Seahawks Insider

Branch surgery confirmed; Housh out with sports hernia

Post by Eric Williams on April 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm with 48 Comments »
April 30, 2010 4:55 pm

We had a bit of news after practice, as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed that wide receiver Deion Branch did indeed have a knee surgery, his third surgery in a little over two years. Carroll said that Branch had arthroscopic surgery last week.

“He had a little something to clean up after the minicamp,” Carroll said. “He didn’t hurt himself at all, but there was a little something in there that if they could fix up and clean up for the long haul, it was a really good decision. So we did that.”

Carroll did not give a timetable for when Branch would return to the field.

Carroll also said that T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who sat out of the team’s pre-draft minicamp two weeks ago and did not workout today, had surgery last week in Philadelphia for athletic hernia, and should be back in a few weeks.

“It kind of cropped up late last year and lingered through the offseason and didn’t improve, so we sent him back to Philadelphia to get the work done,” Carroll said about Houshmandzadeh’s injury. “We’re really happy about the surgery and all of that, and we’ve got to get both of those guys back and well.”

Others who did not participate in the two-hour practice include wide receiver Ben Obomanu, defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, cornerback Walter Thurmond and running back Leon Washington.

Running back LenDale White looked good in his first team reps with the offense, breaking a long run at one point that brought some ‘oohs’ from the players on the sideline.

Carroll said White is 218 right now, although White said himself he’s 225. Either way, he looks good on the field and appears to be moving well.

Safety Lawyer Milloy said the reason he signed with Seattle this early into the offseason is he believes that he can compete for more playing time by being involved in the off-season workout program now.

“The reason while I’m here early in camp is that I at least have a chance to compete to get out there,” he said.

Milloy also said he’s also willing to serve as mentor to young safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

Here’s a couple tidbits from practice.

*Golden Tate looked as good as advertised in terms of is explosiveness. He got deep on Josh Wilson during 7-on-7 drills down the side line for a long catch, and made another nice catch between Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux for a long gain. But he also struggled getting the right depth on routes and dropped a few balls during team drills. Houshmandzadeh worked with Tate on his route running in between snaps. Tate also looked very comfortable catching and returning punts.

*Trufant had two interceptions during team drills and appeared to be moving better than he did at the end of last season, when he struggled with the defensive holding penalties.

* Rookie safety Kam Chancellor passes the eye test, looking all of 6-3, 232 pounds. Think Adrian Wilson in terms of size.

* Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung showed great knee bend, getting low in his stance and looking good in run blocking drills. Okung did struggle however against the speed rush with guys like Aaron Curry. Remember, it’s early.

*The Seahawks appear to have gotten a steal in tight end Anthony McCoy, who caught the ball well and looked explosive in passing drills.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 48
  1. Eric – how did the QBs look? The real competition isn’t between Whitehurst and Hasselbeck for the first spot. Hasselbeck may not have many skills left but he’s a savvy, smart veteran who knows how to put himself in the best situations. He won’t have any problem with Whitehurst.

    The real question is, does Whitehurst beat out Teel for the number 2 job?

  2. Anthony McCoy a receiving TE?

  3. Tarcat88 says:

    Hey Eric, did anybody on the D-line stand out to you? Either at tackle or end.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Great stuff Eric, thanks. How much more could Branch have left in there to “clean up”? Anyway, Tate got loose behind my boy Wilson? Say it isn’t so. And Lendale under 230? By a ways? Very nice. Sounds like a very active practice. Can’t wait to read about the next two days.

  5. I’m glad to hear the Tate “explosive” part (even though it was expected). The other stuff can be learned, but natural playmaking ability can’t. Lord knows we need explosive playmakers.

    Glad to hear Curry beating Okung in pass rushing drills. Not glad to hear about Okung getting beat in pass rushing drills. Probably doesn’t make sense, but it does to me:) As Eric said, “it’s early” but it’s fun to read the reports.

    I hope noboby is surprised by the WRs being out. I’m used to it. I’d think something was wrong if we had too many healthy bodies. That’s not in the culture of this team (to be healthy). Sigh.

