By John Boyle
The Seahawks’ offseason workouts ended with the third day of a mandatory minicamp, and Pete Carroll is both happy with what he saw, and a little anxious about his players now being off until late July.
“We got a lot done, we’re really excited that we’re ready to go to camp,” Carroll said. “I’m concerned about this five-week period, that’s a long time for these guys to be out on their own, but we’ll go with the rules and all of that and see how it goes. But if everything just keeps going like it has been, we’ll be ready for camp and really be excited about our chance to have a good football team.
Asked what he was concerned about, Carroll said, “Just everybody stay safe. They’re on their own now; they’ve worked so long together. We’re encouraging guys to work out together and find each other and get in groups and stuff to make sure they’re staying with their conditioning. Our guys have worked so hard I can’t imagine that they’ll lose their conditioning over this time, but we want them to maintain at least, and improve if they can. It’s just kind of the unknown that we’re concerned about.”
When the Seahawks do return to practice, Carroll said there’s a chance everyone will be on the field, but some players recovering from surgery (Sidney Rice, Bruce Irvin, Malcolm Smith and Kam Chancellor) will be wait-and-see.
“Everybody has a chance to, and we’re really counting on that happening,” Carroll said. “Sidney will be able to work to a much greater extent—I don’t know if he’ll be ready the first day of camp or not, but through camp he’ll find his way back. He’s in great shape right now, he looks fantastic, he can run routes and all, we’re just really taking our time as we have the opportunity to.”
Irvin, who only recently had hip surgery, sounds less likely to be ready: “Bruce is going to be up against it a little bit. He’s had a fantastic recovery already, and he’s going to work his butt off to get back, but we’ll have to wait and see. All those guys we’ll have to wait and see. As they progress and the work builds up, do they handle it? We won’t know that until we get there, but everybody’s projected to have a shot at it, so that’s what we’re counting on right now.”
—The rest of the players who were limited or sat out this week with injuries (LB Korey Toomer (hamstring), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (groin), WR Kevin Norwood (foot), WR Bryan Walters (shoulder)) should be fine for training camp, Carroll said.
—No fights today, but things did get a bit heated between Jeron Johnson and Christine Michael at one point, with Harvin eventually stepping in and walking Johnson down the field to cool things down.
—DT Jesse Williams had a good minicamp to continue his strong offseason. Carroll admitted they weren’t sure Williams would ever make it back from the knee problems that cost him all of his rookie season.
“Jesse’s done a great job,” Carroll said. “I really thought that maybe Jesse was done, we didn’t know coming out of last season. He had a tremendous offseason, his rehab work was great, he worked every day, and he’s ready to get in the middle of it. To bring that guy back to us at full speed could be really a great addition.”
—With Percy Harvin and Paul Richardson both on the field this week, it’s clear the Seahawks will have a different element of speed this season on offense.
“Yeah, we have a really good track team right now,” Carroll said.
He continued: “It is a really fast group. It’s really exciting to see the guys catch the ball well too… There’s nothing like being fast, that kind of speed, so we’re really excited about it.”
—When asked about the punt return job, Carroll said Earl Thomas was still in the lead position, but that Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman, Bryan Walters and others are still in the mix as well.
—I mentioned him yesterday, but Cassius Marsh continued to flash, including during one portion of practice when he was up against the No. 1 offense. Carroll conceded at least some of Marsh’s success could be “a little bit of a fresh-leg factor” since he couldn’t participate in OTAs, but noted Marsh “has great quickness and he’s a real savvy pass rusher for a brand new guy.” Carroll noted Marsh is up to 262 pounds, up from his listed weight of 254.
—Earl Thomas continued to be a handful for the offense (big surprise, right?), intercepting Russell Wilson for the second straight day, this time when he undercut a pass intended for Percy Harvin.
—LB Mike Taylor, a player who’s name hasn’t come up much, showed nice hands intercepting a pass from close range. Tarvaris Jackson was trying to hit Paul Richardson with a short underneath pass, and apparently didn’t see Taylor, who stepped in for the pick.
—Newly-signed DT Kevin Williams continued to work mostly with the No. 2 defense, though that almost certainly has as much to do with him still learning and getting acclimated as much as anything. We likely won’t get a good feel for how Seattle’s D-line rotation will shake out until late in training camp.
—If reports of Percy Harvin sitting out much of yesterday’s practice had you worried, fear not, he was back on the field for all of Thursday’s practice and looking fast and dangerous as ever. Carroll said the Seahawks have been avoiding having Harvin go through three straight days throughout practice.