A recap of the day’s activities at the Seahawks’ OTA practice:
Isaiah Stanback. During his post-practice session with reporters, coach Pete Carroll said the team would continue to look at any player “with unique qualities.”
Right on cue, Stanback walked by.
“Is Isaiah Stanback one of those ‘unique’ guys?” Carroll was asked.
“Without question,” Carroll said.
That’s why the Seahawks claimed the former University of Washington quarterback off waivers from the New England Patriots last week. Stanback, who also played at Garfield High School, joins an already crowded – and competitive – situation at wide receiver. But he also could help in a pinch at quarterback and was used as a kickoff returner in his stints with the Patriots as well as the Dallas Cowboys, who selected Stanback in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL draft.
Stanback is no stranger to Carroll, who recruited him while coaching at the University of Southern California, worked with him at football camps and also coached against him after Stanback opted to play for the Huskies.
“I’ve had great respect for his ability – his all-around around athletic ability, his terrific speed and explosion,” Carroll said. “I haven’t seen him play much in the last couple of years, but I’m anxious just to fit him in and see what he offers us.
“He’s a unique player, yes.”
One who is in a unique position. Waived by the Patriots, Stanback wasn’t sure what to expect. Then he was claimed by his hometown team.
“It was crazy,” Stanback said. “I was privileged to go to New England and play out there for a year, which was a good situation. Then they brought some other guys in, and it’s a business. I’d be happy to get an opportunity to play anywhere, but it’s great to have an opportunity to come home.
“It was awesome.”
Make that, uniquely awesome.
Dexter Davis. The seventh-round choice from Arizona State has linebacker size (6-1, 244), but was listed as a defensive end after being selected in the April draft. Today, however, he worked with the linebackers during practice and then stayed out after the 95-minute session to get extra work with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and starting strong-side ‘backer Aaron Curry.
“We’re just trying to find a place where we can evaluate him more,” Bradley said.
Dexter had been working at the pass-rushing “Leo” end spot, but the team already has Chris Clemons, Nick Reed and Ricky Foley filling that position. By moving to linebacker, Dexter is getting third-unit reps behind Curry and Anthony Heygood.
“He has shown some flashes, and we know he can rush,” Bradley said of Davis, who had 31 sacks in 50 starts at ASU. “So if he can play that (strong-side) linebacker spot for us – he’s athletic enough – that would give him another role in addition to being a nickel rusher.”
QUESTION DU JOUR
Q: What do you think the chances are that Pete Carroll will try to bring in another hard-hitting veteran safety in the defensive backfield – such as Ken Hamlin – to help with mentoring the younger guys? – Daniel, Kandahar, Afghanistan
A: Never say never, Daniel. Carroll and general manager John Schneider have shown they will take a chance on signing or trading for anyone who might make the team better.
But by re-signing Lawyer Milloy they’ve already added a hard-hitting veteran safety to help mentor rookies Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Yes, he’s entering his 15th NFL season and will turn 37 in November, but you’d never know it by watching Milloy in the OTA and minicamp practices.
Milloy continued to work at strong safety with the No. 1 defense today, with Thomas, the second of the team’s first-round draft choices, at free safety. Milloy and Jordan Babineaux, who started at free safety last year, are vying for the starting job. But Milloy’s experience and still-sharp skills will help him not only mentor Thomas, but also help with the pre-snap calls in the secondary and make plays. It doesn’t hurt that Milloy played for Carroll when he was coaching the New England Patriots, either.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Being here, there’s a lot of energy. So it’s a fun practice, a fun atmosphere.” – Stanback, on his first practice with the Seahawks