Seahawks Insider

Earl Thomas cuts his dreads; James Carpenter practices

Post by Eric Williams on July 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm with 23 Comments »
July 25, 2013 4:07 pm

Apparently, Earl Thomas’ strength is not in his hair.

Like Bruce Irvin did a couple months ago, Seattle’s star safety took the field for the beginning of training camp today with his dreadlocks shaved for the first time as a Seahawk.

Thomas was his usual, speedy, play-making self, which included an interception of a Russell Wilson offering over the middle of the field during team drills, along with a few pass deflections during Seattle’s two-hour practice session this morning.

“Earl looked fast today,” Carroll said. “I don’t know if it was that haircut, but he was all over the field today.”

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas signs autographs after the opening day of training camp on Thursday. (Lui Kit Wong/The News Tribune)
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas signs autographs after the opening day of training camp on Thursday. (Lui Kit Wong/The News Tribune)

Seahawks receiver Stephen Williams makes a catch over cornerback Jeremy Lane at training camp practice on Thursday. (Lui Kit Wong/The News Tribune)
Seahawks receiver Stephen Williams makes a catch over cornerback Jeremy Lane at training camp practice on Thursday. (Lui Kit Wong/The News Tribune)

Carpenter back on the field

Another promising development for Carroll and the rest of the offense was offensive lineman James Carpenter suiting up and taking reps with the second unit at left guard.

Carpenter did not practice at all during Seattle’s offseason program after having arthroscopic surgery to clean up his surgically repaired knee.

“Last training camp I wasn’t able to run very much,” Carpenter said. “And this one I can block 300-pound lineman. So it’s a lot better this time.”

Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said the difference in conditioning from last season to the beginning of training camp this year is noticeable for Carpenter.

“It’s night and day,” Cable said. “Remember, we were just clearing him, and then ‘BOOM’, we’re playing him. He was really I would say as close as ready to go five or six weeks ago, so he has had this whole period to condition. And he’s in much better shape.

“Now, that’s just to come to camp. You’ve got to get into football shape, and he’s no different than anybody else now. It was pretty good the first day.”

“He has worked very hard, and had a very, very good offseason to get back,” added Carroll. “And he was out there competing today. So that’s a big, big positive for him.”

Cable said it’s too soon to consider the possibility of Paul McQuistan moving over to compete at right guard should Carpenter continue on a path that leads him to seizing control of the left guard spot.

“I really haven’t thought that through yet,” Cable said. “There will always be versatility in my group, because they all have to play a couple spots. But right now it’s just getting him (Carpenter) back, and getting to him to where he can compete. So right now it’s just getting him back in the offense, because he’s really been out of it – other than a few weeks during last season – for a year and a half. So getting him back involved and getting his mind trained right, and then we’ll see where we can go with the football player.”

Miller, Turbin on the mend

Carroll said that Zach Miller continues to suffer from a sore foot that cropped up during the last day of OTAs, and kept him out of the team’s June minicamp.

Carroll maintains that Miller’s foot issue is a separate issue from the torn planter fascia he suffered against Atlanta in the NFC Divisional playoff game.

Carroll said Robert Turbin’s sore foot is something the team has been monitoring since the offseason program, and that the Seahawks want to make sure he’s 100 percent healthy.

“He feels fine, doesn’t feel it at all,” Carroll said about Turbin. “But again we’re just taking every precaution at this early time.”

Yep, there’s still a QB competition – for the backup job

Tarvaris Jackson stepped in and handled the two-minute offense on his first day back on the field with the Seahawks.

“That’s a tremendous bonus,” Carroll said. “He can come out here and start competing from Day I, as opposed to being behind and not understanding the system and all that.”

But Jackson won’t be handed the backup job, as Brady Quinn remains in the mix to compete for the No. 2 job.

Carroll remained coy when asked how he will handle reps for the backup job.

“Really well,” Carroll said, chuckling. “Thanks, I appreciate you saying that again.”

No rush for Clemons

Carroll said that the team won’t make a determination for a couple days on when defensive end Chris Clemons, who started training camp on the PUP list, will work his way on the field.

Clemons had ACL knee surgery in December. And free agent addition Cliff Avril worked at Leo with the first unit with Clemons out.

