The Seattle Seahawks completed the team’s three-day minicamp with a half-hour scrimmage at the end of today's workout, with tempers flaring a couple different times toward the end of practice.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll split the 90-man roster in half, but really the final portion of practice was one last opportunity to get a closer look at some of the younger players before sending everyone off for a five-week hiatus.
“The vets can come through here and work, but it has to be on their own,” Carroll said about the NFL rules in place to monitor player workouts. “The young guys will be here for another 10 days or so before they get out. So there’s always a concern, we work so long and then all of a sudden we lose the control aspects of the workouts for five weeks right before it starts.
“On their side of it, they need a little break right now, they need the time away and so we understand. We’ll always be a little concerned about it.”
According to ESPN, the Seahawks also finally signed Tarvaris Jackson.
For his part, quarterback Russell Wilson said he enjoyed finishing the minicamp on a competitive note.
“It’s fun,” Wilson said. “The last 30 minutes of practice was basically a fourth quarter of a game. It’s kind of cool the way we finished. And to be able to play like you’re playing a full game – a full quarter at least – it really keeps your mind in it. And it’s a good way to finish strong.”
Seahawks owner Paul Allen was out on the field watching minicamp this afternoon. He spent time talking with former Seahawks quarterback and assistant coach Jim Zorn, along with Carroll and general manager John Schneider.
“It was good to see the owner out there today,” Carroll said. “Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day and it looked like he was having a good time too. So we ended on a good note, and we’ll come back five weeks from now or so and get cranking.”
Good depth behind Beast Mode
Carroll praised the improved play of reserve running back Robert Turbin. Wilson referred to the Utah State product as a starting-caliber quarterback.
Turbin did not practice the past two days because of a sore foot. However, Carroll indicated that Turbin wanted to go, but the team’s training staff was holding him back.
“There’s nothing that Robert can’t do,” Carroll said. “He can run the ball, he can catch the football, he’s a really good pass protector, and he’s a good special teams player also. We expect a tremendous amount out of Robert. He’ll play regularly and we’ll have no hesitation of putting him in the game in all situations.
This year’s second-round selection Christine Michael also showed a quick burst through the hole and elusiveness out in the open field.
But his next test will see how he runs when the defense can actually tackle him.
Michael did rile up some folks on the defense when he trucked safety Chris Maragos running through the hole in a non-contact team drill. Maragos returned the favor by shoving Michael to the ground on the next play.
Carroll also praised sixth round selection Spencer Ware, saying he’s done a nice job learning both the tailback and fullback position.
“Spencer Ware has made a really good impression,” Carroll said. “He came out here to play two positions and we didn’t know if he could handle that, but he has. He can play fullback and tailback for us at this time.
“Just by the way he’s demonstrated his savvy and instincts, and we know he’s a real tough guy, we think he’s going to be a very good special teams player. We can’t tell that yet, we don’t know because guys are learning, and that doesn’t happen until we put the pads on. We expect Spencer to be a big part of it.”
Carpenter looks slim, should be ready for training camp
Carroll indicated that offensive lineman James Carpenter is recovering nicely from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, and should be ready to go when training camp opens at the end of July. “James has a tremendous upside for us and I’m anxious for you guys to see what he’s capable of doing,” Carroll said. “We expect that he’ll make it back for camp so we’ll see what happens. He can give us a special dimension if we can get him back. He should be healthy, and it’s just a matter of us getting him in shape and we’ll be very careful to make sure we don’t rush him along.”
I asked Carroll if Carpenter had lost some weight, because he appears slimmer.
“His lean body mass has shifted some,” Carroll said. “I’m surprised that you noticed that Eric, but he’s still 350 pounds.”
Tight end depth an issue?
Starting tight end Zach Miller watched from the sidelines again today, but he did not have a walking boot on his left foot.
And with reserve tight end Anthony McCoy lost for the season after suffering an Achilles tendon tear during OTAs, Carroll asked if he was concerned about the depth at tight end.
“We’re always looking at all spots,” Carroll said. “We like what we’ve seen. Sean McGrath has made a really obvious elevation. He’s doing a fine job and like I said a couple of days ago, his offseason work has really shown up, he’s really stronger and quicker, he’s done a fine job out here.
“Luke Willson has done a really good job. We’re really excited about Luke’s addition. We don’t see anything that Luke can’t do. We haven’t seen him in pads yet to really understand the dynamics of his blocking, but we know he’s willing, he’s got a tough attitude, and he looked great on film in college. So with Luke coming in it’s a nice spot, but we’re always looking.”
McGrath had a couple nice catches during the scrimmage at the end of practice, and has developed a nice rapport with Wilson.
And Willson almost came up with a nice catch on a deep route against Kam Chancellor, but the Virginia Tech product knocked the ball loose at the last second.
* Defensive end Cliff Avril, returning to action after sitting out OTAs with a foot issue, practiced for about a dozen snaps during team drills, Carroll said.
* Rookie defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams continue to show improvement.
“We played him (Hill) with the first group today all day to see what that looked like,” Carroll said. “Jesse had the same reps yesterday. We have moved them around. Jordan has played nose tackle and three technique and Jesse has played a little bit of everything, he’ll play a little bit of nose tackle when he comes back to camp.
“That versatility helps, both kids are really smart, they get it, and they have really good work ethic. Now we just go out there and start banging on each other to see what happens. We won’t know for really a full month or so into it, but it’s very exciting that those guys have come in and we think they can add a unique dimension for each one of them.”
* Among the young receivers, local product Bryan Walters has made an impression, flashing reliable hands and running polished routes that spring him open on a consistent basis.
* Rookie receiver Chris Harper flashed a couple times today, but he also dropped a couple balls, and allowed cornerback Will Blackmon to beat him for a 50-50 ball near the goal line for an interception.
* J.R. Sweezy and John Moffitt split time at right guard with the first unit offensive line.
* Undrafted rookie free agent defensive tackle Michael Brooks flashed a few times during minicamp, showing good initial quickness.
* Linebacker Korey Toomer had a nice pass deflection on a deep ball intended for Jermaine Kearse. Toomer was one of the most improved players during the offseason.