  6. Don’t understand why Housh didn’t have surgery until last week on a sports hernia that has been bothering him since LAST SEASON?

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Bobby – Sando noted that Curry was very active, even whistled for offside a few times. He thought is wasn’t bad, but an influence of Norton. Got the impression he’s having Curry be as disruptive as possible.

  8. JazBadAzz says:

    I want a Lendale White jersey right now!!!

    17 td this year and a probowl, you heard it here first…

  9. Glad to see LenDale White has joined the blog. We used to have Bob Casullo here before he went to coach with the Bucs.

  10. How much does Hasselbeck weigh? I saw a picture of him at one of the earlier camps and he looked fat.

  11. I like the sound of Curry/distruptive.

    I don’t think LenWhale jerseys will be available. Too much fabric; XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL

  12. BobbyK,

    You really do have quite the sense of humor. Still working that 7th grade schtick. You must be a real hit with the ladies.

  13. Soggybuc says:

    Criminy guys Curry better be beating Okung at the first mini camp. dont expect it to last!!!
    As far as LenDale. 218, 225 or 295 i really dont care. take the freaking ball!, make the cut! score a frakking TD for my team and i will love you!!! If you happen to knock snot bubbles out of anyone wearing a niners, rams or tardinals jersey then I will love you long time!!

  14. Love the early news on the new guys – if Lendale gives us anything it’s a steal – we gave up basically nothing for him, same goes for Washington.

    Seems like McCoy makes the team (I’m giving him the SC edge with Carroll) – but I wonder if he gets playing time this year as well. I know it’s heresy to say – but Carlson didn’t look great to me very often last year – I know, not many things did on that offense.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    Well, he’s saying all the right things…

    “I’ve come here to start,” said White, who lost that job to NFL rushing champion Chris Johnson in Tennessee. “I didn’t come here to sit the bench anymore. I’m going to do everything in my power to come here, win football games and start.
    “So I hope the other guys are ready. I’m pretty sure they’re ready. That’s just what it needs to be, because competition isn’t going to do anything but bring out the best in all of us.”

  16. Soggybuc says:

    Awesome quotage Duke. is it just me or is the mental masturbation that is the off season become interminable? im way past (x1000) ready to shut it up and play some damn ball!

  17. snydro81 says:

    Awesome comments tonight guys!

    Okung will be a bit of a work in progress. He didn’t get where he is on raw talent. His whole football career has been a work in progress. The great thing is that the work is being done and the progress achieved.

    It gets me excited just to know that Curry was being asked to get the QB, and doing it effectively, this early in camp. That is going to be huge for us this season.

    I have confidence, for the first time in a long time, that we have coaches who will try like hell to maximize the talent of each and every player, will PLAY the best player regardless of everyone’s ego or consideration for their feelings, and will push them all hard through practice and the regular season..

    No offense to Holmgren, and I could care less about Mora, but I always felt like there were guys on our roster who could outproduce the starters if given a shot. And players were handed jobs before the season started and unless they got hurt, we could expect them to keep their roles through the end of the year. That’s fine when you’re winning, but hard to watch when things aren’t going well.

    Man, this comment is getting long winded. In a nutshell, I’m stoked about where we are headed.

    Oh, and Whitehurst will push Hass. Give him a chance.

  18. pdway, I think John Carlson’s had a bad year in 2009 just because he was forced to stay in and block too often (at least let’s hope that was why). Russell Okung should solve that problem and free up the TE.

    And don’t count the new TE out in terms of getting playing time. Both McCoy and Baker could both get some playing time alongside Carlson.

    They say Jeremy Bates likes 2-TE sets, so I checked the stats. According to Football Outsiders’, the Broncos used two-tight end sets 32% of the time in 2006-07, and 25% of the time in 2008, the year Bates was calling the plays. During that ’08 season, Broncos tight ends Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham had 61 and 50 catches, respectively. That’s two TEs each getting as many catches as Carlson had last year. (The Seahawks used a 2-TE set only 16% of the time)

  19. Can we let Branch go already I’m tired of hearingabout this guy because he is always hurt and personally I could care less about him on this team. I was hoping they could have traded him last week but if you think about it who really wants him @ 5 mill a year. Can we stop getting reports of
    Branch please!!!!

