Seahawks Insider

Tatupu skips workout to contemplate decision to restructure; Coutu’s back

Post by Eric Williams on July 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm with 55 Comments »
July 30, 2011 7:00 pm

The Seahawks held a walk-through practice inside the VMAC indoor practice facility.

Seattle worked out for about an hour and a half, with practice mirroring what they usually do the day before a game.

Linebacker Lofa Tatupu did not attend practice because the team has asked him to restructure his contract. Tataupu hasn’t practiced on the field since the team’s first workout on Thursday.

The Seahawks also brought in a second kicker to compete with Wes Byrum, as former seventh round draft choice Brandon Coutu signed a deal with the team. Coutu attended practice this afternoon but did not workout.

Coutu competed with Olindo Mare in 2008, but lost out on the starting kicking job, but then-head personnel man Tim Ruskell kept two kickers on the active roster for the entire season.

Coutu then competed with Mare for the kicker job in 2010, losing for a second straight year, and was released during final cut downs.

Coutu has had a couple tryouts since then, but never stuck with an NFL team.

Charlie Whitehurst talked to reporters about head coach Pete Carroll’s announcement that Tarvaris Jackson would be the starter when he begins practice on Thursday. Whitehurst said he was disappointed when Carroll told him, but still believes he has a chance to win the job.

“I’ve got to go out here and work hard and make the decision tougher for him down the road,” Whitehurst said. “It’s not necessarily something I wanted to here, but it’s something I’ve got to live with and just keep competing.”

We also had an opportunity to talk to free agent receiver Sidney Rice. The former Minnesota Viking said he’s pleased to be in Seattle, and the fact that his former offensive coordinator in Minnesota Darrell Bevell and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson are here played heavily in his decision.

“It’s great,” he said. “It’s always good to be around familiar people that you know well. Tarvaris is one of my closest friends ever since I came into the league. I used to hang out at this place all the time and vice versa. He used to come over to my place and it was like that. So I’m comfortable around him.

“Also, Bevell. I know the offense and didn’t have to learn anything new. Made a couple tweaks to the playbook, but nothing I can’t pick up right away so when I’m able to get out here, I’m read to step right on the field and be effective.”

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Coutu’s back? (sigh) okay…

    Eric, you don’t really discuss Lofa here. Did he say he was sitting out “contemplating”? Or is that the general presumption? Or is there even a potential trade in the works? Thanks

  2. I’m very curious to know who they want to sign if Lofa restructures. Any reliable rumors out there?

  3. Ewalters7354 says:

    Why does he have to contemplate on taking a pay cut?He knows he hasn’t lives up to the contract.I honestly hope we trade him and let Heater take over.

  4. williambryan says:

    there was a report that the hawks were talking to ILB Burnett, formerly of San Diego, but he went to Miami I believe… This presumably would mean Heater at Middle and Hill back in the lineup? or Wright? I wonder if Lofa didn’t look that good on that first day…

  5. freedom_X says:

    The shorter kickoffs may give Coutu a better chance. He was a pretty accurate kicker in the preseason when he was here.

  6. GriffinNW says:

    Please restructure that contract Tatupu. You know you’re gonna miss time due to injury. Be a team player, take less money (which is still plenty of money), and let this organization work on bringing in more pieces to better this team.

    Everyone knows he’s going to run into the injury bug.

  7. I’m with Ewalters here. 3 Pro Bowl seasons, 3 crappy or injured seasons… Let’s free the cap space. Also, can’t take watching him get run over anymore. I used to love the guy, but he’s just not there anymore…

  8. Dukeshire: I have not talked to Lofa specifically, so that’s why we have little details on what is happening. But we know that he has been asked to restructure his contract, and now has to contemplate whether to accept the offer or ask for his release and try to find another team. He has a very tough decision and the organization is giving him some space so he can think it over.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks Eric. I suppose I didn’t realize he was in (presumably) a situation where he accepts their offer or is released. I was thinking that if he didn’t accept their offer they would negotiate, which they may be doing. I would hate to see it come to the point where he was let go.

