It was a loose, upbeat practice for the Seahawks this afternoon as they quickly worked through individual and team drills in preparation for Dallas on Thursday.
Center Steve Vallos worked extensively with the first team, and it appears he will get his first career start with Chris Spencer still nursing a bad back. Spencer did not practice today.
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Vallos, who played a lot during the preseason with Spencer missing most of training camp, said that time on the field helped him get comfortable with playing center in the NFL. Vallos, shown above in this Getty Images photo, has only seen spot time late in the game against St. Louis this season, and was also the extra tight end in goal line situations at Miami.
Vallos was drafted as a guard out of Wake Forest in the seventh round in 2007. But the Seahawks moved him to center during training camp when Chris Gray retired because of a back injury
"It helped a ton," Vallos said about playing in the preseason. "Just having experience being out there is different. It's different working with Matt (Hasselbeck) than working with the scout team. It's a whole different world, just making the calls and seeing the defense. But I think just playing in the preseason is really going to help me out."
With Spencer, Mike Wahle and Rob Sims out, Seattle is getting thin on the offensive line. At one point Kyle Williams worked at left tackle, Mansfield Wrotto worked at left guard, Vallos at center, Ray Willis at right guard and Sean Locklear at right tackle with the first unit.
Running back Julius Jones also talked about returning to Dallas and playing against his former team. Jones is pretty fired up about playing against the Cowboys, particularly with his the unceremonious ending to his career there.
In his last game as a Cowboy, the Dallas head coach Wade Phillips told him that he wasn't going to start for the first time that season, but that he would play and Marion Barber would start instead. Jones played sparingly, finishing with three carries for eight yards in the 21-17 loss to the Giants.
"It was a tough situation," Jones said. "It was the most important game that the Cowboys had had in a long time, and I wanted to be a part of it. And I wasn't. But like I said, I've moved on. They've moved on. We're both in the places where we want to be. I'm here where I want to be. And they've got the guy that they wanted to have. So everybody's happy."
Listen to the conversation with Jones here.
Red Bryant (ankle), Koren Robinson (knee), Spencer (back), Mike Wahle (shoulder) and C.J. Wallace (hamstring) did not practice today.