Seahawks Insider

Okung working with second unit – for now

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm with 12 Comments »
August 6, 2010 6:57 pm
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung (AP/Elaine Thompson)

Just minutes after signing a contract that made him a rich man, Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle hit the practice field and was knocked back to reality by the bellowing voice of offensive line coach Alex Gibbs.

Okung knows the hard-driving Gibbs will keep him honest and grounded in his quest to replace one of the best tackles in the game in Walter Jones.

“What is he, ike, the oldest offensive line coach ever in the league right now?” joked Okung. “But obviously he’s one of the best zone blocking coaches, if not the best offensive line coach in the game right now. So whatever he tells me to do, I’ll do.”

Okung worked with the second unit during the two-hour practice, as head coach Pete Carroll said he will worked the 22-year-old in slowly. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said it will be a week to 10 days before Okung is thrust in with the first unit.

As far as the contract, according to Carroll the team held firm.

“I think this was a challenge to John Idzik and John Schneider and myself, how firm are we going to stand,” Carroll said. “This could have been done sooner. We stood very strong; I really think John (Schneider) did a great job of hanging in there and holding the line where we wanted to.

“Unfortunately, Russell is well behind now and he’ll be in a really scramble mode for some time. It’s unfortunate it took so long, but we’re grateful that it’s finally done.”

On why it took so long to Okung into camp, here’s what Carroll had to say:

“I think they took a stance that it was more important to fight for a contract that they thought (was fair), at the expense of him being out of his football. That’s the way it goes. It puts Russell behind; it puts us behind, because they took a stance.”

Running back Leon Washington again scrimmaged during team drills in the full-padded practice and came through well, taking a couple nice shots in the process.

“I love it,” Washington said about the contact. “I miss it, and I’ve been phening for it over the last, couple weeks since we got back. This is a great opportunity to come out here and help my teammates.”

Washington made a couple nice, stutter-step moves and showed some burst through the role. Carroll said he got about a dozen snaps during team drills. Washington said he felt great, so now the running back competition begins in earnest.

“We’ll see him continue to progress, and now he’ll enter the competition at the running back spot in a meaningful way,” Carroll said. “We’ve been very patient up until now. I’ve been waiting for him. We know he’s healthy and he’s back. But he needed to feel right about it. So we’ve given him the time until he made the call.”

Carroll also said he’s been impressed with the performance of Quinton Ganther, who continues to see time at fullback as well.

Along with the growing list of injured players, Carroll also is on the mend from recent knee surgery and has been seen limping around the practice field.

“I’m in a recovery mode here and I’m kind of upset about that,” he said. “I’ve never been so frustrated on the practice field because I can’t take off and run. I’m making everybody else run and here I am stumbling around, but I’ll be all right here in a day.”

As far as practice goes, Kam Chancellor, Joe Pawelek, Brandon Mebane, Kevin Vickerson, Lofa Tatupu, Louis Rankin, Lawrence Jackson and Aaron Curry remain on the sidelines, along with active PUP players Chester Pitts and Josh Pinkard.

Carroll said Curry, who suffered from headaches after a collision with Justin Forsett on Saturday, is expected back on Tuesday or Wednesday and should be ready to play in the first preseason game.

Vickerson is a day or so away from getting back on the field. Tatupu had a mild hamstring strain, and because he has had issues with his hamstring in the past the team is being cautious with him. Chancellor has a hip issue. And Lawrence Jackson also has a hamstring issue.

“He really hasn’t had much work,” Carroll said. “He really practiced the first day, first practice, and then he hasn’t practiced since then. As a matter of fact, I visited with him today, it’s been awhile, we need to get him out there and get some work done.”

Some tidbits

* Marcus Trufant was the star of today’s practice. He had two interceptions; one on a play-action pass where Charlie Whitehurst rolled out and tried to hit Golden Tate on an out route. Trufant deflected the ball and brought it in before it hit the ground. Trufant also made a nice pick on a deep ball by Whitehurst to Kole Heckendorf.

* If not for the play of Trufant, Deion Branch would have gotten my vote for practice player of the day. He had several nice catches, included a touchdown on a fade route from Matt Hasselbeck.

* Leon Washington also threw a short touchdown on a halfback pass to John Carlson in the back of the end zone, showing his versatility.

* David Hawthrone blasted Owen Schmitt on a lead play to Justin Forsett, stopping him short of a first down.

* Hasselbeck ended practice by throwing a football into the crowd.

* Julius Jones was the back in with the first unit on short-yardage plays, and picked up the first down each time.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Washington threw a TD pass? Okay Eric, how did that play come about? Direct snap? Reverse? Backwards pass from… Hass? You can’t just leave that one hanging out there…

    And Kam’s hip, is it anything more serious than a bruise, that you know of?