    Can someone please point to these plays last season where he was “run over”? I have read this several times here today and would really like to have a specific example pointed out. Selective memory perhaps, but I do not recall this happening.

  10. Duke, I was thinking the exact same thing, I’ve yet to recall seeing him get bulldozed, maybe by Adrian Peterson, but that’s just a given.

  11. If you guys don’t remember seeing lofa getting abused then you weren’t watching the same game some of us did. I remember sitting here watching the game with my 30 year old son who knows more about the hawks than I do, and he even admitted to me that Lofa is not the same player as he was in his first few years. I won’t point you to a specific game or games, do that on your own and see it for yourself.

    Why do you think he had to have surgery on both knees?

  12. Oh, and I can tell you I was thinking about selling my Tatupu Jersey, but I bet there would be no takers. Do you guys no of anyone looking for a Tatupu jersey? If so, send me your email address, I’ll give it away.

  13. I meant “games”, not just one game.

  14. Do the x-rays of Coutu’s back still look like those of an ex-rodeo bull-rider? Still it’s probably better than giving up a 2nd rd ’12 pick to get DEN’s RFA Matt Prater with his 5.4 second hang time & 87.5 FG%(?)

    There’s at least 3 guys left on the Hawks that were overpaid enough for their ’10 performance that restructuring might mean the difference of a significant acquisition: Curry, Tru, and Tatupu. Curry apparently can’t be asked to restructure his $10M cap hit because of restrictions of the new CBA, not sure why Tru hasn’t/isn’t being approached, and how much of Lofa’s $4.35M is JS going after? The only thing Balmer did OK at was pressure the QB from the 3-tech on passing downs, and/or he could be released to get more $$$(?)

  15. Hawkzilla says:


    Send me that Tatupu jersey. I am still a fan of the guy. Yeah he needs to restructure and all and yeah he needs to share time but most of it is because our D line didn’t do their job not because he is terrible. All those years of playing behind an average D line have caught up with him.

    Imma hold you to that @doubter!

  16. GriffinNW says:

    doubter – What size is the jersey? I’ll take it if it fits me.

    Tatupu is not what he used to be, I’ll be the first to say that, but he also to me is one of those players where you could rock the jersey forever, much like Hasselbeck IMO.

  17. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Dukeshire- Watch the tape! Lofa was manhandled so often that it was pathetic! Once Red and Cole went out it only got worse for Tatupu!
    Like I said before, once he got his big contract and DUI he has never been the same! He had the luxury his first few years of having the offense keep the defense off the field for long stretches. Now he doesn’t have that luxury and his play has regressed because of it. Then add on to that his injuries and concussions and you have the formula of a dead man walking!
    Tatupu was an overachiever, and a smart with heart linebacker that will go down as one of the best linebackers to ever play for the Seahawks,however his days here with the Seahawks are surely numbered!
    Hasselbeck had more left in the tant then Tatupu.

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:
  19. Soggybuc says:

    I don’t remember it as getting run over per se but he did seem to lack the leg strength to make tackles as effectively as he once could.
    The most glaring weakness in his game to me was in pass defense. the knees hindered him a ton there.
    In his first couple of years he was dynamite in covering ends on seam routes as is the standard for a Tampa 2 mike.

    Lofa is , and will always be one of my all time favorite Hawks. right up there with Kenny, Mack, Rufus, Fredd and Manu.
    What i really hope is that Lofa doesn’t push the knees to the point where he ends up like Conrad Dobler in his later years.

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I love Lofa too, however it is time to hang it up! You have enough money so you don’t need to risk another concussion that could do serious damage to you!

    You ain’t as good as You once was
    That’s just the cold hard truth
    You can still throw a few back
    Talk a little smack
    When You are feelin’ bulletproof
    So I wont double dog dare you now
    ‘Cause I’d have to call your bluff
    You ain’t as good as You once was
    But You are as good once as You ever was

  21. seahawk44 says:

    Lofa haters……this guy had more natural instinct and heart than any Mike since the original Mike(Singletary). He has regressed a little in his speed and strength, but that is only from injury recovery and mostly due to him needing to cover for the guys up front that were getting beat all the time. Yes he was run over sometimes but he was always in the correct position (unlike many LBs) to make the play or at least slow the runner down. Mr. Tatupu deserves a chance to remain on this team and prove his doubters wrong by making the pro bowl this season.

