The Seattle Seahawks had another long workout this morning in front of the largest crowd of onlookers, with probably about a couple thousand fans showing up at the VMAC.
Again, the offense showed some rust, with the starting offensive line had several false starts, including Russell Okung, Max Unger and Zach Miller jumping off sides at different times during team drills. Rookie James Carpenter jumped off sides twice. Everyone who jumps offside has to run a lap around the field.
One player who has impressed the last couple days is third string quarterback Josh Portis. After struggling with accuracy, fumbled snaps and looking like he was thinking out there the first few days, Portis completed several impressive passes this morning, including a deep ball that rookie Richardo Lockette jumped over Brandon Browner to retrieve in the end zone, and another long completion to Isaiah Stanback.
“I am really, really excited about Josh,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “Josh is a guy that I’ve known for so long, since he was a kid. And now to see him after all the travels he’s been through, whether it was high school or college – I think he’s gone to seven or eight schools – and he never really settled in until his last stop at California (Pa.).
“And when he comes to us, you have no idea what he’s going to be like. But he’s in command of the offense as much as he could be at this time. He’s handling the huddle really well. He’s very confident, and he’s really a talented kid. He’s got great feet. He’s got great delivery and a very strong arm. And he’s very poised about it. He’s just been a real pleasant surprise.”
Carroll went on to say that Portis was an important pickup for the team at free agency, but right now is not in the hunt for the second-team job.
“Josh is going to be around here for awhile,” Carroll said. “So we need to see how he develops, because his talent is there. We’re going to take a great look at him. He’ll play a bunch in the preseason. And he’ll play a lot in the San Diego game. So we’re looking forward to seeing him, and getting him out on the field.”
Seattle’s most impressive player in coverage devensively has been safety Earl Thomas, who was glued to Golden Tate in one-on-one drills, and also corralled his first interception today off a tipped ball from Leroy Hill.
Defensive end Raheem Brock practiced for the first time since recently inking a one-year deal to return to Seattle. And Brock was refreshingly honest when asked what brought him back to Seattle.
“Money,” quipped Brock. “I’m happy to be back. I feel like I had unfinished business here. I got started off good last year, and I’d like to finish off good.”
Brock said after posting a career-high nine sacks, his goal this year is to make the Pro Bowl by leading the league in sacks.
“I need to make a Pro Bowl,” he said. “I feel like I’ve done everything else. I’ve been to a couple Super Bowls. I’ve won a Super Bowl. And I’m trying to get to a Pro Bowl.”
With Chris Clemons still out nursing an ankle injury, Brock worked with the first unit at Leo defensive end. Some tidbits
* The Seahawks went full pads for the first time in training camp, which included a full scrimmage between the young guys where runners could be taken to the ground.
* UW product and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson attended practice today. Robinson had hinted via twitter that he was interested in trying out for the Seahawks, and Carroll responded by inviting him out for a workout.
Well, Robinson apparently took Carroll up on his offer, showing up for practice this morning. But the Slam Dunk champion was just a spectator, watching the defensive backs from the sideline and talking with fellow UW product Roy Lewis.
Robinson originally went to UW on a football scholarship and played cornerback for the Huskies for a year before switching to basketball, so he has the skill set and background to play cornerback.
* Add WR Patrick Williams to the mix of young receivers competing for an opportunity on the 53-man roster. On a Josh Portis throw down the middle of the field that Josh Pinkard appeared to pick off, Williams somehow wrestled away the ball.
* Tight end Anthony McCoy is not helping himself in the battle at tight end, dropping a couple more passes today.
* Golden Tate had a good day catching the ball, doing a nice job of working the middle of the field in the slot. The Seahawks also ran a couple plays to get him the ball out in space along the sideline.
* Cornerback Richard Sherman had an impressive play with the offense backed on the goal line, setting the edge and taking on fullback Ryan Travis, and shucking him to make the tackle on Leon Washington for a safety.
* Carroll said that fullback Michael Robinson came in at 240 pounds in order to do the stuff the team wants out of him from the fullback position. Robinson weighed 223 last year.