“We’ll know more in the next couple days when we have him with us,” Carroll said. “He’s in pretty good shape. He feels great about it. He doesn’t feel any pain at all. He can run and all that stuff. We’re trying to keep him off of full speed running off the ground yet.

“But he’s in good shape. Again, if you remember, I said this way back then that we’re going to really take our time with him. We’ve got a long haul. We know he’s a terrific football player for us. We know that he knows his stuff. We don’t need to rush him through camp. And so we’re going to do everything to make that process really be deliberate and slow, and right on the mark. Everything looks good. He looks like he has a chance to be back and play for us, When? We don’t know.”

Seahawks tight end Sean McGrath and his gnarly beard. (Eric Williams/The News Tribune)
Seahawks tight end Sean McGrath and his gnarly beard. (Eric Williams/The News Tribune)

McGrath the Mountain Man

If you haven’t noticed, Seahawks tight end Sean McGrath’s beard has reached epic proportions, with the 25-year-old barely able to buckle his chin strap over his massive new locks

“I’m just letting it ride,” said McGrath, who has been growing the beard since St. Patrick’s Day. “Maybe it’s just falling off of my head and onto my face. So there’s a little compensation going on there.

“I look at it as girls wear short shorts because they want to flaunt their legs, so why not flaunt something as beautiful as my facial hair.”

So does McGrath plan to keep the mountain man beard for the regular season?

“I don’t know,” he said. “Well see how it goes.”

Some tidbits

* Golden Tate made one his trademark nice catches today, high-pointed the ball on a fade route over Brandon Browner from a pretty pass from Russell Wilson. However, Stephen Williams had the catch of the day, which you can see in my TNT colleague Lui Kit Wong’s photo above, catching a deep ball over Jeremy Lane on a deep ball from Brady Quinn. Williams made a couple nice plays today.

* The offensive line today left to right was Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy and Breno Giacomini with the first unit, and Mike Person, James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre and Michael Bowie with the second unit.

* Bruce Irvin owned Bowie on an outside pass rush during pass-rush drills, but Bowie came back the second time and redeemed himself.

* Cliff Avril does not appear slowed by the foot issue that kept him out of most of the offseason work, and had some nice battles with Russell Okung during pass-pro drills.

* Bryan Walters and Phil Bates both continue to make plays in 7-on-7 and team passing drills.

* Tony McDaniel worked with the first unit at defensive tackle, but Carroll said that rookies Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams, along with second-year pro Jaye Howard all will get a crack at the job. Carroll compared how the team will handle the battle at defensive tackle to how Seattle managed the quarterback competition last season.

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good stuff Eric! Thomas my man! Bates I hope he can!

  2. Dukeshire says:

    First off: McGrath might be my new favorite player. Incredible beard!

    Eric, couple questions: Who was the second team RG? Moffitt I presume. Where was Irvin mostly, at Sam or Weakside DE (or split time at both)? And I noticed Williams with the ones at 3-tech on the live streaming this morning. Where were Hill and Howard at DT? (NT or 3…)

    Just awesome news about Carpenter. If he can continue to get / stay healthy, this will be his first full camp and that would be incredible for this line.

    Thanks in advance and awesome report!

  3. HonHawksLSB says:

    I can deal with 3 month rehab. Hawks will only get stronger as the year goes on!

  4. Is that Jon Ryan signing the Lynch jersey in the background of the Earl Thomas pic? I just wonder if he signed his own name or Marshawn’s! :)

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Haha. That’s hilarious. He ought to sign his own…

  6. So sad to hear ET cut the dreads. So great to see McGrath’s beard. I’m now rooting for him.

    And great to hear Stephen Williams showing up on day 1! He’s the long-shot WR I’m hoping breaks through this year. We don’t have anyone else with his height and speed. I have a hard time getting excited about guys like Harper, or one-dimensional receivers like Tate, so I’m rooting for this kid.

  7. Where was Irvin lining up today?

  8. GeorgiaHawk says:

    No mention of Moffitt on the first team or second team? Disturbing!

  9. sluggo42 says:

    Second team I think Georgia…

    Williams wr cool news

    Tate one dimensional? Uhhh ok..?

