Seahawks Insider

Pads pop on opening day of training camp

Post by Eric Williams on July 31, 2010 at 12:29 pm with 17 Comments »
July 31, 2010 12:29 pm

The talk after practice was level of hitting for a first practice, as the team donned shoulder pads to open things up, which is unusual. Usually coaches go jerseys and shorts and kind of ease players into the contact.

“We practiced pretty hard this offseason,” Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “The OTAs and those practices were pretty intense, no pads. This is the first chance to get some kind of pads on. Up front it’s pretty much live anyway. The difference really is for the runners, the tight ends and the receivers. And Alex Gibbs was probably the happiest person to finally see those guys hit and get tackled.”

As expected, play was intense but a little sloppy. There were several dropped balls by receivers, and the running backs put the ball on the ground a couple times. We saw some fumbled handoffs and Charlie Whitehurst stumbled and fell during his back peddle on a passing play during team drills

But overall the effort was good and guys appeared excited to finally be out on the field, with the public watching practice and 60s Oldies blaring from the speakers on the berm.

Head coach Pete Carroll came out early to get fans excited for training camp.

“This is new to me with the music and everything,” wide receiver Mike Williams said. “He told me last night he’s trying to create the atmosphere to perform, with the music and the fans and everything. So guys are just kind of coming along with it, getting warmed up to the music. But this camp is going to be very competitive and everybody’s excited about getting started.”

Offensive tackle Russell Okung and safety Earl Thomas were nowhere to be found. Ray Willis played left tackle with the first unit today, and Jordan Babineaux and Lawyer Milloy manned the safety positions.

“We’ve got Ray Willis right now,” Hasselbeck said. “Ray is a proven guy. So whatever happens there, happens there. I’m sure they will work something out.”

Linebacker Aaron Curry went through the same thing last season, missing eight days of training camp before signing a five-year deal worth $34 million. So Curry understands what Okung and Thomas are going through.

“I would tell them to be patient and understand there’s a business part of the game,” Curry said. “And that what they’re doing is their right as a player. They have to protect themselves, and they deserve every dollar they get, and that’s what it’s about. When it comes to the business part of the game it’s all numbers. And when it comes to numbers you have to protect yourself because you never know when you’re last play is.”

Running back Leon Washington said he was pleased to meet his goal of making it back on the field for training camp. Washington did not participate in contact drills during training camp, but is itching to get involved.

“Today was a day to just my legs back under me and get used to pads on,” Washington said. “It’s been since last October since I had the pads on, since I got injured. So more than anything else, it just felt great to accomplish one of my goals, and that’s to get back to training camp. And no my ultimate goal is to come in and help this team when a bunch of football games by making some plays.”

Some tidbits

* Ruvell Martin has not been mentioned much, but he appeared to take Sean Morey’s retirement to heart by catching everything today. The only ball he dropped was deep ball on the sideline where he had Marcus Trufant beat. Martin is certainly someone to watch in the competition at receiver.

* The offensive starters were John Carlson at tight end, Willis at left tackle, Ben Hamilton at left guard, Chris Spencer at center, Max Unger at right guard, Sean Locklear at right tackle, T.J. Houshmandzadeh at split end, Deion Branch at flanker, Julius Jones at running back, Ryan Powdrell at fullback and Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback.

* The defensive starters were Red Bryant and Chris Clemons at defensive end, Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole at defensive tackle, Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu and David Hawthorne at linebacker, Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings at corner, and Jordan Babineaux and Lawyer Milloy at safety.

* The Seahawks focused on getting the ball to Carlson in a lot of different ways. They even lined him up at fullback and ran a running play.

* Golden Tate showed up again, making the play of the day by leaping up to stab a ball out of the air of Trufant down the sideline, drawing cheers from the crowd. “Give him a donut,” yelled one of the onlookers.

* Curry was very active today, giving Willis problems coming off the edge and getting in the backfield on run plays.

* Mike Williams continues to show up as well. He made a nice catch on a square in across the middle of the field. Housh did the same thing on a similar route, and appears healthy after coming back from the sports hernia surgery.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Very nice report, Eric. Keep those coming! I do have two questions;

    1) Curry gave Willis trouble? Was he playing the weak side?

    2) I was surprised to read Jones with the #1s. Were you surprised by this?

  2. Hey Dukeshire, Curry came off the edge as an outside backer in the hybrid 3-4.

    I’m not surprised at all by Julius playing with the first unit. I think that will be the case until the team plays some preseason games.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks E. As a follow up, was Herring the Sam in that case or did Leroy slide into his rookie position, or someone else? Thanks again.

  4. CreamRanger says:

    How often was the 3-4 hybrid run? Who makes up the front 7 in the 3-4 package? Lofa and Hawthorne as the ILBs makes sense with Curry and someone like Reed(who showed the instincts pi or Clemons playing the OLB. Vickerson and Cole would make good NTs and Mebane and Bryant would be perfect quick DTs to play the DE. Seems like it could turn into a solid package to throw off the an opponents offense in certain situations.

    How is the battle for number two corner going? It sounds like Jennings is the starter, but Josh Wilson and Walter Thurmond III seem like they will make things interesting.

    Also any news about when Pitts and Schmitt will be able to practice?

