RENTON – Doug Baldwin remembers the celebrations the most – Terrell Owens brashly taunting a TV camera, or prancing into the end zone with his arms spread wide after making another cornerback look silly on a touchdown catch.
But more important, Baldwin understands what happened leading up to the veteran receiver’s memorable expressions of joy.
“In order to celebrate, you have to be scoring touchdowns,” Baldwin said. “And you have to be able to dominate. He for sure did that.”
More than bravado, Baldwin, a second-year pro who led Seattle in receptions last season, is looking forward to learning techniques from one of the best to ever play his position when Owens takes the practice field for the first time today.
Owens, who signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks, was not at practice Tuesday. The Seahawks released cornerback Donny Lisowski in order to make room for Owens on the 90-man roster. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said that Owens will not play on Saturday against Tennessee.
Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said his fellow teammates don’t have any concerns that Owens will be a distraction in the locker room.
“We are welcoming the guy here,” Rice said. “We are not going to talk bad about him. We are going to try to keep him comfortable in the locker room and get him out here on the field as much as possible to make plays for us.”
Carroll echoed that sentiment.
“We’re a bunch of young guys growing, and if an older guy wants to fit in, they’re going to have to do it our way,” Carroll said. “That was a really clear statement to Terrell and he knows what he’s getting into.”
Carroll signed the 38-year-old Owens because he’s still looking for an impact receiver like Mike Williams when he led the Seahawks with 65 receptions two years ago – a big, physical receiver who can win on the outside against man coverage.
Seattle released Williams before training camp because of health and conditioning issues.
Carroll always had that type of receiver at USC, but potential replacements for Williams such as Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham have not played up to their potential.
“We lost a little something when Mike wasn’t there last year for us throughout the season like we would’ve liked,” Carroll said. “I’d like to give somebody who has an opportunity to be that style of player a chance to fit in.”
Carroll mentioned Braylon Edwards is doing a good job and has been a factor at times during practice – Edwards had a couple big catches Tuesday – but that Owens gives his team another person who could potentially emerge and seize that role.
However, Carroll would not say that Owens was brought in to compete for the starting receiver job opposite Rice. Third-year pro Golden Tate remains the front-runner for that spot, and Carroll praised Tate’s play during training camp.
“We aren’t necessarily competing for a spot, versus just competing to help this ballclub out,” Edwards said about Owens. “If guys are selfless and give that to the team, we can have six or seven wide receivers throughout the season that can be very dangerous.”
Carroll said that in doing his research on Owens that he talked with his former quarterback at USC, Carson Palmer, and received a good report.
Palmer played with Owens in Cincinnati two years ago.
“He loved working with him and loved playing with him,” Carroll said about his conversation with Palmer. “He worked out with him, and knows him really well. It was really pleasing to hear that.”
Owens will not be wearing his traditional No. 81 because that number belongs to Tate. Instead, Owens will wear No. 10.
Carroll said that Owens had an extraordinary workout Monday, and with a 4.45 40-yard time he ran faster than he did coming into the league.
“That’s faster than my pro day,” joked Baldwin, who ran an official time of 4.48 at his Stanford pro day. “And he’s 38-years-old. He had crisp routes. He came out of his breaks unbelievably for 38-years-old. Even if he was 24-years-old, it would still look good.
“He caught everything that was thrown to him, and he absorbed everything that the coaches were saying to him. So he’s hungry to be back on the football field.”
Baldwin (hamstring), Lockette (hamstring), linebacker Allen Bradford (hamstring), linebacker Jameson Konz (shoulder), linebacker Matt McCoy (knee), tight end Anthony McCoy (hamstring) did not practice today. Cornerback Walter Thurmond (leg) and offensive lineman James Carpenter (knee) remain on the physically unable to perform list. Receiver Durham returned to practice after suffering a hip injury during Sunday’s firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams