RENTON — The Seahawks are still going to need a little while to get a real look at their new-look secondary.
Cornerback Quinton Dunbar, taken off the commissioner’s exempt list over the weekend, is still in the midst of the NFL’s COVID-19 testing protocol and can’t take a physical until Friday, likely meaning he won’t take the field for the first time until Sunday (the Seahawks are off Saturday).
But the other marquee newcomer to Seahawks’ secondary — safety Jamal Adams, acquired in a trade from the New York Jets for a package that included 2021 and 2022 first-round picks — was on the field and stationed with the first-team defense when the team held its first official practice of training camp Wednesday.
And what did coach Pete Carroll think of seeing Adams manning one safety spot alongside Quandre Diggs?
“He brings a smile to my face,’’ Carroll said. “He’s really sharp. He’s really competitive in that he really cares, and he wants to know all the details. He wants to be corrected. He wants to be helped. He wants to be coached and taught and all that. … He’s got a unique focus that great players we’ve had really demonstrated. … I just know he’s the real deal. You can see it on the field.’’
Carroll hinted he’ll eventually feel similarly about Dunbar.
Dunbar flew to Seattle from Miami on Sunday after being taken off the exempt list after prosecutors said they were not going to go forward with four charges of armed robbery in connection with an incident in May.
Carroll noted that Dunbar missed some of the offseason program and will begin training camp basically three weeks late. Carroll said the Seahawks will take their time working him in as they’re able to use Tre Flowers at the right cornerback spot, where he has started the past two seasons.
“He’s a ways behind right now because he’s missing this time, and we need to make sure he’s in good shape and get him started well,’’ Carroll said. “But he’s a very competitive player. We’re just trying to get a little bit better at a lot of places and he might help us do that.’’
Also of note in the secondary is that second-year player Marquise Blair indeed lined up at the nickel, appearing to go ahead of Ugo Amadi during early drills, though it’s worth remembering that the Seahawks have already said the two will not only compete but could also potentially each see time based on whatever sub package the Seahawks are using — Blair theoretically against bigger receivers and to rush the passer, Amadi against more smaller receivers.
Here’s more of what we learned Wednesday as the Seahawks donned helmets and began what the league is calling a five-day “ramp-up’’ period before teams are able to put on full pads Monday.
Carson absent for family reasons
Running back Chris Carson was not present, but it had nothing to do with the hip injury that ended his season last December.
Carroll said Carson is away dealing with “family stuff’’ that he said included a death in his family.
Carroll said he didn’t know how long Carson will be gone, saying only “he has to do this at this time right now.’’
Without Carson, newcomer Carlos Hyde took the No. 1’s reps at running back with Rashaad Penny remaining on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in December.
Carroll said he had no update on Penny, who has not yet been with the team while continuing his rehab program. He’ll have to go through the testing protocol.
Ursua activated and back to practice
As expected, receiver John Ursua was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and was back at practice.
Ursua was placed on the reserve list Sunday after a positive test.
But he then had two negative tests and under revised NFL protocols was declared to have a “false positive’’ and was cleared to return to practice (the NFL revised its protocols after Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was also deemed to have a false positive).
Ursua’s false positive means the Seahawks officially have had no players test positive for COVID-19.
According to the NFL, there have been 53 “new positive’’ tests of 2,840 players who have been tested as of Tuesday.
Ursua, a second-year player out of Hawaii hoping to make the team as a slot receiver, turned in one of the plays of the day with a leaping, twisting one-handed grab during an early position drill.
Two of the team’s eight 2020 draft picks are on the non-football injury list — defensive end Darrell Taylor and tight end Colby Parkinson — and cannot practice until they pass a physical and are activated.
Carroll said Parkinson may be much closer than Taylor to returning.
Taylor, a second-round pick out of Tennessee, had a rod inserted in his leg in January after playing last year with a shin injury.
Carroll said Taylor is continuing to deal with some issues related to that surgery and recovery.
“We’ll see,’’ Carroll said when asked when Taylor may be back. “He wasn’t ready to go. … There is no damage to his knee. He just has to get back from the work that he has been doing, so I’m not sure know how long it’s going to (take). He’s done some treatments and things that take a week or so to take hold. He’s gotten good response from that so far. I’m hoping, like in another couple of weeks, we will know that he’s ready to get back in it and go.’’
Parkinson, a fourth-round pick out of Stanford, suffered a broken bone in his foot in June that has recovered well, Carroll said.
“Seems to be no residual at all,’’ Carroll said. “… He’s doing great ripping back here. He might have a chance pretty quick to get back out.’’
K.J. Wright has ‘marvelous return’
First-round pick Jordyn Brooks will begin his career at weakside linebacker.
But for now, that spot appears to still belong to veteran K.J. Wright, who was back working at the weakside spot alongside Bobby Wagner in the middle with the first-team defense Wednesday, as he has every year since the Super Bowl-title season of 2013 (Wright played primarily strongside linebacker his first two years).
Following Brooks’ selection — which caught some by surprise — general manager John Schneider said one factor is that Wright had offseason shoulder surgery.
Following Wednesday’s practice, Carroll said the team thought Wright might not be recovered in time for the start of training camp, saying they thought he might need a stint on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Instead, the team’s longest-tenured player was again ready when camp began.
“He had a marvelous return,’’ Carroll said. “He is raring to go. We anticipated that he could quite likely go on PUP. He cleared his physical with flying colors. We will still look after him and take care of him, but he’s in great shape.’’