  5. Dukeshire: On the plays I noticed when Curry was up on the line Herring usually slid into OLB.

    Creamerrang: Clemons and Bryant at DEs, Mebane and Cole at DTs, Curry, Tatupu and Hawthorne at LBs.

    Jennings and Wilson are battling it out at corner, and Thurmond is just working his way onto the field.

    Pitts and Schmitt were PUP’d. Pitts is recovering from microfracture knee surgery, Schmitt hurt his elbow but we have not been told how he suffered the injury.

  6. CreamRanger says:

    Ok thanks for the heads up. Hopefully Schmitt will be good to go soon. He’s one of my favorite players to watch.

    So when switching to the 3-4 does the same personnel stay on the field? It seems like a quick change of players would generate a far superior 3-4 defense than trying to use the same personnel as the 4-3.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Carroll’s base D is (and always has been) a 4-3. It remains to be seen what personnel he’ll use when they run a so-called 3-4. (The reason I call is “so-called” is because the d linemen, whether it’s 3 or 4 of them, will align themselves to play 1, gap not 2 technique, as they would in a traditional 3-4.) But I think the simplest way to think about it is this; running a “hybrid 3-4″ is a way to get Curry in a position to become a more versatile threat. He’ll move from his base position of OLB in the left side, above the TE or outside the right tackle, to what amounts to RDE, using his speed to be disruptive in the backfield. The strong side (OLB left) will be (at least today) filled by Herring.

    One reason I can imagine Carroll won’t run this as his base, is that Curry’s presence as the strong side LB is crucial in run support. This is a package designed, IMO, to get to most out of Curry and putting him in a position to be as disruptive as possible, every play. Regardless of down and distance.

    (I apologize if this was far more simplistic an answer than you were looking for. My impression was you were looking simply for the basics.)

  8. Dukeshire says:

    That should read “1 gap, not 2 gap technique…”

  9. I know it’s only the first day, but I’d like to know how Trufant is looking as we get further into the training camp, because he really struggled last year and even though Cardinals has lost both Warner and Boldin, they still have Fitzgerald which is more than enough to handle, and the 49ers do have some vertical threats as well. And I’m glad that Mike Williams is still doing great, my expectations for him this year are big.

  10. snydro22 says:

    It would be awesome if Chester Pitts brought the Ellen show to training camp. The Hawks need love!

    If anyone out there doesn’t know the Chester Pitts story (Ellen Degeneres connection) just go to youtube and search.. If you don’t remember the Chester Pitts Super Bowl ad, it’s worth watching again..

    Eric, I know Chester’s workout ultimately led to his signing, but what went on there? What was he able to do? What time-frame are they giving him to be back to practicing with the team? Any more insight on that?

  11. Dukeshire says:

    I wasn’t aware they were so tight.

  12. Sec144Soldier says:

    An Open Letter to the Seahawks:

    In 1975, you empowered the public to name our great franchise.

    In 2002, you empowered us again by asking us to select the colors of our helmets.

    Now, in 2010, you must empower us to change the home field song.

    Why we selected a “Bittersweet Symphony” to lead our team onto the field when Seattle is one of the pillars of rock and roll is perplexing, should we not celebrate our region with our music as we do with our logo and color scheme?
    This is a great opportunity to include the public during this time of change. We the fans should have an input on this! What better way is there to set the tone appropriately than a new song to charge up the loudest stadium in the NFL when our team hits the field this September?

    Power to the People!!/group.php?gid=357594023822&v=info

  13. freedom_X says:

    I’ll always be cautious about reports of early pass-rush dominance, at least until the O-line proves it is solid again. Last year, multiple reports indicated Cory Redding looked completely dominant in camp, wreaking havoc, and a man among boys. Unfortunately, that’s what it actually was – a decent player practicing against sub-par talent.

  14. I also don’t understand why such a lame song was chosen. I hope they change that.

  15. raymaines says:

    I’d give my next weeks allowance to see Ellen in a Cheer Leading outfit.

  16. CreamRanger says:

    Thanks Duke. Don’t worry I know how defensive schemes work… My initial question was more about whether or not Carroll wants to change the personnel when the 3-4 package is used as a change of pace from the 4-3. I believe he said they wanted to implement some 3-4 and it would be much more effective if they changed up their front 7 from the initial 4-3 personnel. Its been shown around the league that the 3-4 only works if the proper personnel are on the field. I suppose it could work to just bump the Leo out to the OLB and Curry be the opposite OLB with Tatupu and Hawthorne playing ILB. Then either Cole or Vickerson would make for a sturdy nose with Bryant and Mebane playing the 3-4 ends… who knows lol. So many options and so much potential.

    However it works out it will definitely be fun to watch and a nice change of pace from always seeing the 4-3 over and over in a league that is continually changing.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    We’ll see in preseason of course. But I envision the biggest change in the front 7 to be Vickerson to replace Cole, Curry to move to 7 tech and Herring to Sam. I imagine Bryant to play LDE, Mebane at 3 tech not to change.

    The biggest thing to remain the same will be the “under” alignment of the d line. I don’t see the NT to move to 0 tech, above the center. He’ll stay at the 1 to the strong side. That alone prevents it, regardless the personnel Carroll runs out there, from being a true 3-4. Anyway, as you said, it will be fun to watch.

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