RENTON — Football was back Thursday at the VMAC.
Well, sort of.
There was the trademark playing of music and the usual hooting and hollering as players did the bag drill. There was Pete Carroll with his annual opening day waxing of optimism. And there were passes thrown and caught and kickoffs and punts kicked and returned.
What there wasn’t was popping of pads, something that NFL rules require will have to wait until Sunday.
Still, the first day of training camp is always a landmark event, the beginning of another Seahawks season — this one, the 44th in the team’s existence — bringing with it all the attendant hopes and dreams that on a bright, sunny morning like this one all feel still just waiting there to be realized.
Whether they can be, of course, was no clearer when the practice ended around 11:33 a.m. as when it began around 10 a.m. Bobby Wagner was there but not practicing while he waits for a new contract. And Ziggy Ansah was there and doing some running but not on the field until his surgically repaired shoulder is up to the pounding.
So, a long way to go yet. But step one, at least, is in the books.
Play of the day
DK Metcalf had a couple of nice grabs, one on a deep pass off of play action from Russell Wilson.
But we’re going to give the award for Thursday to another rookie receiver — undrafted free agent Jazz Ferguson — who reached back in traffic with both arms fully extended to snare an off-target pass from Paxton Lynch for a completion. The 6-5, 228-pounder is as physically intriguing a player as there is in camp. He showed up a little overweight for rookie minicamp, so early reviews were rather mixed. But he seemed to get off to a nice start Thursday and is definitely a name to watch — if not listen to.
- RB C.J. Prosise had the flu and sat out but should be back in a day or two. Prosise has been oft-injured in his Seahawks career but this doesn’t appear to be anything to worry about as he enters what is a make-or-break season for his Seahawks career.
- S Marquise Blair and LB Ben Burr-Kirven have each passed their physicals and will return to practice soon after having been on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. Blair is expected to compete at strong safety and Burr-Kirven at WLB.
- Carroll said safety Lano Hill remains out after having had hip surgery last January and didn’t offer a clear timeline other than to say “he’s close and he’s in really good shape. … he is going to be a little big longer. He hasn’t had a chance to do all of the movement yet. He is running but we have to get him in condition to do the running (necessary) on the football field.’’
- TE Will Dissly was limited to doing only individual drills but even that marked a significant step following his patellar tendon injury last September. “We’ll just kind of ease him in but he’s in great shape and looks good an really is well ahead of maybe the schedule some people would have for him,’’ Carroll said.
- Rookie OL Phil Haynes had sports hernia surgery recently and is out indefinitely. He remains on the PUP list.
- Rookie DL Demarcus Christmas is on the PUP list due to a back injury, Carroll said. “He came up with a back issue that has bothered him so we just kind of have to wait that out a little bit, make sure it is not going to nag him,’’ Carroll said. “He’ll be out for a bit.’’
“No, I don’t. I don’t have any,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when asked if he had any reaction to comments made by former Seahawk Earl Thomas in an ESPN interview Thursday, which included Thomas saying he had no regrets over giving a middle finger to Carroll as he was carted off the field in a game last September at Arizona.
Practice at 10 a.m., with a listed end time of 11:40 a.m. Seahawks will again be in helmets and sweats/shorts, with no contact until Sunday.