As expected, the front seven had a fluid look. In the base defense, Tony McDaniel got most of the work as the starting DT alongside Brandon Mebane, but rookie Jesse Williams saw time there too as well. Carroll said rookie Jordan Hill and second-year DT Jaye Howard will also get looks there, and noted, "It's not going to be a competition we decide quickly." Malcolm Smith saw the bulk of the reps at strongside linebacker, though they also tinkered with looks that had Bruce Irvin at SAM. Carroll noted that their SAM linebacker and Leo defensive end positions are pretty interchangeable and that Irvin will get looks at both.
Earl Thomas, who looks quite a bit different having cut off his dreadlocks, had a nice diving interception of an overthrown Russell Wilson pass (cue the sophomore slump talk!). Fellow All-Pro defensive back Richard Sherman was solid as usual, though he did drop one easy interception (cue the SI cover jinx talk!).
Receiver Golden Tate had one of the day's best catches, showing his strong hands while outmuscling Brandon Browner--not an easy man to outmuscle--for a catch at the sideline. Stephen Williams had another of the day's best catches, leaping over Jeremy Lane to come down with an underthrown pass from Brady Quinn.
And speaking of backup quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson looked like the better of the two today--granted there's a long ways to go--and Carroll noted how helpful it was to have a newly-signed QB who could jump right in and do everything, including run the two-minute offense on Day 1.
DE Red Bryant said he feels better physically than he has in years, noting both improved diet and better sleep after he was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
And OK, this note is injury related, but in a good way. . .
Guard James Carpenter, who has missed much of his first two seasons with knee injuries, was able to practice fully and looked to be moving well on his surgically-repaired knee.
Carpenter admitted he has some rust to knock off, but says the knee is 100 percent healed. If healthy, he figures to eventually take over the starting role at left guard--Paul McQuistan was there today--while J.R. Sweezy, John Moffitt and perhaps McQuistan battle at right guard.
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