The Seahawks are off the field following their 10th practice of training camp, two days before the first preseason game at Denver. The most noteworthy sights: Left tackle Russell Okung and safety Kam Chancellor practicing more and watching less following offseason surgeries.
Like Monday, they didn't do a ton -- mostly individual-position and group work, and nothing in team scrimmaging. But getting almost 10 percent of its starting 22 back from surgery doing more on the field than just watching their teammates is a positive for Seattle for its opener Sept. 4 against Green Bay.
Okung, the all-important sentry on the blindside of quarterback Russell Wilson, did individual drills (like this one above) during the team's two hours of work in shoulder pads, helmets and sweatpants/shorts in front of a couple thousand fans at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. These are Okung's first two days of extensive work on the field since a torn toe ligament caused the four-year starter to miss the first eight games of 2013, and to basically drag himself through the last nine. Okung had surgery in the offseason to repair the big toe on his left foot.
"I feel great. It feels good to be back out here on the field, playing some ball," the Seahawks' sixth-overall draft choice in 2010 said. "I'm just glad I'm back."
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Sounds like he's had a foot overhaul, too. Okung said the injury he had repaired "was around" the toe issue "but was the whole foot itself."
Asked if he was healthy at anytime in 2013, Okung went all it-is-what-it-is.
"Football, it's a tough game. There's not a guy out there not playing hurt, or who doesn't feel all that well," he said. "Just kind of accept it and roll with the punches."
Chancellor is back following hip surgery around the first of April. The procedure left some questioning how much the 2012 Pro Bowl safety would do in August, if anything.
“I’m feeling great, real good,” the three-year starter at strong safety said. “I feel like I’m on a perfect schedule to get back on the field and get to where I want to be.”
That, of course, is lining up against the Packers in four weeks, not necessarily for the exhibitions against the Broncos, then San Diego (Aug. 15), Chicago (Aug. 22) and at Oakland (Aug. 28).
Chancellor said the hip has been a pain for him since his days at Virgina Tech.
“It was something that lingered from college and pain I’ve dealt with for a while, but it’s good now," he said. "My hip feels fine.”
That's not all that makes Chancellor smile. So does his Rolls-Royce Wraith with brand new Forgiato wheels. The car's MSRP is $285,000. That's the stripped, base model, of course. The wheels? They start at around $5,500 for a set of four.
SIMON MAKING A NAME
Tharold Simon, the Seahawks' fifth-round draft choice from LSU in 2013, missed all of his rookie season with his own foot injury. But that foot -- and his game -- look great now.
Moments after getting his foot re-taped by a trainer, Simon made a lunging interception at the sideline Tuesday. The play was so good that Richard Sherman, who was with fellow starters watching the second-teamers from the opposite sideline, ran across the field to give Simon a leaping chest bump to celebrate it.
Read more what Simon says, and what he could mean to the defense in 2014 in my main story for Wednesday's News Tribune.
WILSON MAKES THE TIME
Another example of why Wilson is so popular -- besides the fact he's broken records for wins and a Super Bowl title in his first two, wondrous NFL seasons: As is usually the scene following each practice, he was again the last Seahawk off the field. The QB walked down the row of fans screaming for him from behind a small fence at the foot of the fan-watching berm, signing autographs and posing for pictures for almost 30 minutes.
When Wilson was finished he walked over to a nearby tent for a local radio interview. The crowd roared their appreciation for him staying so long. Yet again.
The Seahawks waived-injured rookie strong S Dion Bailey from USC (ankle) and signed DB Trey Wolfe, a rookie free agent from Division-II Fort Valley State. Wolfe spent seven years making three college stops. He wore No. 1 during his first practice for Seattle. ... Much more work for RB Marshawn Lynch today, perhaps his most since he returned last week from his brief contract holdout. He had multiple carries in team drills plus a reception during team drills. ... WR Chris Matthews, a rookie free agent from Kentucky, made his most noise of camp after an almost invisible first nine practices. His best of a few standout plays: A leaping grab at the sideline in front of CB Byron Maxwell that drew cheers from the coaches, teammates and the crowd. Matthews also caught a touchdown pass from Wilson while getting work with the top offense, suggesting he may get a long look Thursday in Denver. ... LB K.J. Wright got his defensive mates roaring with an interception of Wilson and long return down the sidelines for what would have been a touchdown -- if not for the whistles plus a chunk of the offensive roster and equipment bags being on that half of the field. ... Carroll ended practice with fun: A wacky fake-field goal that had kicker Steven Hauschka rolling right and throwing back across the field into the end zone. The pass was an impressively tight spiral, though far from accurate. It was way overthrown, into the arms of Simon for an interception that had Simon laughing afterward. ... Hauschka, by the way, continues to make just about every field goal as the only kicker in camp. He made a 49-yard try with about 3 yards to spare. ... One peculiar song among the usual bumpin' beats coach Pete Carroll likes to blare throughout practice: Luther Vandross. The slow, vintage Luther, too.