  22. seahawk44 says…
    Tatupu deserves a chance to remain on this team and prove his doubters wrong by making the pro bowl this season.

    Ok, if he makes the pro bowl this year I will admit I was wrong. But I will also say you’re insane to think he will make the pro bowl, no matter who he plays with this season. YIKES!!!

  23. Hawkzilla…since you were the first to respond with my offer, I will be in Seattle next week from 8/3/11 to 8/7/11 in the Des Moines area at my brother in laws 50th Birthday party on 8/6/11. Ton’s of good food, here is some of what is going to be on the menu. Tamales, Lumpia, Halibut, Racks of Ribs, and 5 cases of Corona. Give me your cell phone number and I will call you to have you come over and I will give you the Jersey, and you, me and my son can talk Hawks while having a good time partying.

  24. @seahawk44 says

    Not a hater, I loved him when we picked him up. I heard what others were saying about him being too small. But when he played so well and surprised the doubters I loved him to death. It’s just that he has declined so much after that third year, that I seriously don’t think he will ever be able to reach that intensity again in his career. Surgery on BOTH knees? Do you really think he can come back and be the same player he was in his first three years?

  25. Oh, and what’s sad is, he’s only 28, 29 in November.

  26. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Isn’t it great that the liliputians are finally being weeded out of this roster! And to replace them with bigger, faster dirtbags! As a rule, no more liliputians! Earl Thomas is an exception!

  27. Hawkzill…. the jersey is XL, forgot to mention that.

  28. raymaines says:

    Soggybuc says: Lofa is, and will always be one of my all time favorite Hawks. right up there with …, Fredd

    Fredd was GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. My question is with the most cap space of any team in the NFL, WHY are PC & JS nickle & diming with letting Mare go & this Tatupu story.

    I have to ASSUME that they have something HUGE in mind salary wise that they need to clear more cap space for. I have no clue what is is, but saving Paul Allen a few mill has never been a priority before!

    I.e., I’m wondering if we’re going to get a HUGE surprise in the next week or 2.

    if not, bad moves to save relatively small amount of $’s (by NFL standards).

  30. moo, I don’t see how you can accuse them of “nickel & diming” anybody when they just paid Rice and Gallery huge contracts. They Seahawks HAD a lot of cap room, and they’ve spent most of it this week.

    This is a rebuilding team that still has more holes to fill than it has cap room. At this stage, the more room under the cap the better.

    And, yes, I’ll agree they probably have their sights set on a couple more free agents or perhaps players who may get cut by other teams.

  31. Stephen Tulloch is the free agent to watch for if Lofa declines to restructure.

  32. I am ok if Tatupu leaves – I love the guy and have his jersey, but his production has slipped and injuries seem to be a problem.

    Mare leaving is a more significant concern IMO.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Is Brock working on a contract with the Seahawks? I hope so.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    @blocis- The Seahawks probably would have signed Mare if the NFL didn’t mess around and move the kickoff spot from the 30 to the 35. I think that will hurt us more than most teams because Washington will get fewer touches.

  35. Ewalters7354 says:

    I would love to see Lofa bounce.He is as smart as a linebacker can be.But he can’t endure a pounding.This defense is built for bigger more downhill linebackers.We can indeed trade him to a team like the Eagles with a draft pick for a quality player like Samuel.I know he isn’t huge but he has great ball skills like Pete loves.

  36. Ewalters7354 says:

    I would love if we resign Brock.He has a great mentality for the young guys.He is a dirt bag of there ever was one lol.
    I absolutely love our FO!Gone are the days that the Hawks a known as a finesse/soft team.We are a young,big,and physical team.Now we need to get Gus Bradley to restructure his contract and we’ll be good lol

  37. Ewalters7354 says:

    I also think TJack will make us a more dangerous red zone team with his ability to run.Not to mention having two huge receivers on the outside.

