If the first game is a race, the Seattle Seahawks are lagging behind right now because of the compressed time schedule created by the lockout, along with the rest of the league.
“We’re running right now,” Carroll said. “We can’t see the finish line for next Thursday yet. I don’t know who’s going to be out there finishing for us. I’ve got to make some assessments here to see who’s ready to play, and we’re going to take our time in doing that. We will not rush to do that. We don’t have to. We’re just going to keep practicing right now and working.”
As Dave mentioned earlier, practice today was crisper. Guys appeared more focused, and that did not go unnoticed by Carroll.
“To get the cloud cover for these guys was a great day for the players,” Carroll said. “And they really responded. We came back and had a very good second day with the whole club, and we feel like we’re making some progress. We were much cleaner today than we were a day ago, which you would hope.”
Carroll provided some updates on several injured players who have not practiced the past few days.
Carroll said cornerback Walter Thurmond has a grade one high ankle sprain, but is expected to be back in a few days.
Defensive tackle Colin Cole is “quite a ways away,” according to Carroll. He went on to say that it would be weeks before Cole will return, so it appears he might be headed for the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Cole had off-season surgery on the same leg he suffered a high ankle sprain on last year.
Carroll said the same about cornerback Roy Lewis (knee), the he would be out at least a couple weeks, meaning he could also be headed for the PUP list.
Carroll said defensive end Dexter Davis, who has missed practice with an unspecified injury, could return to practice on Saturday.
And receiver Ben Obomanu has missed the last two practices to attend a death in the family back in Alabama.
* Carroll said that defensive end Red Bryant, who has not practice in three days coming off of his knee surgery last year, will get going in the next, few days. Bryant’s conditioning, and the fact that team trainers and doctors were not able to work with him during his rehabilitation during the lockout, has the team taking a cautious approach. “We worked him pretty hard the first couple days,” Carroll said.
“And we want to make sure he doesn’t have any kind of carry over. He did well. He looked good and moved well, and all of that. His weight is up a little bit because he hasn’t been able to work out as much as he would like to. So we’re going to work him back in, when he think he fits right in for us. We’re expecting a lot out of Red.”
Carroll said the team has not decided if Bryant will play on Thursday against San Diego.
* Sidney Rice made another handful of eye-popping catches that had the crowd at the VMAC jaw-slacked, including the one in the photo above.
“I think he’s just loaded with those kinds of plays,” Carroll said. “He’s really, really talented. And he loves to compete in practice, which just fits so beautifully with the way we approach it. He’s embracing this opportunity to show how he is, how he fits in and how we can count on him.”
* Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was a force today inside, moving back to his more natural position of nose tackle. The Cal product knifed his way into the backfield several times during team period for big plays. “He really looks like a factor there,” Carroll said. “I wish we would have done more of it last year.”
* Linebacker Leroy Hill showed flashes of his old self today, with a couple big hits in the run game. “We anticipated him being very physical, and the kind of guy who brings an attitude,” Carroll said. “And it looks like that’s exactly what he is.”
* Carroll mentioned free agent additions Alan Branch and Jimmy Wilkerson did some nice things on the defensive line today. And he likes how the depth is developing there with Raheem Brock back with the team. Junior Siavii also has done a nice job at nose tackle working with the second unit behind Mebane. Carroll mentioned that Siavii appears to be in pretty good shape, and weighs 340 pounds.
* And cornerback Brandon Browner received high praise from Carroll, who compared him to former Pittsburgh Steeler great Mel Blunt because of his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. Carroll said that Browner could be an every down player for Seattle.
“He’s got a great chance to help us,” Carroll said. “He just keeps growing and he fits in. I’m looking for him to challenge for some play time.”