Hawk eyes: A few observations

For those fans attending Monday’s open practices – and especially those who aren’t – it seems an appropriate time to offer some observations after the first three practices at the Seahawks training camp.

It’s Hasselbeck, not Hasselback: The team’s three-time Pro Bowl quarterback has admitted he spent much of the spring knocking the rust off after he missed nine games last season because of a bulging disk in his back.

Hasselbeck hasn’t been perfect in camp, but it’s perfectly clear that all the extra work he has put in has strengthened the core of his body.

Saturday evening, Hasselbeck deftly ducked one defender by contorting his torso, rolled to his right and fired a where’s-he-throwing-that? pass. Before you could mutter what’s the heck?, tight end John Carlson was catching the smartly thrown ball 25 yards down field.

Mass in the middle: The Seahawks wanted to get bigger in the middle of the defensive line. Check, and double check. Just check out wide-bodies Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane as they stand at the line and wait for the offensive to break the huddle. That ole line about “blocking out the sun” comes to mind.

The 330-pound Cole was signed in free agency to man the nose tackle position that Mebane filled last season. So Mebane, 314, has moved to the three-technique spot.

So far, Cole has been as stout as expected, while Mebane has been a frequent visitor in the backfield before the running back can even get to the line.

Initial recation: T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Hasselbeck continue to click in the red zone. It started during the spring minicamps, when Hasselbeck went to the team’s big free-agent addition for eight touchdowns – in one practice.

Saturday evening, they were at it again. Say what you will about needing time to develop a rapport, but inside the 20-yard line, the magic numbers have been 8 to 84.

Kerney on the move: When the Seahawks acquired defensive lineman Cory Redding in a March trade from the Detroit Lions (for the steep price of Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson), it remained to be seen just what the coaches would do with him.

Coach Jim Mora spelled that out Saturday. If the team played a game today, Redding would be at left end, with Patrick Kerney sliding over to the right side.

I like the move for two reasons. First, it gets Redding’s bigger body (6-4, 292) on the left side to handle those double-team blocks from the tight end and a tackle. Even more importantly, it removes Kerney from taking on that task – a great move for a player who has had shoulder surgery three times in the past three seasons.


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