RENTON Mike Morgan said, no, he didn’t take a Concorde.
It only seemed like it, after the side trip the top candidate to take departed Bruce Irvin’s old job as the Seahawks’ strong-side linebacker took to Philadelphia this week to see a specialist.
Morgan started Saturday’s preseason opener at Kansas City. On Monday, coach Pete Carroll said the sixth-year veteran he’s known since he recruited him to USC more than a decade ago was in Philadelphia to get a groin issue checked out, and that Morgan would play in Thursday’s second preseason game at home against Minnesota.
Tuesday, Morgan was back practicing at team headquarters in Renton, 2,820 miles from that doctor he’d just visited.
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Turns out, Morgan went to see the same specialist Marshawn Lynch went to last November when the now-retired Seahawks running back had abdominal pain: Dr. William Meyers.
“Yeah, I think Marshawn did go out there,” Morgan said.
Not that he wanted anyone to know.
“Who said that?!” Morgan yelped Tuesday upon his return to the team, when I asked him about his trip to Pennsylvania.
His surprised voice echoed down the hallway outside the Seahawks’ training room just inside team headquarters.
Told it was his coach, Morgan laughed.
“Yeah, it was good. It was a good trip,” he said. “Everything’s fine. Everything’s great.
“Just a quick flight to here. Back and forth. Just checking everything out, to make sure all is good.
Carroll reiterated Wednesday that Morgan will play against the Vikings Thursday at CenturyLink Field. So will Cassius Marsh, who is also still playing defensive end, and converted safety Eric Pinkins.
Carroll indicated Marsh and Pinkins are two-three behind Morgan in the competition. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Seattle’s fourth-round draft choice in 2014, isn’t even mentioned anymore as a candidate.
“Mike ‘Mo’ played well. Cassius played very well,” Carroll said of last weekend’s exhibition against the Chiefs. “And ‘Pink’ did OK; he just needs more reps, as does Cassius, to show us. There’s a lot of things that have to happen. I have said to you from the start and I feel the same all the way through preseason: there’s no reason to rush to judgment on this at all. Eventually they will accumulate a hundred plays or so, so we will have a pretty good sense of what is going on.”
Coaches love Morgan’s experience at the position as a perennial Seahawks backup to Irvin. On the field that has meant he hasn’t made assignment mistakes and almost always has been in the right place.
Marsh has also been a rush end in Seattle’s nickel defense, along with Cliff Avril on the other end plus Michael Bennett and Frank Clark as speedy, inside “tackles.”
Pinkins has the athleticism of playing in the open field from his days as a safety. At 230 pounds he’s the lightest of the three.
“Mike just continues to do things right. He is really good at understanding the scheme, very accountable and he has always come through. He’s doing fine,” Carroll said. “The two other guys are trying to battle to make some noise for their opportunity to play there."
Defensive coordinator Kris Richard said this week the competition will go up to the season opener Sept. 11 against Miami.
“I don’t know,” Morgan said with a chuckle. “Whatever they decide, man. I’m just going with the flow. Doing my job.”
And flying coast to coast in a hurry.