Ryan Divish filled in for me today, and offers these notes from today’s practice.
It was an absolutely stunning day on Lake Washington at the VMAC. The temperatures were in the mid-80s and the players seemed to be energized by the weather.
It was so nice a coyote came out after practice and was wandering around the practice field, checking things out.
Practice was in shorts and shells.
A few notes …
We talked with Greg Knapp a little post practice here’s a few comments.
On the run …
“We’re right on track for this weekend. We’ve got plenty of time. In comparison to starting up this run scheme – both in Atlanta and Oakland – it will be six or seven games into the regular season before we are hitting on all cylinders. It takes time. So I’m not worried at all. I think we are right on target.”
ON Max Unger:
“He’s doing fine. We’ve primarily played him at the guard spot. He has played some center, which is what that position has to do. If you are going to play in this league and suit up on Sunday, you have to be able to play two positions either guard-tackle or guard-center. He’s been doing a fine job with an emphasis on playing guard.’
ON Steve Vallos …
“He’ll do well. He’s done a great job of taking command of the line scrimmage and making our protection calls and setting our tracks right on the running game. I feel confident he’ll perform well on Saturday night.
“He’s gotten a lot of reps this training camp with our ones. I’m feeling comfortable that he’s getting prepared in that case (starting). It’s nice to have this game and the next one to help him get ready.”
ON the all the responsibilities of the center
“He’s kind of our quarterback of the offensive line. He sets the tone with the pace of the huddle and getting in and out, the calls made in protections and certainly the direction of the run game. That center has to be a great communicator for us because he’ll set the tone of the rest of the group.”
* As expected Walter Jones, Marcus Trufant and Chris Spencer did not suit up. Also cornerback Travis Fisher (hamstring) was absent and offensive lineman Cory Withrow was absent – no word on his injury. Linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) was back and participating wearing a large brace to protect his sprained MCL.
* Edgerrin James and I have now taken the same amount of snaps for the Seahawks. He did suit up and did some light individual work, but during all team stuff he was relegated to being a spectator. I will say that he seemed very attentive and was conversing with several players after plays. He also stayed afterward and worked on running pass patterns out of the backfield and catching passes from Jeff Rowe. I forgot that Edge was a pretty decent receiver in his younger days with Indy. He looks very natural catching the ball. It’s not all awkward like when Shaun Alexander would try and catch.
* The first team offensive line was Sean Locklear (LT), Rob Sims (LG), Steve Vallos (C), Max Unger (RG), Ray Willis (RT). Also the recently acquired Brian De La Puente was working as the second-team center.
* TJ Houshmandzadeh was attempting to kick field goals like his former teammate Chad Ochocinco. However, Housh isn’t quite adept at kicking them as Ocho. I saw him make like 1 of 5.
* A lot of special teams work today. Deon Butler and Justin Forsett caught the bulk of the punts, but Ben Obamanu and Seneca Wallace also fielded a few of them. On kick-offs, Butler did not field kicks, it was Forsett and fellow running back Devin Moore. Ben Obamanu and Courtney Taylor also took kicks.
* The offense was relatively crisp especially in its red zone work. Hasselbeck seemed comfortable and connected on several passes. Forsett got plenty of looks when they were between 10 and 20 yards out, but Jones jumped in when they worked from 10 yards and in.
* They also worked some goal line. The “jumbo” package the defense will use featured Kerney, Mebane, Cole, Redding up front. During one of those plays, Aaron Curry bit badly on a play-action fake for an easy touchdown pass for the offense. The Hawks ran the play again immediately so Curry could see what his right responsibility was on the coverage.