RENTON — On the first day of mandatory minicamp, the Seahawks got their best look yet at one of their prized rookies, receiver Gary Jennings, while also seeing one veteran get his most work of the offseason, defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
Here are impressions on those items and more from what was a hot day at the VMAC.
Gary Jennings shows his speed
Seattle had 18 players who were out or limited in some capacity Tuesday.
But that list did not include Jennings, a fourth-round pick out of West Virginia who has been limited most of the offseason due to a lingering hamstring issue.
Tuesday, Jennings got his most work as a Seahawk, including in team sessions.
“Gary’s started out well, he’s come out looking good, moving well, catching the ball well,’’ Carroll said. “… just to see him in the drills and all so we can see him move in comparison to the other guys. He’s a really strong, well fit, speedy guy. And so it’s going to be interesting to see how he fits into this whole thing. But he’s behind though … he’s going to have to catch up.’’
Jennings seems to project as a natural fit in the slot (he was third among all Big Five college receivers last year in yards in the slot with 917) but has the size to handle outside roles, as well.
Jarran Reed gets some work in
Reed has been out during the offseason after having sports-hernia surgery but put on his helmet and did some individual drills Tuesday.
Carroll has raved about Reed’s conditioning this year as he approaches what would be a critical season: Reed’s rookie deal runs out in 2019 and the team could look to extend him before the year, but until that happens there is the lingering possibility of playing out his contract.
“That’s the first chance he’s had to get back out there,’’ Carroll said of Reed. “He’s been working a lot and conditioning on the side to make sure he’s coming along. But just the fact that he was out there, it was fun to see him out.’’
Seattle’s defensive-tackle spots Tuesday were filled mostly with young players as the Seahawks were without veteran free-agent signee Al Woods, who was away on a family issue, Carroll said.
C.J. Prosise healthy and it shows
Another of the team’s most intriguing players this season is Prosise, a third-round pick in 2016 who has played in just 16 of a possible 48 games due to a variety of injuries.
That history means many will be skeptical until Prosise shows he can stay on the field for a prolonged period of time.
But so far, so good as Prosise has been available this offseason after having abdominal surgery last November and is making a run at earning the spot as the team’s third-down back, a role held last year primarily by Mike Davis, who signed in March with the Bears.
“C.J. has been really on it,’’ Carroll said. “It’s been great to see him healthy. He’s been fit throughout, he’s really strong, worked out really hard in the offseason to get his strength right. His weight is up but he’s fit and has really been able to do a little bit of everything, so to add him into the competition is really nice, so we are fired up about C.J. being back.’’
Will Dissly’s recovery on schedule
Former Husky Will Dissly remains on the sideline as he recovers from patella-tendon surgery following an injury suffered in the fourth game last year at Arizona.
But to hear Carroll tell it, Dissly has been active in workouts and his recovery is going well.
Carroll said Dissly is “on schedule,’’ so the timeline for exactly when he will return to the field full-go remains a little uncertain.
“We will get to camp and figure out what it means in camp,’’ Carroll said. “He is running and catching balls and doing stuff in the workouts and all that so he is making good progress. We think there is no reason for him not to be on schedule when we get back to camp, which would mean we want to really see him and not rush him, so it will take us a few weeks into camp before we would think of cutting him loose.’’
No real date for Ziggy Ansah to return to the field
Also still unclear is exactly when Ziggy Ansah will be cleared to fully participate. Ansah has not taken part in any drills during the offseason program, watching from the sideline as he recovers from shoulder surgery late last year.
Carroll said the shoulder is fine but that Ansah needs to continue to build up strength in his shoulder, and the team will be careful once training camp begins.
“He’s working really hard,’’ Carroll said. “He’s doing great in his process coming back. It’s just a matter of strengthening – the shoulder’s healed and all that. So it’s just making sure that we don’t come back to soon and ensure that his recovery’s for good.’’
Asked when Ansah will be able to return, Carroll said: “Well, we’ll see. We’re going to wait – these six weeks coming up will be crucial – and we have a really specific plan set up for him. He has just a little traveling he has to do to go home. But other than that he’ll be working with our guys throughout, and then we’ll just see when camp comes. We’ll take the camp to get it done, though, I’m sure. I don’t think we’ll rush him when there won’t be a need to start him up right out of the chutes, and we’ll see how it goes in the weeks to follow.’’
Phil Haynes gets another day with the first team
Mike Iupati, slated to replace J.R. Sweezy at left guard, was again out after suffering a sprained ankle last week, Carroll said.
“He got his foot turned a little bit, just got a minor foot sprain,’’ Carroll said. “He’ll be fine. We’re resting him. He won’t work tomorrow or the next day. But he’s OK. It happened Thursday I think in practice. So he’s a little sore.’’
With Iupati out, rookie fourth-round pick Phil Haynes got most of the work with the first team at left guard. Third-year vet Ethan Pocic also got some time with the starting unit as well.
Carroll said Haynes, who played at Wake Forest, has been impressive but noted the team is giving him a lot of the snaps now to help his integration into the offense and said to not necessarily translate that he has moved ahead of anyone else on the depth chart just yet.
“Well we’ve given Phil a good shot,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve given him a shot to go with the ones and see what it looks like and give him an opportunity to have the benefit of the calls and all right now. This is because he’s a first-year guy, he gets a little bit better shot than some other guys that have had some reps. It’s really hard to tell until we get into pads with the guys up front. But he looks very much the part. Technique-wise, footwork-wise, he’s coming along. It’s different for him. Our style of play than what he was from. He was from a classic no-huddle college team. It was on the move all the time. And so it’s different for him, but physically, he looks really the part and we’re excited about the early signals that we’re seeing.’’
Injury news: Amara Darboh, Travis Homer, Marquise Blair
Among those who remained out on Tuesday were rookie running back Travis Homer and safety Marquise Blair.
“Travis got a little bit of running in today. Marquise is still coming back from a hammy that happened a week ago, 10 days ago,’’ Carroll said.
Blair’s injury has been particularly untimely as the safety position is among the most unsettled on the team and the Seahawks have held open the idea that Blair could compete for the starting strong-safety spot (Bradley McDougald will play the other safety spot).
“It’s unfortunate, too, for the young guys; these practices are so important to them,’’ Carroll said. “We miss the opportunity to learn them and they miss the chance to pick up on stuff and get reps and all that. So it was unfortunate. The little bit that he’s had, he’s looked very good and we’re disappointed we can’t get him back out.’’
McDougald and Lano Hill are also still out, so Seattle’s typical starting-safety tandem of late has been Tedric Thompson and Shalom Luani.
Others out Tuesday included receiver Caleb Scott, whom Carroll said suffered a broken foot in offseason workouts that required surgery, and receiver Amara Darboh.
Darboh was an early standout of the offseason but Carroll said he has been dealing with a sore knee, so for now the team has decided to hold him out with the hope that he will be fully healthy for training camp.
“He’s had a sore knee that kind of got activated through the work,’’ Carroll said of Darboh, who missed all of last season after having clavicle surgery. “It’s the knee that bothered him a little bit last year. He didn’t get injured. It’s just sore enough that we want to make sure and get them through the camp and not let this be a factor going through the summer.’’