  20. yellaman, I hear you. I think whether Branch stays or goes is up to two men: Mike Williams, and Reggie Williams. If at least one of those guys makes the team, they can probably cut Branch outright. (Housh, Tate, Butler, Obo, Williams)

  21. Stevos–thanks for the numbers on 2 TE sets. I’m excited about Chris Baker, think he can be very productive this year, and am also excited from what I’ve read about McCoy.
    I agree Carlson looked poor last year–aside from how bad the entire offense was both my wife and I commented frequently at games on how slow he looked–rather, nothing seemed quick. He was a different player in the home game vs the Rams than we saw out of him the rest of the year.

  22. I’ve been wanting to dump Branch while there would be no cap acceleration on his $$$ too, but just looking at the list of guys that we’re then relying on is tough for me. I’m not a Branch fan, hated the trade when the team made it, but I still think a veteran has value. I do think this is the last year for him.

  23. IBGoofy says:


    agree with your williams note, except that Obo sure isn’t staying too healthy either…. I’m thinking It could be his make or break year because of his nagging injuries…..

  24. oceanic says:

    The D line will always beat the O line until they start wearing pads. Then it evens out.

    Training camp and preseason will last long enough to sort out the WRs. If Branch gets jumped on the depth chart by not being healthy, he is gone.

    Things can change at RB but right now it looks like White is #1, Forsett is #2 and J Jones is #3. Haven’t figured out what will happen at FB. Keep two, one or none.

  25. BobbyK says:

    I would assume that when we use 2 TE sets that it will eliminate the need for a FB most of the time.

    The Broncos had a very good offense, led by Cutler, Clady, and Marshall, two years ago. I don’t expect our top 2 TEs to put up numbers like they did in Denver unless our offense dramatically improves (I hope it does).

  26. BobbyK says:

    I think Locklear at RT is going to be better for John Carlson than Okung at LT. Last year, Carlson was lined up next to Willis. We all know Willis has his limitations in pass protection and Carlson had to help out too often. With Lock at RT this year, things should get much easier for him, as we all know that Lock is a very good pass blocking RT.

  27. IBGoofy says:

    Still very ‘anxious’ about the center & right guard positions also….

    What happens on that OL is so mjr key for our season….. Think of the possibilities if that group just puts it all together!… after that, I’d be think the “W’s” would key on the play calling….

    Speaking of, and I realize this is very early, somewhere along the line, we might want to discuss the playcalling in the preseason games…. anyone have an idea where PC will go with that? Clearly you don’t give up the playbook, but with all the player changes, this might well be pretty interesting…

  28. IBGoofy says:


  29. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, is Hill still absent? I presume until after his court date?

  30. Stevos says:

    IB, you’re ‘anxious’ about the center & right guard positions?

    that’s interesting, because those are some of the only positions on the whole team (along with LBs) that I am Not anxious about. :-) I think that betwen Spencer, Unger, and Locklear, we are in great shape at C-RG-RT (in whatever order they line up. Even if Spencer gets injured again, Unger-Gibson-Locklear is not a bad lineup. If Spencer stays healthy, I feel really good about the potential of Spencer back at C, Locklear maybe moving to RG to take advantage of his mobility, and perhaps Unger moving to RT where he can use his strength.

    I wish I could say so many good things about the rest of the roster.

  31. Stevos says:

    oceanic, are you forgetting someone at RB?

    I am imagining the depth chart at RB looks something like this:
    White (1st/2nd/short yardage)
    Washington (3rd-down, KR)
    Forsett and Jones competing for the back up spot.

