Sure, he’s always glowing. But Pete Carroll was extra glowing amid brilliant, lakeside sunshine after day one of Seahawks’ rookie minicamp.
“An exciting day -- for everyone,” Carroll said Friday at the start of his seventh minicamp season as Seattle’s coach.
“The first impression that we had today: This has to be the best Friday that we’ve had in a (rookie) minicamp. You know, Russell (Wilson) would argue with that (regarding his in 2012). He thought that was the all-timer...
“It was clean.”
Much of that was because the center and the first of three quarterbacks that rotated in no-pads scrimmaging, sixth-round draft pick Joey Hunt at center and his Texas Christian teammate Trevone Boykin at quarterback, didn’t mess up any snap exchanges. They’ve been working together for years, albeit in TCU’s shotgun, spread offense.
Germain Ifedi, the right tackle from Texas A&M Seattle drafted 31st overall last week, practiced at right guard. Asked why the change, Ifedi smiled and said that was where they told him to play.
Ifedi looks BIG on the field. He’s 6 feet 6, 325 pounds, wearing Russell Okung’s vacated number 76. When he spread his arms or raises them, he blocks out much of the sun while showing off his 85-inch (yes, more than seven-foot) wingspan.
Carroll said the Seahawks liked how well he played at right guard as a college sophomore, and they like the flexibility Ifedi could give the line also at tackle. For now, veteran J’Marcus Webb, signed from Oakland in March, will get the first crack at right tackle with Ifedi at right guard. Garry Gilliam, last year’s starting right tackle, has moved to left tackle to replace Okung. Patrick Lewis returns as the starting center, with 2015 starting left guard Justin Britt, last year’s draft choice Mark Glowinski and -- judging by where he played Friday -- rookie third-round pick Rees Odhiambo from Boise State will compete at left guard.
Carroll loves the competitions the Seahawks are creating already in this minicamp that continues Saturday and ends Sunday.
One is at backup quarterback behind Wilson. Boykin looked commanding as he threw and somewhat large in his upper body.
Vernon Adams, in on a tryout as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon and Eastern Washington, is listed at 5 feet 11 -- the same as Wilson, to whom Adams is often compared. On Friday Adams looked more slender in the lower body and said he was lighter. On the field and behind the podium as he talked after practice about what he says is a “blessed” opportunity. He also has a free-agent tryout scheduled with Washington, but said he hopes the Seahawks choose to sign him by the end of this minicamp.
Adams said the biggest challenge right now for him is calling the lengthy play codes in the huddle. That’s something -- calling plays in a huddle -- he didn’t do at all at Oregon and rarely did at Eastern. Coached signaled in the entire play calls to him while he was in formation before each snap.
This weekend, Adams has Seahawks play calls he said are as many as 11 words long -- or about nine words longer than he used in college.
Jake Heaps looks the part of a quarterback, with a big arm and constantly clapping and encouraging teammates after plays. The former Skyline High School mega-recruit that played for Brigham Young, Kansas and Miami in an unsuccessful college career through 2014 completed a long throw to the opposite sideline early in Friday’s practice. Then he cheered and patted on the back third-round draft choice Nick Vannett, the tight end from Ohio State.
Carroll said Heaps, whom the Seahawks have had in for workouts before, is very good at calling plays, commanding huddles and throwing. He is signed as an undrafted free agent, like Boykin but unlike Adams.
The coach said he’s “going to see how it all goes” among the three passers this weekend. It likely amounts to an elinimation minicamp while the Seahawks continue to talk to the agent for Tarvaris Jackson in hopes of getting the veteran back yet again for at least one more year as Wilson’s primary backup.
Carroll said again Friday the team would “love to have Tarvaris back.”
As clean as the start of minicamp was to Carroll, it did show its rookie-ness. On successive plays, Vannett dropped a pass, fifth-round pick Alex Collins fumbled carrying the ball on a run play and Heaps threw short on a deep sideline pass. Undrafted free-agent linebacker Nick Holt, son of former USC and Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt, intercepted that.