The Seattle Seahawks liked J.P. Losman better than Mike Teel and Mike Reilly. That’s essentially the reason Pete Carroll gave for the team signing Losman last week and releasing the other two quarterbacks. Carroll believes that Losman gives Seattle more depth and experience at the position, and also will make things more competitive for both Matt Hasselbeck, and in particular Charlie Whitehurst.
“He’s got a terrific arm,” Carroll said. “In his workout when we saw him, there was just no question that he had really good control of the football. His accuracy was there and he has fantastic strength in his arm.
“Our guys had evaluated him coming out (of college) and really liked him. We know that he’s had a lot of play time that gives him some background. And we think he gives us a chance to be more competitive. And I already talked to Charlie about feeling the push from J.P., and that’s how this goes.”
Carroll wasted no time getting Losman involved, throwing him into team drills. After a couple handoffs, Losman’s first throw was deflected at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Robert Henderson. But he did manage a couple short completions during team drills, quickly recognizing the blitz and dumping the ball off. Losman also showed a strong arm and solid accuracy during one-on-one drills. He stayed out and worked on his footwork after practice.
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For his part, Losman said he was just focused on getting comfortable with the offense on the field and getting the playbook down.
“The last thing to come is the sharpness and the pass efficiency,” Losman said. “But right now you’re just trying to complete some balls. But as the practice goes on very quickly here, you want to look a little bit sharper.”
Carroll said the team is open to adding a fourth quarterback, and will wait and see how the evolution of the roster goes.
Listen to Losman talk about his opportunity in Seattle here.
[wpaudio url="http://blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/files/2010/05/Losmanaduio.mp3" text="MP3: Losman audio"] Golden Tate made the play of the day this morning during team drills. With the play breaking down and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst scrambling and looking for a play, he heaved a ball 50 yards down the middle of the field to Tate, who was blanketed by defensive backs Kam Chancellor, James Brindley and Marcus Brown. However, Tate beat them all on the jump ball to cleanly come down with the ball.
Tate followed that nice effort up two plays later with a nice catch on a 15-yard in route.
“I think it’s something I learned in baseball,” Tate said about his ability to high-point a ball. “We’re always taught to catch the ball at its highest point. I catching a small ball, a little white ball in the air, but I’m just trying to high-point the ball. I’m not the typical, 6-3, 6-4 guy, so I can’t stay on the ground and expect to make a great play.”
Tate says he’s trying learn all of the receiver positions on offense, but is focusing on the Z or flanker position right now, which is a little different from college where he played X or split end at Notre Dame.
And although he made a couple mistakes in practice on running the wrong routes, Tate said he feels more comfortable on the field because he got a chance to study the playbook while at home in Tennessee after the post-draft minicamp. Tate said he had his mother test him on the playbook using flash cards.
“I think the speed is slowly starting to slow down, or I’m starting to catch up with it,” Tate said.
A couple of the same players remain out. T.J. Houshmandzadeh did not practice again, as he recovers from surgery for sports hernia. And Deion Branch remains out after having a clean-up knee surgery. Running back Leon Washington also continues to watch from the sidelines. And defensive end Kevin Vickerson has a sore groin that has kept him out.
However, running back LenDale White was back in action after attending to personal matters back in Tennessee.
Right tackle Sean Locklear also did not practice today, with Ray Willis filling his spot. Carroll said he did not know what Locklear wasn’t practicing today.
Carroll also addressed the roster churn today. Since the Seahawks hired general manager John Schneider, the team has made 55 roster transactions in the name of competition.
“We’re just trying to get as much information as we can and be really competitive and allow for a real competitive environment here by bringing guys in,” Carroll said. “I think it’s been good for us so far. We’ve had some guys come in here. We’ve looked at guys and then brought guys back, so we’re going to keep working it and continue to find ways to help the team.”
So is there a point when the continued roster churns becomes a distraction to building cohesion for the upcoming season?
“All of that is going on at the same time,” Carroll said. “We have a number of guys here that we feel really good about, and that we’re trying to really take as far as we can in the system. But we think we have to remain open minded to the competitive aspect of bringing guys in here, one to keep the message strong, and two to keep looking to see if we can find somebody. “I think in a new program it’s really important to do this, and so we’re going to keep doing it. And there’s no deadline when we’re going to try and get everybody comfortable and settled. I don’t think that’s necessary here. Everybody here knows that this is a very competitive environment, and they’re going to have to battle day in, day out. And that’s the whole idea.”Some tidbits:
* Along with Tate, wide receiver Deon Butler had a good day catching the ball, making several plays in one-on-one and team drills.
* You would think that the guys have full pads on at times. Wide receiver Mike Williams and linebacker Matt McCoy had an ugly collision on a slant route that left both players woozy. But both continued to practice.
* Julius Jones had a good day running the ball, and seems to be doing a better job reading the zone running plays.
* Offensive tackle Joe Toledo pancaked linebacker Kevin Dixon on a wide screen to Ben Obomanu.
* Cornerback Chris Richards made a nice interception on a Matt Hasselbeck ball intended to Deon Butler on an out route.
* Nose tackle Colin Cole continues to look strong at the point of attack on running plays.
* Washington head coach Steve Sarkisan was at practice today, and talked at length to former USC players Mike Williams and LenDale white after practice