  32. BobbyK says:

    If ’06 taught me anything. If ’07 taught me anything. If ’08 taught me anything. If ’09 taught me anything… it is to be worried about Chris Spencer. History definitely repeats itself and every year we have these rose colored glasses for Chris Spencer and then we’re shocked when the Center position doesn’t turn out the way we hope. I hope this is “the year” he finally “gets it” and can stay healthy and play well, but forgive me for being skeptical.

  33. Mr Williams –
    Is Ben Hamilton effectively tutoring Okung? Does Okung learn from his mistakes? What is Gibbs doing? Are Hamilton, Spencer, Unger, Locklear starting to look like they might work well together?

  34. IBGoofy says:

    Has anyone seen or heard anything behind the decision to list Spencer as the starting center? If so, I missed it…. pls share…. a general jist would be fine…. I know there were few of us who expected him ahead of Unger to start…

    Realistically, this may have something to do with our limited draft picks (number)… Obviously, not every position can be upgraded in one year… To end up with the changes we already have on the OL, It’s unbelievably huge…. Don’t forget though, not only do the linemen have to adjust to each other…. The running backs need a timeperiod to adjust to the OL tendencies… This actually was one of Alexander’s strength’s….. (IMOHA)…..

  35. IBGoofy says:

    Ooops, yes, I know he was there for the first mini camp ((Spencer)… am curious if there was an explanation…

  36. IBGoofy says:


    Your thoughts on Spencer CAN’T be ignored by the PC group…. facts are facts…. a significant part of my question relates to that…

  37. John Carlson
    716 total snaps played, (ran once), 360 (50%) snaps he went into pass routes, 324 (45%) snaps he run-blocked, 31 (4%) snaps he pass-blocked. Thrown at 77 times, caught 55 (71.4C%), 627 yds, 11.4 yds/rec, 242 YAC, 4.4 YAC/rec, 33 long, 6 TDs, 3 ints were made while throwing to him, 5 dropped passes, 1shed tkl, 0 fumbles.
    970 total snaps played, 542 (56%) snaps he went into pass routes, 355 (37%) snaps he run-blocked, 73 (8%) snaps he pass-blocked. Thrown at 79 times, caught 50 (63.3C%), 532 yds, 10.6 yds/rec, 242 YAC, 4.8 YAC/rec, 38 long, 7 TDs, 2 ints were made while throwing to him, 4 dropped passes, 1shed tkl, 0 fumbles.

    Opposing teams figured J.Carlson out a little after ’08. Defenders have been jostling him down the field then hammering him just before the ball gets there and have not been called for illegal contact nor PI. Maybe that’s what defenders can get away with vs TEs – where they’d get called vs WRs? It wasn’t that he stayed in blocking too much. Actually, stats-wise, JC did better after the catch than ’08. If teams key more on Tate/Housh/Washington, then as a checkdown even, JC should have a very good year.

    Matt Hasselbeck did not look fat at all at Walter Jones farewell address.

  38. IBGoofy-
    Eric reported from the 1st minicamp that the OL coaches are high on Spencer as a natural center and like what they have seen from him.

  39. Could Spencer have a good ’10? Yes.
    Could Spencer stay healthy for ’10? Yes.
    Do I hope Spencer is good and plays at a high level? Yes.
    Do I respect the coaching staff? Yes. They are going to play the players they think give the team the best chance of winning and they know more about football than we do.

    All I’m saying is that I’m sick and tired of excuses for the lack of productivity. Every year we wear rose colored glasses and think he’s going to be good and then we’re “shocked” that he stinks for whatever reason. I want to see results on the field before I feel good about the Center position. A guy like Nick Mangold was drafted in the 1st round the year after we took Spencer, also in the first, and he’s clearly the best Center in the NFL so I get a bit sick and tired about the “Center is hard to learn” comments. Some have made good points about Center having more responsibility (and harder to learn) in a Mike Holmgren offense, but Holmy wasn’t our coach last year so I’m sure we’re waiting on a new set of excuses again (we could use the injury bug, but we’ve used that for 4 years in a row and it gets a bit tiring… if he would have had to play as a rookie, I’m sure we’d be talking about injuries for the last 5 years in a row). I hope Spencer, Unger, and Lock form a good/great right side. I think it could happen. But history, again, has taught me to be a bit skeptical. That’s all. I’m not trying to be negative but I think I have good reason to question that this is the year he magically “gets it.” And, no, we can’t draft a Pro Bowler for every position in one off-season. I never said we could. Like any team, we have strengths and weaknesses. I just happen to think that until proven otherwise, that Center, with Spencer, is an area of weakness.

