Seahawks Insider Blog

Marshawn Lynch back at OTAs; Luke Willson shines

He’s back.

Absent during Monday’s organized team activity (OTA) workout open to reporters, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was at practice today.

Lynch also was in attendance at Tuesday’s workout, and is expected to be in attendance during the team’s mandatory minicamp next week.

Lynch mostly worked with the third unit, giving Robert Turbin, Christine Michael and Spencer Ware an opportunity to work with the first two groups.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll again reiterated that he’s not concerned with how much or how little work Lynch gets during these OTA practices.

“He’s in really good shape,” Carroll said. “We’re trying to get him all the way through this offseason, and get him ready for the real season. We know what Marshawn can do, as long as he’s in really good shape. And he’s in fantastic shape. He’s hard as a rock, and he’s worked really hard up until this point. … There’s so much wear on the tire, and we don’t want to wear him down now. It’s not at that point that we should be pushing that.”

Offensive tackle Breno Giacomini was absent again today. Carroll said that the Louisville product is back in New York to get some tests done on a knee that’s been bothering him. However, Carroll said Giacomini will not need surgery, and should be in attendance at the team’s minicamp last week.

“There’s no surgery required, nothing,” Carroll said. “He’s been working out. He could have practiced this week, but we wanted to take this time to make sure that we’re doing the right thing. So he’s in good shape.”

Rookie Michael Bowie continues to work at right tackle with the first unit with Giacomini gone.

“Michael’s done a nice job,” Carroll said about Bowie. He’s athletically looking capable. We’ve got to get him pads and do all of that stuff. But Michael’s got a great chance to show, and it was cool to have him with the first group out there, and stressed by that. And he handled himself well.”

With Anthony McCoy lost for the season after suffering an Achilles tendon tear in practice, Carroll said he’s been impressed with the way Sean McGrath and rookie Luke Willson have stepped up, and that overall he feels real good about the depth at that position.

McGrath has been the most consistent receiver catching the ball in practices open to reporters. And Willson made a couple more highlight plays today. The athletic tight end out of Rice looks more comfortable in Seattle’s offense.

“Sean had a really good offseason,” Carroll said. “He’s stronger and quicker than he’s been. Being in the offseason program has really helped him. So that’s one guy that’s jumped out. He makes that tight end group very competitive.

“Luke had a very, very good OTAs. They say it’s called spring football, and he had a great spring. He really did.”

Some tidbits

* Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane got his second pick of the week, this time off another deflection. Mebane headed toward the end zone, but only made it a few yards before falling to the ground and covering the ball.

“I’m feeling good,” Mebane said. “I was trying to pitch it to Brandon Browner, but somebody grabbed my sleeve and tore it, so I was like ‘Nah, I better just tuck it and fall down instead of turning it back over.’”

“The return was not that good,” joked Carroll. “But the pick was nice.”

* Carroll said that Walter Thurmond can play both cornerback spots on the outside, but will get an opportunity to compete for the slot defender position against Antoine Winfield.

Absent from Monday’s practice open to reporters, Winfield was back on the field today.

After three injury-plagued seasons, Thurmond finally looks healthy, and has been one of the standout players in OTAs. Carroll said that the University of Oregon product also will get a chance to compete for the punt returner job with Golden Tate. “He’s been in a situation where he’s kind of had to hold back a little bit for a long time,” Carroll said. “And he’s really able to just go for it now. He’s got extraordinary quickness. He’s a playmaker. And he’s fighting to play a bunch, not just be around here.”

* Carroll said that defensive end Chris Clemons remains ahead of schedule rehabbing from ACL knee surgery that took place in January, and could be available when the team opens the regular season in September.

Carroll said he expects to see Clemons at the VMAC next week for the mandatory minicamp, but six months out of surgery he will not participate in any on-field drills.

“He does have a shot to be ready, according to the doctors,” Carroll said. “He’s got a chance, and we’ll just wait and see how it goes. Like I’ve said from the beginning, we’re not going to rush it. We’ll just make sure he’s really well, and ready to go and all of that. But he’s well ahead of schedule, and he’s in great shape. So we’re really pleased.”

* Offensive lineman James Carpenter has a shot to be ready for training camp, Carroll said. Carpenter, who had minor knee surgery over a month ago, still has to work into game shape once he’s cleared by trainers to practice, but Carroll said he’s been cleared to run.

“He’s ready to make a big push I would think in the next month to show how far he can take it,” Carroll said.

* Carroll mentioned the backup competition at linebacker as something to watch. He wants to see how Allen Bradford continues to develop. And he singled out Korey Toomer as one of the most improved players on the team.

Carroll also said he likes what he’s seen from Bruce Irvin at SAM linebacker, and that he will use him similar to how he used Clay Matthews at USC. Carroll said that Irvin scheduled to miss the first four games because of his suspension for PED use, evaluating him in preseason will be important.

“He’s looks very comfortable,” Carroll said. “He looks absolutely natural at doing it. His body type is a 3-4 outside backer type-guy – like Clem and like Cliff. Those guys are all the same in that regard. And that’s why they play the hybrid Leo spot for us.

“At this point, he understands the position. He can cover. He can come off the edge like lightning, so it’s just a matter of really how he demonstrates his savvy once he starts playing the game.”

* Receiver Percy Harvin did not practice because of a hip flexor issue, but is expected to be fine. Kam Chancellor also rested a sore ankle today, but should be okay. Tharold Simon continues to rest a stress fracture foot injury that was an issue back at LSU, and did not practice today. Defensive tackle Jesse Williams also did not practice, giving a sore knee a blow.

* Carroll said that John Moffitt indeed has lost weight, and is in the best shape he’s been in since arriving in Seattle. Moffitt worked with the first unit at right guard today, while J.R. Sweezy dropped down to work with the second unit. Although I wouldn’t read too much into that, as Coach Cable has been moving guys all over the place to evaluate players.

* Carroll also mention offensive lineman Mike Person as a lineman who has improved since last season. The Montana product has been working with the second unit at left tackle, and is up from 297 pounds from last season to 309.

* Other Seattle players who did not practice include Cliff Avril (foot), Winston Guy (unknown), Charly Martin (unknown), Stephen Williams (ankle), Cooper Helfet (unknown). Carroll said Avril should be healthy enough to practice once training camp begins.