For the second straight day, a large group of Seahawks players, both under contract and free agents, got together at the UW for a workout. A day after roughly 40 players worked out, a slightly smaller group–about 25-30–lifted then went through some drills in the UW’s Dempsey Indoor facility.
RB Justin Forsett was the player that spearheaded the workout, which attracted a number of players from out of town including Mike Williams, who flew up from LA, Ben Obomanu, who came from Alabama, and Charlie Whitehurst, the only quarterback under contract, who made the trek from Georgia.
“As players that’s all you can do right now, just make sure you’re ready,” Hasselbeck said. “Whenever the lockout gets lifted you’ve got to be ready to go. That’s kind of the focus for everybody.”
“I just think it’s a challenge just to stay focused, not to get complacent, take the bull by the horns yourself and get your work done, you’ve got to get creative at times when you’re traveling. University of Washington has been just awesome to us. Scott Woodward has opened up the doors to us and allowed us to use their facilities. Really without this facility, we would really be in trouble. When football does come back, it’s going to be important that the quality of the game is good, so we’re trying to do our part working hard for that.”
Hasselbeck and others said they tried for a while to keep up with all the details of the legal battle going on, but that they now are just focusing on getting prepared for whenever football resumes.
“I was up on it for a while and then I just realized my main focus needed to be on just being in the weight room, throwing the football, those kinds of things,” he said. “Movement, getting stronger, getting faster, more explosive and there’s not a whole lot I can do to affect that (labor) stuff. I’m hopeful, just like everybody else I’m sure you guys are bored of the same old thing and you’re ready to get back to life as normal when it comes to the NFL.”
Speaking of bored, Williams jokes it’s time for him to get out of his house, and when asked when he first realized he was getting bored, replied: “When you find yourself going to two movies in the same day before nighttime, that’s when you’re bored. When you go see Kung Fu Panda 2 and Fast Five in the same day before 7 p.m., you might be a little bored.”
As for the workouts, it was clear that, despite his status as a free agent, Hasselbeck is still in a leadership role, running drills, handing out sheets listing workouts, etc. And as much as he tried to down play his role, saying ” I’m like the secretary, that’s all,” it was evident the team still responds to him.
“That’s great leadership,” Forsett said. “I talked to Matt a couple weeks ago doing this. Him being here got other guys to be here, so it’s good. . . A lot of other guys were like, ‘If he’s going to show up, I need to be there too.'”
And speaking of quarterbacks, Whitehurst said regardless of Hasselbeck’s situation, he has to prepare for this season the same way–as if he is going to be the starter: “If you take a back seat, or if you expect you’re the guy, only bad things can happen. My plan is to come in and compete every year in training camp to be the starter, no matter where I am.”
A few other notes:
–Deon Butler, who broke his leg in December, needing surgery to repair his tibia and fibula, said he is progressing well and was able to job a bit, though he did not participate in any drills. Also watching and not participating was CB Roy Lewis, who had knee surgery at the end of last season.
–For all the concern about Williams staying in shape, he looked as fit as he did all of last season, and said between football workouts and lots of basketball, he is getting in five to six hours of workouts per day.
–Draft picks LB Malcolm Smith and DT Pep Levingston were among the group working out. I caught up briefly with Smith, who said the uncertainty of his first NFL season is getting tough: “I’m definitely itching to get started. It’s hard when you got no income.”