  2. Dukeshire: My bad, it was a halfback pass. He’s got a decent arm. Nothing specific on Kam. Could be a bone bruise, but we’re not getting injury reports during training camp so the info is spotty.

  3. Good to see Branch cranking things up in practice. I’m sure it’ll translate into another of his 1,000 yard seasons (sarcasm).

  4. rgbuckl says:

    Is anyone else unimpressed with Whitehurst so far? I think he’s looked like the #3 he’s been. Still looks like any opposing team would eat him alive.

    Does anyone else see Losman as the #2 if things keep heading in the direction they have for both?

  5. Everyone knows Okung isn’t competing for his job so it only makes sense for him as many reps with the starting unit as possible.

  6. raymaines says:

    “Okung worked with the second unit during the two-hour practice, as head coach Pete Carroll said he will worked the 22-year-old in slowly.”

    “Slow” is a relative term. The 2’s are still running their butt’s off, smacking each other with unimaginable force, and sweating like pigs. Mr. Okung will be stiff and sore tomorrow. Still very rich, but stiff and sore.

    “Unfortunately, Russell is well behind now and he’ll be in a really scramble mode for some time.”

    Oh come on now. A month from now you, me and Pete Carroll won’t even remember he was late. The only shame here is that he (Okung) didn’t accomplish anything by his week long hold out. No extra money or anything. Another poster on a different thread said “I hate agents” and I totally agree with that, but Okung will play just as well against SF on Sept. 12th as he would have if he had been here a week ago. Sometimes we take all of this a little too seriously.

  7. I just want to say that for as much as the fans have been calling for the head of julius jones, pleading for the hawks to cut Jones, that we actually need julius jones and having him perform well makes the other running backs perform better. Would I like to see Forsett start? sure… why not, but what I would really like to see is the running back by committee working like a well oiled machine with both backs getting opportunities to start and both backs ripping up the defense for long yards.

    I never disliked jones nor did I ever think he sucked. I thought the offensive line sucked. and although forsett had a better avg per run, he had less runs. I think a good example is like hitting in baseball where a guy with less at bats can show to have a higher avg early in the season. Also, alot of times when Forsett came in the game the contest was already decided.

    bottom line, I want both backs to do good and I think the team will not be benefited with only one back peforming well so I think people should start showing some support for Jones.

  8. Great stuff, hopefully guys like Branch and Butler will step up in the actual season instead of just TC, but so far the reports has looked good. How has Trufant looked overall in training camp? I’m always worried about of defensive backs, and our pass defense has looked weak the past few seasons, as has the rest of our team, but the way we have been beaten through the air stood out, at least in my opinion. And with Trufant coming back after an injury and playing quite bad, I’ll be glad for every report we get on the backs especially Trufant.

  9. new02: I think we need Julius too. This team does not have one great back; we need a RB corps approach. I still think we all want to see Forsett get as many 1st and 2nd down carries as possible, but how many games in a row can the little big man keep handling collisions without injuries? I also want to see what Leon Washington can do on 3rd downs and more, but he’s a small man too, will be a returner, and not an every-down back.

    The great thing about Julius Jones is he can run all the plays on any down – run, catch, and he’s great in pass pro. He should be a backup, but he is a super backup of the type any team should love to have. Julius will – and should – push both Forsett and Washington to earn their touches, and that’s good for the RB corps.

  10. JacDG, I watched Trufant a lot at practice the other day and he looks completely different than he did last year. He looks like his younger self again. He looks like he can become a lock-down corner once again and that should change things for the DBs. Last year it wasn’t just Tru that was gimpy, but we had no speed at FS, and no Lofa for support. This year – with a healthy Tru, blazing speed from Thomas to help support the CBs, and Lofa back in the middle of the field raising hell – I think that pass defense can become somewhat of a strength for this team.

    That said, the defense will never be good enough to overcome an offense like we had last year. This year’s offense must control the ball, no longer accept 3-and-outs, and no longer expect the defense to bail them out every game. Too much was on the defense’s shoulders last year.

  11. Thank you very much Stevos, great news. But yes, last year was a complete disaster, the team needs to turn it completely around on both sides of the ball.

  12. Nice to have Okung in the flock. I sure hope he is comfortable with his contract after seeing first hand the results of Buffalo Bills LT, Jason Peters. Having asked for a new contract the Bills refused. He laid down for a season and was traded to Philly where he again landed in the Pro Bowl.

    pic quip
    Told the equipment manager to super size this helmit .. my heads got so big

    snydro -that wasn’t meant as a knock on you and that mellon

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