RENTON – Depending on who’s healthy at game time on Sunday, Breno Giacomini could be the starting right tackle when the Seattle Seahawks open their 2011 season at San Francisco.
For a scouting report on Giacomini’s attributes, a solid source is defensive end Raheem Brock, who faces the towering 6-foot-7, 318-pound Giacomini in practice.
“He’s strong and a pretty good pass blocker, as well; he’s definitely improving,” Brock said.
And his attitude?
“Yeah, he definitely irritates me,” Brock said, adding: “That’s a good thing.”
Giacomini makes no apologies for his aggressive and physical play. He considers it the cornerstone of his game.
How do defenders respond?
“They don’t like it,” he said. “They don’t like it at all.”
Giacomini’s repertoire includes some oral shots and energetic contact … whatever it takes to provoke the defender.
“Yeah … that’s fine,” he said. “I try to take care of my teammates, but everybody else … you’ll know that I’m there, you know what I mean.”
The roots of his approach came from his strength coach at the University of Louisville, Jason Veltkamp.
“He molded me into a tackle,” Giacomini said. “(He said) be as nasty as you can be, that’s what scouts look for, and I bought into it.”
Giacomini (GEE-ah-co-MEE-knee … his grandfather was Italian, but his parents are Brazilian) grew up in Malden, Mass, a north suburb of Boston. In high school, he worked at a hot dog and fried dough stand at Fenway Park.
He apparently did not sample much of the product because he weighed only 215 pounds as a senior. He saw his future on the basketball court, where he averaged 21 points a game.
The only college scouts who showed interest, though, were from the Louisville football staff. They liked the athleticism they saw in him on video from basketball games.
At Louisville, he was moved from defensive end to tight end, and “was in the weight room every day … (and did) a lot of eating and lifting.” By the time he neared 300 pounds, he was moved inside to tackle, where he helped protect productive Cardinals quarterback Brian Brohm.
A fifth-round pick by the Packers, Giacomini was signed by the Seahawks late last September off the Green Bay practice squad.
“When I got here last year, I think I took a jump forward,” he said. “Being on the practice squad, doing all the extra work with the coaches here last year really got me here.”
Giacomini has been one of the surprises of the exhibition season, challenging first-round draft pick James Carpenter. When veteran left guard Robert Gallery suffered a knee sprain in the final exhibition game, the staff experimented with moving Carpenter to left guard and giving Giacomini a shot at right tackle.
“We’re just shuffling some guys around,” Giacomini said. “We’ll see what the call is on game day; there’s nothing official right now. I want to take advantage and show them what I’ve got. I’m trying to get better every day, and I’m just going to keep going on the path I’ve been on.”
HAUSCHKA KICKS IN
Kicker Steven Hauschka had a successful – highly unofficial – job interview on Aug. 27.
On the final play of the Denver-Seattle exhibition in Denver, Hauschka booted a 51-yard field goal to win the game for the Broncos. When he was waived by Denver, the Hawks picked him up and sent Jeff Reed packing.
“I’m excited to be here,” Hauschka said. “Amazing facility, great coaching staff, and the guys have been real open and welcoming.”
Of his kick against the Seahawks, Hauschka said, “It didn’t hurt, that’s for sure.”
He played at North Carolina State and kicked in the NFL for Baltimore before joining Denver last season.
He has made 16 of 22 attempts in 21 career games.
A strength is kickoffs, where he’s expected to have a higher percentage of touchbacks than Reed.
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said after practice that defensive end Chris Clemons “tweaked his ankle a little in walk-through.” … Rookie middle linebacker K.J. Wright has “been getting the majority of the reps” while starter David Hawthorne recovers from a sore knee. “Whatever the case (with Hawthorne), the team has a lot of confidence in K.J.,” Bradley said.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org