Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was upbeat and overall pleased with his team’s first workout outside at VMAC.
“What we saw was a really nice practice today,” Carroll said. “Guys were humming around and we didn’t have to stay out there very long. But we got a lot of good work done, and guys felt good about the preparation to get to this point.”
Carroll dealt with a lot of new faces, as the Seahawks had 17 tryout players brought in for the three-day minicamp.
“We’re looking for players,” Carroll said. “We’re looking for guys that can help us. And John has done a great job of scouring the list of available players to try find guys that give us an opportunity to strengthen the depth of our football team.”
And some familiar faces were not around. Veteran defensive end Patrick Kerney announced his retirement, and offensive tackle Walter Jones may soon follow.
“I didn’t get a chance to coach Patrick,” Caroll said. “But I’ve known him for a long time and he’s had a great career. He had tremendous respect for the guys that he played with, and the guy who have coached him. He’s a great guy on the football team and in the locker room. I wish we would have had a chance to keep going with him, but Patrick has made his decision and we wish him the very best.”
Carroll went on to say that the team anticipated Kerney’s retirement announcement and that his absence is just one of many areas that the team will need to address either through the draft of free agency.
On Walter Jones’ status, Carroll had this to say: “I haven’t talked to Walter in awhile now. But the last time I did, he was really considering that he was going to retire, but hadn’t made the final decision enough to come to you guys to make an announcement like Patrick did today. So we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.”
For now, Ray Willis has moved over to left tackle to try and fill the immense shoes left vacant by Jones’ absence. Mike Gibson worked at left guard, Chris Spencer was back at center and Max Unger was back at right guard, while Sean Locklear worked at right tackle with the first unit.
“Crazy Ray” showed up again today, as Willis got into a shoving match twice with popular sparring partner defensive end Lawrence Jackson during the beginning of practice.
The other notable Seahawks not present was linebacker Leroy Hill. Carroll said he has talked toHill, and that both he and general manager asked him to stay home and handled the legal situation he’s in right now. Hill was arrested for his role in a domestic dispute with his live-in girlfriend over the weekend.
“There’s really nothing we can say right now,” Carroll said. “There’s some time that has to take place for him to get it figured out and all. He didn’t need to be with us here in this practice mode. He’s got some work to do and some stuff to deal with. We don’t really have any comment about anything other than that, so we’ll just have to wait and see when other information comes in.”
On the Brandon Marshall front, Carroll did no go into details on the negotiations taking place between Seattle and Denver, and the Seahawks and Marshall’s agent.
“There’s really nothing to report there,” Carroll said. “Nothing much has happened. We’ve done our homework and our research on it, and it’s really kind of not in our hands right now. The Broncos have things to do, and they’ve got to figure it out on their end of it before really anything can happen. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing. We’re on alert, watching it. It’s an interesting situation, so we’ll just have to wait it out.”
Carroll went on to say whether or not tryout guys like Mike Williams or Reggie Williams flash potential should not affect they’re pursuit of Marshall.
“I don’t think anything’s going to happen that’s going to make a difference on any of that,” Carroll said. “I don’t anticipate that.”
Carroll said he’s hopeful to get Lawyer Milloy back in the fold. The veteran safety and Tacoma native is an unrestricted free agent, but played for Carroll at New England.
“I hope so,” Carroll said. “We’ve been talking to Lawyer for some time. He’s an extraordinary football player, and he’s a great aspect of any team he’s on. He’s one of the great competitors I’ve ever been around.”
Some players that shined during camp included former USC product Mike Williams and Reggie Williams, who both made impressive grabs during one-on-one and team drills. Ben Obomanu, filling in for an injured T.J. Houshmandzadeh, also looked like he belong with the first unit. And new defensive end Chris Clemons flashed some quickness during 9-on-7 running drills.
“It’s really a new time for us, and a new day for the Seahawks I hope,” Carroll said. “So it’s exciting. We’re all looking forward to the challenges of it, and the players are a well. It’s a big day. I know it’s just a little minicamp, but to us it’s more than that.”