Seahawks Insider

Carroll: WR Branch shines at minicamp

Post by Eric Williams on April 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm with 35 Comments »
April 15, 2010 5:34 pm

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wanted to put his stamp on how his team will be run moving forward during his first, veteran minicamp.

Carroll considers his mission accomplished. Overall he was pleased by the pace and tempo of practice this week.

“I think that maybe what was beyond expectations was the quarterbacks,” Carroll said. “The work that Matt (Hasselbeck) has done and Charlie (Whitehurst) has done and Mike Teel, to get ready for this so that we could function like this. They had so much under their command. And they were really sharp for the first time out with new guys and all of that.

“The work that has been done, the studying that has been done with Jeremy (Bates) and (quarterbacks coach) Jedd Fisch, those guys got a lot accomplished for us, and that allowed us to look like that. So it’s a good start. We put three days behind us. When we come back with the new kids they know what to expect from us in practice so they can set the tone for the rest of the kids. We’re off and running.”

Carroll did note that depth on the offensive line continues to be an issue, with three or four linemen populating the second unit that having never been with the team before.

Carroll was complimentary of veteran wide receiver Deion Branch, who made some plays this week and looked more comfortable in the offense. Branch played flanker (Z) with the first unit most of the week with T.J. Houshmandzadeh not participating in the voluntary practices.

“I thought Deion Branch had a very good three days,” Carroll said. “I thought he showed up and showed off a little bit today, making plays. And he had a good time playing with us. He’s going to have a big role in the offense. I think he recognizes that and really embraced it.”

Carroll also liked what he saw from both Mike and Reggie Williams. Mike Williams reportedly will sign with the team, along with fellow USC product fullback Ryan Powdrell.

“We’re seriously considering that,” Carroll said. “Both those guys did a nice job. Both were physically ready for this opportunity. They were in good shape. They could compete out here and battle. And they both showed the savvy to pick things up quickly so they could fit in quickly.”

As far as tryout players, Carroll also liked Kennard Cox, a 6-foot, 197-pounder cornerback out of Pittsburgh.

Others who made themselves known today include linebacker Anthony Heygood, a practice squad player last year who had a nice interception in zone coverage. And defensive end Chris Clemons, who Seattle picked up in the trade for Darryl Tapp, has been manning the “elephant” position and gives Seattle more speed from the outside.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said one thing they wanted to improve on from last season is speed off of the edge of the defense, and they believe guys like Clemons, Ricky Foley and Nick Reed can do that.

Another player feeling more comfortable out on the field is linebacker Aaron Curry, who has been returned to his strong side linebacker position he played at Wake Forest.

“As far as scheme, I’m allowed to return to my natural home on top of the tight end setting the edge like I did in school,” Curry said. “That’s just where I feel great at. It’s also a great confidence booster. I can really work on small techniques as far as hand placement, and just giving out power from my lower body.

“And it just helps me so that when I have to play off the ball, I got to remember to keep my hands inside and really transfer power from my lower body. And it just makes me more confident in playing football when I get a chance to dominate at the line of scrimmage, and then back up make more plays.”

Curry said the change should help him play much faster on the field.

As far as toning it down and not getting the personal fouls like he did early in the season, Curry said he’s not concerned about that.

“My job is not to tone it down,” Curry said. “If I have to do anything I’ll put a little money aside. I have to be able to play through the whistle.”

“The fines never slowed me down,” Curry went on. “I think I let the mental aspect of the game slow me down as far a physically. I was doing too much thinking. I was dreaming of big plays and then going on Sunday and chasing them, instead of just letting them come to me.”

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. Curry at strong side OLB instead of the elephant? Spencer starting at Center? I’ll reserved judgement for awhile, but this is less than impressive.

  2. StevenMunn says:

    BobbyK: I agree with the Spencer thing but if Curry says he feels comfortable being at this old spot, it couldn’t really be all that bad.

