The Seahawks just finished the eighth of 10 organized-team-activity practices on the field here in Renton. How relatively casual did this one feel to the Tuesday ones I witnessed the previous two weeks?:
Sherman spoke to the media afterwards -- and chuckled when asked if he's been talking to teammate Michael Bennett, the defensive end who has skipped these voluntary practices after saying he wants a raise. Sherman said Bennett is essentially only kinda-sorta protesting OTAs, that he's been inside team headquarters around teammates and just not coming outside for the on-field workouts.
"Yeah, Mike Bennett? Mike Bennett's in the building," Sherman said, standing a couple feet outside the team's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. "He just doesn't come out (for practices).
"He puts on a big persona. But he's here."
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You can almost picture Bennett pressing his nose against the glass of the training room just off the practice field and laughing as these practices go on, can't you?
--The most noteworthy item I saw on the field -- no, I didn't see Bennett's nose pressed up against a window: Second-year wide receiver Paul Richardson catching kickoffs and jogging with the ball back upfield at the start of practice. He wasn't appearing to limp.
Richardson had his second anterior cruciate ligament tear in less than three years during January's playoff-game win over Carolina; it hasn't even been five months since that injury. The sight of him jogging and being part of some drills today came weeks after coach Pete Carroll said there was a chance Richardson will be ready for training camp that begins at the end of July.
--All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner was all smiles (right) after practice. Here's what he's been involved with lately -- all good if you are him.
--Tight end Luke Willson didn't have his helmet and watched all the drills, apparently injured in some way that didn't look serious.
--Top rookie draft choice Frank Clark stood on the sidelines with his helmet off for the end of individual drills with fellow defensive ends, then was out watching again during the team, offense-versus-defense scrimmaging.
--Second-year DE Cassius Marsh watched without his helmet.
--Tharold Simon did some high-knees jogging on the sideline and some extra work after practice. The cornerback is recovering this offseason from a dislocated shoulder.
--No, Bruce Irvin wasn't at practice again. He's unhappy over money, too.
--Defensive end Cliff Avril is back on the field this week for his first OTA workouts, after the funeral of his father in Florida.
--Still no Marshawn Lynch, of course. He has been doing this, though.
--It was mix-and-match day for the first string, especially along the offensive line. Drew Nowak, the fourth-year veteran signed as a free agent last year, got the most work at the No. 1 center -- and as TNT colleague Dave Boling pointed out he was snapping left-handed, something you don't see every day. Lemuel Jeanpierre, who had been the No. 1 center this spring, got time as the No. 2 right guard behind J.R. Sweezy, who also alternated with rookie Mark Glowinski. Alvin Bailey was the first left guard out there, then rotated with rookie Terry Poole.
The offense had four false-start penalties and a dropped snap by Nowak to Russell Wilson in its own end zone. At that point, Doug Baldwin called his offensive mates around him and yelled for them to basically get it in gear, in so many (more colorful) words. Yes, Baldwin even gets angry in June.
After the practice offensive line coach Tom Cable said center will be his most competitive job to win in training camp. He also said he believes the decision on who replaces traded (for Jimmy Graham) Max Unger at center this season will work itself out relatively early in the preseason.
No hints on who has the inside track, but Jeanpierre's experience as Unger's perennial backup has been to his advantage so far.
--2014 part-time nickel back Marcus Burley got a big roar from his defensive teammates for tight coverage on the far taller (by eight inches) Graham in the end zone during scrimmaging of goal-line plays. R.J. Archer's throw went about four feet over Graham's fade route, a ball too tall for even the hoppy former college basketball forward at Miami to reach.
--Archer is about to go from the second-string to No. 3 quarterback, now that free agent Tarvaris Jackson is expected to re-sign with the Seahawks in the next day or so.
--Special-teams coach Brian Schneider said rookie Tyler Lockett continues to impress him and the entire coaching staff. Schneider has Lockett as the primary punt and kickoff returner, and said his "catch-and-go" part of those jobs is particularly impressive and strikingly effective. Seattle needs to improve field positioning in its return game big time, and they traded three picks to move up 26 spots in the third round of last month's draft to do that with Lockett.
--Schneider also said having fullback Derrick Coleman back from a broke foot he got in pregame warmups will be a huge boost to all four special-teams units: kickoff coverage and return and punt coverage and return.
--Schneider said Nate Boyer, the ex-U.S. Army Green Beret in these OTAs and next week's mandatory minicamp as an undrafted free agent, is improving rapidly as a long snapper because he is getting his snaps filmed and critiqued daily for the first time in his football career that began only four years ago when he walked out of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and onto the University of Texas' football team. "He's been good. He's a great kid," Schneider said of Boyer.
Yet nothing we've seen suggests recently re-signed Clint Gresham won't be the team's kick snapper again this season.
--The Seahawks are on the field twice more this week for the final voluntary OTA practices. They have one day on the field next week, on Thursday, for their only mandatory minicamp.