Here a bunch more notes and quotes from the Seahawks' OTA Friday.
Here are six takeaways from the Seahawks’ open OTA (Organized Team Activity) Friday.
1, Earl Thomas is ahead of schedule.
Media attending today’s open workout didn’t see Thomas do much. But that was by design as coach Pete Carroll said he had worked extensively in the first two OTAs on Tuesday and Wednesday, his first significant activity since breaking his tibia last Dec. 4, and was scheduled to rest on Friday.
“Today we took it easy just to make sure we finish this week out on the field, but he did the early work, and probably the guy that jumped out the most to me of all guys was Earl,” Carroll said. “His ability when he came into work on Tuesday, he was able to get a lot of reps and he was working at top speed and he was really fired up about it, too, because he wasn’t quite sure himself how far he could go, so he’s making good progress. There will be no question about him being ready to go when we get back to (training) camp.”
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Kam Chancellor was also out today as he is being limited after having off-season surgery on his ankles. But that is also by design. That is giving a lot of work to rookies Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill as well as Dewey McDonald, who as Carroll noted a few months ago is being used more as a safety again after being listed as a linebacker last season, as well as Bradley McDougald, who is working at both free and strong safety.
2, Eddie Lacy and Luke Joeckel are also getting a lot of work.
Each player is being limited — Lacy coming off of an ankle injury last season and Joeckel ACL surgery.
But each also is getting enough work for the team to feel confident they will be ready for the start of the regular season.
Each is also benefitting from a change to way the team is conducting its OTAs. Carroll said the team is doing much of its running game work during walk-throughs, allowing Joeckel and Lacy to take part fully, and then spending less time on the field in the afternoon, sessions devoted more to passing.
“We’ve found a good way to get a lot of turns, get a lot of reps for the young guys and make progress with our experienced guys as well,’’ Carroll said.
Said Carroll of Joeckel, who was signed to a one-year, $8 million deal as a free agent: “We’re really fired up about the fact that Luke has been able to work every day. He’s worked every day of the offseason with us. In the format that we’re doing he’s able to be in the huddle a ton, he’s practiced a bunch with us, so he’s making really good progress. We’re still careful with him, but yet he’s in good enough shape and able to take care of a lot of work that we didn’t think would get done.”
Carroll also said he expects Lacy to be ready for the start of training camp.
Receiver Tyler Lockett caught some punts and kickoffs early on but remains further behind some of the others though the hope remains he is ready for the start of training camp.
3, Carroll likes what he’s seen so far from Germain Ifedi at right tackle and George Fant at left tackle.
Fant is running first at LT with Joeckel at LG, and Ifedi is at RT with Mark Glowinski at RG and Justin Britt at center. Ifedi is moving back to RT after spending his rookie season at right guard. Rookie Ethan Pocic is also working on the right side, mostly at guard this week, Carroll said.
Of Ifedi, Carroll said: “He looks very comfortable. His footwork is really good there, he looks like he’ll have no trouble making that transition mentally. He’s so much farther along.’’
Carroll then segued into praise of Fant, who started nine games last season as a rookie at left tackle.
“And I can’t even tell you how much farther along George Fant is,’’ he said. “If you guys have seen George, George looks entirely different. He had a tremendous offseason working out. He’s probably 15, 17 pounds heavier than he was, and it’s all muscle and strength work that he has put forth. He has presented himself the best we’ve seen him too. I’m really excited about him, too.’’
4, Carroll is also really fired up about the tailback spot.
What a difference a year makes — never heard that one before, right?
But remember that this time a year ago the Seahawks essentially had Christine Michael and no one else with any experience who was healthy at tailback with Thomas Rawls coming off his broken ankle and C.J. Prosise dealing with a hip flexor, the beginning of a myriad of injuries that derailed his rookie season (leaving basically Alex Collins as the only healthy TB behind Michael).
Now, the Seahawks have Lacy doing more than they expected as well as a fully healthy Rawls and Prosise along with Collins.
“C.J. was never really full go the whole time (last season),’’ Carroll said. “He looks terrific. And Thomas is back to full speed again. He just barely made it back to us last season.’’
Carroll also said he is “really interested’’ to see seventh-round pick Chris Carson. Carson remains out with a hamstring injury that Carroll said he thinks was suffered on his Pro Day and that the team is being careful with now.
5, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were absent, and a few other odds and ends.
Bennett, as has become his custom, is not attending the voluntary OTAs preferring to work out on his own. Avril, coming off sports hernia surgery, also remains absent. A few other guys out include DLs Dion Jordan and Quinton Jefferson, each coming off knee injuries, and LB Michael Wilhoite (unknown — he was present today but not doing anything).
Also out today was DE Frank Clark who Carroll said had the mumps last week and also had “a family thing’’ that he is taking care of. He said Clark will be back soon.
Rookie WR David Moore is also out with a grin injury. Carroll said he had an MRI on Friday and that “everything came out clear but he wasn’t able to be on the field today.’’
6, The team will indeed wear a No. 96 decal on its helmets this season to honor Cortez Kennedy.
The Seahawks Friday confirmed what had been revealed the day before, that they will wear a No 96 decal on their helmets this season to honor Cortez Kennedy, who died last month.
Carroll and a few other Seahawks representatives attended Kennedy’s celebration of life Thursday in Osceola, Ark.
“I could not have been more impressed by the impact that a young guy could have on so many people,’’ Carroll said. “It was unbelievable the fact that he had to be the monster that he was on the field but to be this thoughtful, kind, caring person that he was off the field and connect with so many people, we were just blown away by the outpouring at the celebration yesterday and very fortunate to be part of it.
Carroll said the team wanted to “continue to recognize and celebrate’’ the impact Kennedy had.