  3. chuck_easton says:


    My take on Curry is this. Until/if Hill ever gets his act together and we figure out how long he’ll be suspended the team has to go with the best option at SLB and that is Curry.

    IF Hill comes back that will free Curry up to play some elephant. Don’t blame the coaches on this one. The blame is solely on Hill.

    Now in the case of Spencer. If the coaches think that Unger is a better guard than Spencer they may be playing him there because the two are nearer to being equal at Center. Unger is likely the better OL but if you can get a top notch right side of the ball with Locklear and Unger playing along side each other you put Spencer back at Center.

  4. chuck_easton says:

    Also, if I remember correctly, (and if I’m wrong Duke or BobbyK won’t let me get away with it), a true Gibbs line requires that the most athletic and intellegent guys on the line need to be the guards since they are the ones that have to pull and get out to the second line of blocking as well as make the reads.

    If that’s the case I think Unger will be a better guard than Spencer would be.

    I would think that unless Spencer has a sudden breakout season we’ll see another guard picked up and that will free Unger to move back to center.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    I have no problem with Curry on the strong side. In the under scheme Carroll’s going to run, the d line is “slanted” to the weak side, leaving the DE and WLB to cover the strong. They need a big, physical presence there or they are going to get run all over on that side. Jackson and Curry should do well there. In addition it’s his natural position and if that helps him be more comfortable and play faster and more aggressively, I’m all for it.

  6. It is early, and I will reserve judgement… perhaps there’s some chess going on with respect to other teams looking at where we’re playing players in preparation for the draft… it could all be a game of chicken… so I’ll give the staff the benefit of the doubt for awhile (Audible would appreciate it)… but if we’re going into ’10 expecting Spencer to be a stud Center and paying a strong side OLB that much money (when he looks like a stud/natural pass rusher), then I’ll be more worried about our direction…

  7. chuck – good point about guards, but Spencer still scares the hell out of me though. It’s the half decade of him sucking that has me scared of him (granted, he didn’t play as a R but players improve from year 1 to 2… not get worse…).

  8. Dukeshire says:

    Chuck – Alex Gibbs – “GUARDS & CENTERS: height and length doesn’t mean ****. Marginal height, but plays with great leverage. “LOW WAISTED” (long torso short legs), with leverage under our bodies. Healthier by not being heavy. RARE for them to play early. Nobody over 6’3″. My center must be football brilliant.”

    Of course he has played guards and centers over 6’3″ and I’m sure not all his centers have been “football brilliant”, but those his general feelings.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    “leaving the DE and WLB to cover the strong” That should read *OLB* to cover the strong…

  10. Duke – I knew what you meant and good point about LoJack/Curry being needed to anchor. I simply think Curry could/would be so good as the ‘elephant.’ I really think he could be a guy in that role who would be good for 10-12 sacks per season. Those guys are harder to come by than an OLB who can anchor a side of the field.

  11. We need an elite ‘elephant.’ If Curry is going to play his ‘natural’ position, I’m all of a sudden going to be rooting (hard core) that D. Morgan is our #6 pick. A Mr. Happy elephant needs to be a major asset who is capable of 10-12 sacks per season. We can get Bulaga, Williams, Davis, Campbell, Brown… who cares… type of LT at #14 (or in a trade down or two scenario).

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Leroy’s rookie season (his most productive) he was the SLB. I wonder if his not being here played any role in them moving Curry to strong side, putting Heater at weak? May not have played into it at all, just a thought. I will say that Curry seems like a natural at strong and ideally they’ll find ways to allow him to come off the edge, because you’re right, he could be devastating rushing as we have speculated.

  13. if you go to that link, use the photo scroll bar and go all the way to the last photo

  14. Dukeshire says:

    BobbyK – Morgan, Mebane, Cole, Jackson. Then behind them; Heater, Lofa, Curry. Heater and Morgan working in consort? I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse.