  40. chuck_easton says:

    I’m going to defer to the coaches for now.

    They have said that Spencer is the better Center on the team. They have said the starting right side of the line-up with Spencer – C. Unger RG, and Locklear RT was put in from the beginning to give them time to work together.

    This is why the first OTA had Willis at LT and Gibson at LG. The team knew that was the part of the line that was going to change. They wanted the right side solidified at the start.

    Now with Okung at LT and Hamilton at LG we can pretty much see the starting line-up. IF Spencer stays healthy it will stay that way for 2010.

  41. IBGoofy says:

    klm… Thx… missed it entirely…. seems they see more in him than we have over the last several season’s…. any reference to offensive line schemes??? I was also hearing some leadership concerns…. they may have been just ‘personal opinions’ of our bloggers, yes???

    “It will be fun to read the reports ……, there are 101 guys in camp. It will be fun to try and keep all the info straight.” Ya got THAT right Duke!!! LOL!!!

  42. Dukeshire says:

    klm008 – It’s been one day. Let’s give them at least to the conclusion of their very first mini-camp together to form some chemistry.

  43. oceanic says:

    Stevos, I didn’t forget about Leon. I just feel his injury was so severe that he won’t be able to play in Sept. Hope I’m wrong because he is a major talent.

    BobbyK I’d like to know if they are playing Jeff Byers at center or guard. If he is at center, I think he jumps Vallos on the depth chart before Sept.

  44. pabuwal says:

    I’d be surprised if LenDale White starts over Forsett. Forsett is a playmaker and a game breaker, even though he lacks speed.

  45. chuck_easton says:


    You may have to be prepared to be suprised then. White was already running with the 1st team yesterday and if he really is in as good a shape as they say I’d bet he’s the starter and Forsett is the change of pace back.

  46. nighthawk2 says:

    The stats I saw on McCoy in college were 22 catches in 2008 with Sanchez and 22 catches in 2009 with the freshman. That’s what, about 2 catches a game, if that? That’s not impressive. This guy is not better than Carlson, and frankly with the crap offensive “scheme” that Greg Knapp ran everyone looked bad last year. I see Jim Moron is an “analyst” with NFL Network, at during the draft he was, so I’m still waiting for him to explain why he didn’t press for OT to be addressed last year, why he couldn’t have had Owens kept in for blocking and split Carlson out away from the LOS to get him involved in the passing game and why Julius Jones got carries over Forsett when it was clear to anyone watching games that Forsett was the only effective RB we had. Those explanations will never come though, because Mora is too busy whining about not getting a call from Paul Allen and blaming everything on his patron, Tim Ruskell, without whom he’d never have gotten the head coach job in the first place. Ruskell sucked as a talent evaluator and as GM, but Mora wouldn’t even have been here without him.

  47. nighthawk2 says:

    “They have said that Spencer is the better Center on the team.”

    About the 5th time that Dan Williams throws Spencer on his overpaid backside they’ll figure out that statement is a bunch of hooey. I still can’t figure out why this injury prone waste of a 1st round pick is still on the team. But I can’t figure out why Branch and Julius Jones are still on the roster either.

  48. Stevos says:

    Its amazing how many posts on here are about the Center position and Chris Spencer. IMHO, everyone needs to stop freaking out about this. We have TWO players very capable of starting at C (Spencer and Unger) and we have at least two potential backups if injury strikes (Vallos or Byers).

    There may be no other position on the team where we have so much depth. Our team is deep at LB, C, and maybe RB. Stop worrying about Center, there are bigger concerns.

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