  38. It was sad watching Tatupu get abused by the Bears in pass coverage last January.

  39. Duke – Tatupu got run over by Brandon Jacobs last year.

  40. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Perhaps the Eagles would want to trade for Tatupu just to keep him from playing against them. It seems like every time we play the Eagles Tatupu has a career game.

  41. bayareahawkfan says:

    Ruskell has already started sabotaging the Bears organization, driving a wedge between the f.o. and the coaches:

    This is how it started in SEA, as well. Enjoy, Chicago :) – couldn’t happen to a more deserving organization. Payback for 06 and 11 playoff victories over the hawks.

  42. Dukeshire says:

    Georgia – I’m not suggesting he played nearly as well as he’s capable, especially toward the end of the season, last year. And I have every game recorded from last season, so I’ll be happy to watch the tape. Especially Giant game where pabuwal says Jacobs ran him over. (If I recall, he’s referring to the play near the goal line toward the end of the game).

    I would say that his knees left him slowed to the point where he couldn’t react physically as quickly as his instincts recognized plays. He was left trailing the ball carrier and often (again, especially toward the end of the season) out of position. But that is a far cry from being “manhandled so often that it was pathetic”.

  43. chuck_easton says:

    Schefter just tweeted that Lofa has requested his release rather than taking a pay cut. The team is reluctantly agreeing.

    Eric please put an already retired player in the banner. We don’t want the Williams curse to strike again.

    Good luck Lofa. I don’t think any other team will give him the same money Seattle did so he’s either retired or he plays for another team for less just to show Seattle they made a mistake.

  44. Dukeshire says:

    Chuck – That makes me sick to my stomach. I’m sure Carroll is reluctant. Carroll loves Lofa.

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “manhandled so often that it was pathetic” lol.

    I apologize for that beerational response! A little over the top I would say. Anyways, Jacobs ran over just about everyone! He is a D-lineman disguised as a running back.

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I bet the Patriots will pick him up! Hate to see it end this way!

  47. I just read the tweet from Schefter, it really sucks, but if it ends up happening, I hope it makes us a better team, not sure how much the defense will suffer when two of the leaders, and most experienced players (Milloy, Tatupu) are gone.

  48. Do they have to take the rest of the signing bonus against the cap now,if he is released?

  49. Dukeshire says:

    Georgia – lol. Don’t sweat it. Beer Fest here in Portland this week. I haven’t been without one since Friday afternoon.

    This is a sad way to come to an end. Ugh… Hopefully Heater’s pass D, especially the seem in Cover 2 has proved.

  50. Dukeshire says:


  51. bayareahawkfan says:

    Actually my bet is Ruskell is busy devising a evil scheme to figure out how to overpay Lofa to CHI, even though they already have a pretty decent MLB (/understatement).

    Anyone know if Tats can play other LB positions? I think that’s probably key to figuring out where he’ll land.

    Of course normally you’d guess that DFA-ing a Seahawk, they’re sent down to the AA Lions organization as many have been in the past, but I don’t know how they’re set at MLB, or even if they run a 4-3.

  52. chuck_easton says:

    Sans says only 1.1 million counts against the 2011 cap. Team will save 5 million.

    While that doesn’t seem like a big amount of money it is 5 million that can go to a younger healthier player.

    I’ll miss Lofa. Heart of a warrior, great mind for the game, and the pride of a champion. It’s too bad the body let the rest of him down.

  53. Dukeshire says:

    Bay – perhaps Sam or interior in 3-4 but I don’t think those are comfortable fits, really.

  54. Helenahawk says:

    I’m thinking Lofa will be the team guy, realize the situation, take the restructure and go out like a lion.
    Just seems like the type of thing he would do.

  55. bayareahawkfan says:

    Duke – thanks; that makes sense. I wonder where he’ll go.

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