By John Boyle
First it was Tarvaris Jackson’s turn, then Matt Flynn’s and as expected, the third day of training camp saw Russell Wilson taking the bulk of the first-team reps at quarterback. Granted it’s very early in camp, but for anyone out there who thought Pete Carroll was just blowing smoke when he said all three guys will get a shot at the job, this is your reminder that the Seahawks will, in fact, have an honest-to-goodness, three-man battle at quarterback.
I’m not going to pretend for a second after three days of training camp that I can tell you who has the lead in this race, but today did serve as a reminder that Wilson, despite being short (by quarterback standards, not human standards) and a rookie and a third-round pick, is very much in this race. For a while I’ve thought that this would become a two-person race early on with Wilson being eliminated. More than ever, however, I think I could be wrong on that. Wilson really does have a shot at this thing.
And in other training camp news…
—Today was the first practice in pads, and apparently this fact excited linebacker K.J. Wright. Early in team drills, Wright found his way quickly into the backfield, then delivered a welcome-to-the-NFL pop on Robert Turbin that put the rookie running back on his rear. A little while later, Wright delivered another big hit, this one on veteran receiver Antonio Bryant, who is attempting to break back into the NFL after two years out of the league. Bryant probably hasn’t been hit like that in quite a while, but he held on for the catch, then quickly popped up to his feet.
—T Allen Barbre, who missed the first two days for a family situation, was back on the field.
—WR Golden Tate was impressive for a second straight day, particularly on one sequence where he beat Pro Bowl corner Brandon Browner deep twice in quick succession, the second play resulting in a touchdown. Second-year receiver Ricardo Lockette had himself a nice day as well, making a few nice grabs, including one in the end zone on a deep pass from Matt Flynn
—WR Sidney Rice was back in a red jersey Monday after switching form red (no-contact) to a normal blue practice jersey for Sunday’s practice. He admitted he switched out of red on his own, and was still limited in practice, so it’s not all that surprising that coaches/trainers put him back in red, particularly with the pads going on.
—Also, if you haven’t seen it already, Seahawks GM John Schneider was on Sports Radio KJR this morning with Mitch Levy, and confirmed a bit of news many of us had speculated about for a while—that James Carpenter will play left guard, not right tackle, when he returns from a knee injury. Carpenter, who is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform List and not expected to be ready for the start of the season, was Seattle’s first-round pick last year and played RT except for one game at guard, but some folks who know a lot more about line play than me have said all along that he’s better suited at LG. Apparently the Seahawks agree.
“I think he’s going to focus at left guard,” Schneider told Levy. “That’s a position that Coach Cable, the way he’s approached it, when Carp comes back, I think that’s the position to get him in, make him feel real confident… When he’s in a box with people he’s a big mauler, he’s a tough, nasty guy.
That means Breno Giacomini, who the Seahawks re-signed last year, is the starting right tackle, not just a fill-in for Carpenter.
“We know he can go play right tackle, but quite frankly Breno came in and did a great job last year. We were able to get a deal done with Breno before he hit free agency.
As for when Carpenter will return, Schneider, like Carroll on Saturday, would not put a timetable on Carpenter’s return, though he called it an “Incredibly awful knee injury, especially for a big-man like that.”
But Schneider did not say Carpenter will be out for the year, as some have speculated: “I don’t see that. I read something about that the other day, but nobody has told me that.”