By John Boyle
Amidst all the talk about tomorrow’s preseason game came a pretty significant news for the Seahawks—tight end Zach Miller is coming off the PUP list and will return to practice next week.
“Zach will come off the PUP today, and next week will be much more involved,” Pete Carroll said. “We’ll continue to be very measured in how we bring him back in, but it’s great to have him back and he’s ready to go.”
On Chris Clemons, Carroll said there’s still not a timeline for the return of the defensive end, but that things are going well:
“He’s still working hard, he’s doing good,” Carroll said. “He’s right in the middle of the real rigorous rehab now. He’s on the field cutting and moving and doing defensive line drills and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know what that means time wise, but he’s doing well, he’s managing his weight through it, he’s not in any pain or discomfort, so it’s just a matter of getting his confidence back and getting him back to full speed before we take him back off the PUP and get him going.”
And one more long-term injury update, Carroll said still no timeline on Percy Harvin either, but that reports from the surgeon were positive.
“We just know that the surgeon that did the work was thrilled with the way he came back the days right after the surgery, and his ability to get range of motion and things were way ahead of schedule, so that’s a great sign,” Carroll said. “We’re hopeful, whatever that means. We won’t know, it’s going to take a good month before we can figure if he’s even going to have a chance to come roaring back out of it, but it looks like all of the signs are very good. So we’ll see what that means, but we’re not putting any weeks on it. We don’t know.”
As for Saturday’s game, Carroll wouldn’t say how much the starters will play, but did acknowledge that, “They’ll play a little bit more this week.”
Carroll also was vague on the availability of several players, including Christine Michael (back spasms): “He’s not out of this game yet, ” DT Tony McDaniel (groin): “I want to see what they say, because he got to work today, sow we’ll find out. He’s not out yet either, and DE Cliff Avril (hamstring): “Same. (He’s not ruled out) in my mind.”
On trying Phil Bates fullback, something we first saw yesterday, Carroll said the move is one that might help them get the most out of Bates’ talents, and noted that Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable did something similar while he was the head coach in Oakland.
“Just in conversations about our guys and where their strengths are, maybe where they can be special,” Carroll said. “He’s a big kid, he’s 233 pounds when we started this experiment moving him to fullback, and he’ll be 240 within another week. He’s just a really good all around football player, we love that he’s really fast, and he’s a terrific catcher, so if it can work out we might be to develop a player.
“You look back at Tom’s history, Tom had a guy named Marcel Reece who was a receiver that moved a couple of years back. If you’ll remember he beat us running a slant rout being shifted out of the backfield. So we have that thought in the back of our mind too that maybe we can create that. He’s done very well at wide receiver, he’s had a really good camp, it had nothing to do with that. We just thought maybe there might be something special there for us.
“This is a little bit of long-range thinking, it’s going to take a while to get the feel for this, but he’s going to play fullback in this game.
On kick and punt returns, Carroll said they’ll keep rotating guys through, and that, “Golden (Tate) will be the first punt returner up and (Jermaine) Kearse will be the first kickoff return guy.