A recap of the Thursday morning practice at Seahawks training camp:
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Red Bryant. The morning session lasted only 75 minutes, but the second-year defensive tackle made the most of his reduced opportunities.
In the first full-team drill, Bryant used his 6-foot-4 frame and long arms to slap a pass incomplete. A few snaps later, he used his 318 pounds to stuff the lane just as rookie running back Devin Moore was hitting it.
All in all, the defense had a pretty decent morning, as cornerback Josh Wilson and strong safety Deon Grant intercepted passes on back-to-back plays, linebacker Leroy Hill “thumped” Moore to the ground as he was attempted to get around the edge and defensive tackle Kevin Brown also rejected a pass at the line of scrimmage.
“In our minds, as coaches, it’s been a good camp,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Matt Hasselbeck laid a pretty pass over cornerback Kevin Hobbs into the hands of rookie wide receiver Deon Butler for a touchdown.
Defense: The legend of Nick Reed continues to grow. This morning, the rookie defensive end who had a sack and an interception in the preseason opener denied Moore an opportunity for a reception by being on the coverage – 20 yards downfield.
Offensive line, of course. With Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones out indefinitely after having loose bodies and scar tissue removed from his surgically repaired left knee during an arthroscopic procedure this morning, the obvious question is: Now what?
Business as usual, even if the situation is far from the norm.
This morning, when center Chris Spencer and right tackle Ray Willis also were sitting out, the No. 1 line included – from left tackle to right – Sean Locklear, Rob Sims, Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto and Na’Shan Goodard.
Locklear will remain at left tackle until Jones can return, which means Willis will continue to be at right tackle and the biggest decision is whether to go with Wrotto or rookie Max Unger at right guard. Unger started the preseason opener against the Chargers. Wrotto will start Saturday night in the preseason home opener against the Denver Broncos.
“We always talk to the players about opportunities, and you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities and don’t worry about the ones you don’t get,” offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said. “So in reality for a lot of these guys, it’s a great opportunity – for Sean Locklear to get reps at left tackle, for Manny and Max to work the right guard spot, for Vallos getting in there in the mix.
“This is an opportunity for them, and that’s when they need to get better by taking advantage of these reps. So as much as we think about, ‘OK, where is the line at?’ we’re actually only three weeks into training camp. We’ve got lots of time.”
Jones, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee in December, will be reevaluated in two weeks.
Running back Julius Jones returned to practice after being sidelined since bruising his right thigh Saturday night. Also back was wide receiver Courtney Taylor.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett did not practice, joining a group that already included cornerback Marcus Trufant (back), wide receiver Nate Burleson (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (groin), offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer (elbow) and defensive end Lawrence Jackson (groin).
The players will be on the field this evening (6:30-8:30) for the final practice of training camp.
They’ll have a short walkthrough Friday morning, their final prep before Saturday night’s preseason home opener. Coach Jim Mora said that the starters will play roughly the first half against the Broncos.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You can’t really do it like he does, because you don’t have those skills. He’s an unbelievable player. He’s an unbelievable human being. He’s fun to watch. I expect him back, because he’s got the heart of a lion.” – Sims, when asked about trying to learn from, and now play without, Jones