  10. Okay, I probably shouldn’t call Tater ‘one-dimensional’, since he plays special teams. Not to knock the guy, but he is what he is… a short, fast straight-line runner who can run the post and jump a mile. He’s a gamer, he makes plays. But he can’t play slot; he lacks the cuts and sharp routes. He can’t play flanker; lacks the ability to separate in the middle of the field. As a WR, he can go deep for a jump ball, or take the ball as an H-back at the LOS. That’s it. He can’t do all the nimble things that guys like Harvin, Rice, and even Baldwin can do.

    We know what we’ll get from Tate. Three deep passes a half… One he can’t get to because he can’t get open. One he drops. One he leaps to grab for a highlight-reel TD.

    Stephen Williams is not quite as fast as Tate, but he’s 7 inches taller. If he can learn to separate, he can be impossible to cover.

  11. maybe I’m just shallow… but I enjoy the coach and player interviews more now that they’ve dumped the Oh Boy Oberto sausage ads from their backdrop. Does anyone really eat that crap?

  12. freedom_X says:

    For Tate, you can also throw in ability to run-after-the-catch – with Harvin out, he’s the only Seattle WR who’s good at that.

    If Tate is that limited, why was his production practically identical to Sidney Rice’s production? He’s far more nimble than any of the other WR’s other than Harvin. Drops? His drop % was 2.99% last season. Rice was 2.44%. Both of them far below the league average. In fact, Seattle only ranked 23rd in number of dropped passes, a very welcome change from past years and critical to a efficient ball control pass.

    But given those low drop % numbers from Tate, where’s the “he drops one out of three passes” sentiment come from? Doug Baldwin dropped a far higher percentage of passes than Tate (a whopping 8%.)

    What Tate hasn’t been good at is running routes. This is what has been holding him back since he was a rookie. Never having had to mentally master an offense, he was in the wrong place in the wrong time a lot. While he was learning, he had to think through everything and it slowed him down.

    But every year he got better as he improved his understanding, and there’s no reason to think Tate has peaked. He’s gotten better every year, so why can’t he keep getting better?

    None of the Seattle receivers from 2012 were particularly brilliant in their ability to separate. Tate was probably the best of the bunch in that category, especially after the a play broke down. His natural athleticism and improvisation skills helped him there.

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Stevos, I do sometimes with a bag of Cheetos.

  14. Ha Georgia. I suppose its all good for supporting the team.

    The Seahawks should be sponsored by a good Northwest Ale. Maybe Mac & Jack’s Amber Ale. Then I’d be helping the cause with every bottle I drink!

  15. freedom_x. okay guy, you win. I’ll keep rooting for the little mo’fo. He’s just got me p.o’d too many times int he past when he failed at slot and failed to learn his routes. But he’s a big playmaker and he had a great year last year. No doubt about that.

  16. Georgia – but Carp is too fat and lazy, isn’t that right? ;-)

  17. sluggo42 says:

    I predicted a month or two ago that carp could either be a major stud, or , not be able to control his weight and injuries, and be a total under achiever.
    So far, I’m liking what I’m hearing, and looking forward to watching him unger and Okung bulldozing massive holes for the RB

    Jeez I’m hoping harvin isn’t a quitter…

  18. raymaines says:

    All James Carpenter has to do is stay healthy and the left side of the line should be set for years. Okung is mostly all by himself with a DE and doesn’t need much help, so all the LG has to do is double team with the center and/or get into the second level and flatten a linebacker. It’s not real complicated and he doesn’t even have to be in great shape. JC can do that.

    The RG has to be a bit more mobile to help the RT in pass protection so I like a more athletic guy like JR Sweezy on that side.

  19. montanamike2 says:

    I’m not ready to say this is a bad trade yet. He’s young and dynamic but we are loaded at most positions, we have buku talent and i’m dying to hear how the rookies progress. When i first heard Harvin was injured i said #**^$. The truth is is that he might work out in the long run. I’d be more worried about Wilson or Thomas.

  20. Rumor has it that Browner signed a new contract today for MORE money but not an extension

  21. chucko24 says:

    man I love me some real NFL news right now. Go HAWKS!

  22. edstang45 says:

    Great catch skavage id never would have noticed that. Ha Ha and when I first started reading piece about Mcgrath, writer john was first thought in this absurd brain!! “gosh I didn’t know he was so big”….530 am is toooo early to be skimming eh.

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