims when asked to portray this initial Camp Mora.
“Tough,” he said, before breaking into not only a smile but also a hearty laugh. “We’ve had one off day since this thing started. Coach said he was going to do it, and he did it.”
This camp was shorter, even if it didn’t seem that way to the players. The Seahawks have traditionally broken camp before the third preseason game. This year, with Mora contorting tradition at seemingly every turn, camp broke before the second preseason game.
But the gap was bridged by rapidly paced, high-tempo practices, and that lone day off for the players.
“Some people didn’t believe him,” Sims said of the downtime at Camp Mora being singular. “But we just had to trust him. He said it would be fine.
“And I think I became a better player, and we became a better team.”
The getting-better process will continue, starting with Saturday night’s preseason home opener against the Denver Broncos at Qwest Field. But the groundwork – and grunt work – definitely was done the past three weeks.
“It was a good camp,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “We got a lot of reps, a lot of different situations practiced. Now, we’ve got to put it all together these next three preseason games.
“We’ll see. But in our minds, as coaches, it’s been a good camp.”
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp concurred – with Bradley, and also Mora.
“I’m very pleased with the progress,” he said. “We still have a long way to go, but I think we’re on track with what we’ve seen in practice.”
Well, the grind officially ended Thursday night, when Mora put his players through their final training camp practice – the 24th overall, and the last of the seven two-a-day sessions.
But maybe Houshmandzadeh was on to something when the veteran wide receiver hung that tag on Camp Mora – because while training camp might be over in theory, in reality the fine grinding will continue.