  15. Adding a guy like Morgan would do wonders for our front seven.

  16. chuck_easton says:


    We all suspect Spencer is FAR from ‘football brilliant’. I’m just trying to get inside the coaches heads here. If you have two guys that appear to be interchangeable at guard/center and one of them appears to be way more athletic than the other (I’ll let you decide who I think is the more athletic of the two) do you play the more athletic guy at guard and make do with the less athletic guy at center or do you put the better athlete at Center?

    I’m not saying it makes sense just doing that whole law thing and trying to figure out where the other side might be going in the thought process.

  17. That final photo is funny!

  18. chuck_easton says:

    I saw the same thing earlier. Wasn’t Matty all about hitting the gym and being in the best shape possible last season to avoid the injuries? Looks like he’s just about ready for the man bra in that picture.

    Also, I thought Matt and Charlie were the same height. Charlie looks taller, but that could just be the hair.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    chuck_easton – I certainly wasn’t disagreeing with you. That’s a great question, one of many Gibbs gets the big bucks to answer. For now, I’m going to have to trust his judgment, despite what I’ve seen from Spencer in the past.

    Could Charlie and Matt be any different? As I told Divish, they are the yin and yang of grooming.

  20. Caroll is only complimenting Branch to try to trick someone into giving us something him.

  21. snydro81 says:


    My wife told me I am not allowed to laugh at that picture. Something about people in glass houses..

  22. How about a list of who is at mini cam and who isn’t?, and if they are not here why.
    This again is a new system and EVERYONE should be there to learn it.
    The Season starts when mini camp does in a new system.
    Housh was not there so Branch shines, or maybe Branch knows its put up or shut up time.
    if Housh was there it would be a better barometer of the talent the williams boys are bringing in.

  23. snydro81 says:

    Housh is my least favorite Hawk. Nothing to do with on-field performance, just don’t care for him.

  24. Dude Hass has gotten really fat.

  25. snydro81 says:


    Every year Comcast puts player profiles up in their On Demand section.. It’s usually under NFL network, and under draft profiles.

    I can’t find them on there this year. Has anyone found them? And if so, what section are they under?

  26. HawkfaninMT says:

    Im with Ocho…

    Nobody else finds it odd that some players (ie Spencer and Branch) are being talked up like they are members of the All-Seahawks Team at their positions are also players that could be moved on draft day?

  27. vichawkfan says:

    I think PC is talking up those he thinks are showing something in a 3 day camp. A little late to convince other teams to trade for them given the years of game tape. If Moron was still here, Branch would be a no-show and Spencer already threw Spencer under the bus about week 12 I think? UUMM, didn’t know your center had a cast on his snap hand for weeks, so why were the snaps off that game? Makes me feel like Whitehurst has a chance to be all-pro given Morons lack of knowledge on him.

  28. “If I have to do anything I’ll put a little money aside. I have to be able to play through the whistle.”

    Just love that guy.

  29. Vichawkfan,


  30. klm – I thought that quote was pretty funny too.

  31. mojjonation says:

    I have lost track of Hawthorne. Is he still a Hawk? If so, and Hill gets his head out of his behind in time for the regular season, Hill, Hawthorne, Curry and Tatupu are a formidable LB group. Switch to 3-4 maybe? Still need a physical guy or 2 in the secondary.

    Years of game tape on Branch will show how he really is. PC hyping him is lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.

  32. I think Curry will end up rushing the passer from the elephant position once Leroy Hill is back in position. This was just the first minicamp and I don’t think we should take too much from it.

  33. I think guys should stop worrying about Spencer playing at Center. If Spencer is healthy this year, it will be a blessing. Having Spencer-Unger-Locklear on the right side (in whatever order they line up) gives us good stability there. They’re all good players.

    If you want something to worry about, worry about LT and LG, and by the way, who the heck will be our second TE?

  34. mojjonation – With Leroy HIll currently MIA, David Hawthorne was first-team OLB at minicamp and backup-up Lofa at MLB.

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