Wednesday's Seahawks practice marked the first time wide receiver Deion Branch, defensive lineman Cory Redding and cornerback Kelly Jennings were on the practice field during offseason workouts.
All three were limited during the two-hour practice to individual drills. But Branch said he hopes he can do more in the following practices of the three-day, mandatory minicamp.
For Redding, who came to Seattle in the offseason trade with Detroit that sent linebacker Julian Peterson to the Lions, it was the first time he worked on the field in a helmet with his new teammates.
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"I felt like I was back at home on the field," Redding said. "It felt good. It's been a long time coming. I've been busting my tail every single day to get back on the field and do what I love to do and that's play football. So it's good to be around the guys and just to get moving around with them a little bit."
Redding said he suffered a dislocated right knee cap last season on Oct. 19 against Houston, and started running about a month ago.
Redding reiterated that he will play both inside and outside this season, but worked out with the defensive ends today.
"I feel like I can drop down and play the end position," Redding said. "And also keep my strength so whenever I'm out there in the three-technique bring back in Patrick (Kerney) and all of the other guys and (Darryl) Tapp and all the other guys and we get out there and get to rushing, and get after the quarterback."
Branch said he had cartilage cleaned out of his surgically repaired left knee in the first of March, and had been rehabbing the injury since then. Part of his rehab included the daily running of a nearby hill next to the practice field, which Branch had tired of trudging up and down the past few months.
"I've did pretty much everything you can do on it now," Branch said about the hill. "I've maxed it out."
Branch said he'll should be 100 percent by training camp at the end of July.
"Yeah, I'll be good to go," he said. "Everything right now is by choice. I think I could have pretty much done the whole practice today. But they don't just want to throw you back out there. You have to take your precautionary steps and everything."
On the stiff competition at receiver, Branch had this to say.
"There's a lot of competition out there this year," he said. "There's going to be some major decisions made I think once we get to the end of training camp, for whoever is here. They will have pretty much have earned that spot, the guys who are going to make the team at that receiver position. There won't be any giveaways, I'll tell you that."
Listen to the entire conversation with Branch here.
Head coach Jim Mora said this was the 19th practice for the team during the off season. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said once the off-season program ends on Friday, that the real work will begin for the players as they gear up for the beginning of training camp at the end of July.
"For me it's the most important time, especially as a thrower," Hasselbeck said. "It's probably similar to a pitcher. You get your arm ready for competitive throws, two days of practice in one day and those kinds of things. That's where you really sharpen your skills.
"You know you're coming back to camp. There's a conditioning test. A body fat percentage test. There's a weigh in. All that stuff is coming, so it's time to go at that point."
Jennings returned the field for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the second half of the last game of the year against Arizona, suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Jennings is slowly working himself back on the field and said the rehab process has taken longer than he thought. Jennings also said he understands the competition he'll face to regain his spot in the rotation defensively.
"This is the game of football," he said. "They bring guys in to compete, and with cornerback only two can be on the field at one time in our base defense. So I always expect competition and just look forward to it."
Speaking of competition at cornerback, Kevin Hobbs looked good today, picking off three passes and generally being a menace to Seattle's offense during team drills.
Players who sat out of practice today included Marcus Trufant, Patrick Kerney, Na'Shon Goddard, Mike Wahle, Walter Jones, Darryl Tapp, Brandon Miller, C.J. Wallace, Michael Bumpus and Courtney Taylor.
Kicker Olindo Mare was back practicing after a prolonged absence. With the Seahawks picking up linebacker Tony Taylor, they released Port Orchard native free agent linebacker Tony Fein. Taylor's wearing No. 58.
Seattle also signed fullback Dan Curran to replace recently injured running back Tyler Roehl. Curran was at Seattle's training camp as a free agent last season. Curran's wearing No. 41.
Offensive lineman Max Unger took a few snaps under center with the reserve unit today, with Steve Vallos playing some guard.
Julius Jones must have been trying to work up a sweat. The muscle-bound runner actually had long sleeves on and did not show off his trademark biceps with his sleeves rolled up.
Jordan Kent's father, University of Oregon men's basketball coach Ernie Kent, attended practice today.
Deon Butler, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Ben Obomanu and Justin Forsett returned punts today, with Butler dropping his first punt.
That's all for now.