A recap of the day’s activities:
Bigger, faster, stronger. As in, the Seahawks are, and it’s obvious.
Bigger? Just look at offensive linemen Tyler Polumbus (6-8, 300 pounds) and Stacy Andrews (6-7, 340), who will start at left tackle and right guard in Sunday’s game against the Broncos in Denver. Then there’s Red Bryant, the 332-pound defensive tackle who has been moved to end, where he lines up next to the tackle tandem of Colin Cole (325) and Brandon Mebane (320).
Faster? It’s one of the first thing Broncos coach Josh McDaniels mentioned this week – to his team, and then during a conference-call interview – while discussing the Seahawks.
“They’re playing with a new energy,” he said. “Coach (Pete) Carroll has certainly brought a lot of enthusiasm to their team. … Everything they do on offense is fast. It’s a fast-paced scheme – the West Coast style, quick throws, a lot of run after the catch screens, the sprint running game. It’s always difficult to prepare for because it happens quickly and if you make a mistake, the ball’s in the secondary.
“We told the team (Wednesday) morning, ‘Things happen in a hurry when you play Seattle.’ There was no better example of that than last weekend.”
It’s also by design, as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck explained.
“The funny thing is, the stuff we’re doing isn’t any different than the stuff we’ve done in the past, really,” he said. “I think the emphasis really came from the head coach in that, ‘Hey, in the offseason I want you guys to get bigger, stronger, faster and me and my coaches will coach you up on X’s and O’s when the time is right.
“Instead of, ‘OK, hey, let’s go X’s and O’s right away and then you guys get your lift in or your run in on the side.’ The emphasis was definitely flipped, where it’s get as big and as strong and as fast as you can.”
So far, the results from the altered approach look good.
“We’ll see,” Hasselbeck said. “You only really know in November and December how that worked out.”
ROSTER ROULETTE, P.S. EDITION
The club made four more roster moves today, but they involved the practice squad.
Cornerback Kennard Cox, who was released Tuesday to clear a spot on the 53-man roster for linebacker Leroy Hill, was signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers. Cord Parks was released to make room for Cox. With Hill back, and injuries continuing to be a factor on the offensive line, linebacker Joe Pawelek was released and guard Brian De La Puente was signed. De La Puente spent time on the Seahawks’ practice squad last season.
ON THE FIELD
The team practiced for almost two hours in its indoor facility because the outdoor fields were soggy from the rain that fell Wednesday and today.
Rookie wide receiver Golden Tate continued to get reps with the Seahawks offense, as well as the scout team that works against the defense. The highlight of his afternoon efforts was a one-handed grab of a sharply thrown pass.
On defense, rookie free safety Earl Thomas was very active. The first-round draft choice intercepted a pair of passes, and displayed his range and speed while doing it.
The follicle factor has been spiked in the locker room. In addition to returning defensive tackle Colin Cole, who wears his braids gathered into a ponytail, several new players also have hair to spare – quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and offensive linemen Ben Hamilton and Evan Dietrich-Smith, in addition to Thomas and Cox.
Then there’s punter Jon Ryan. But there’s a special reason for his longer locks. He is growing his hair so he can donate it to Locks of Love.
“It’s a charity that makes wigs for kids who have battled cancer and have lost their hair,” Ryan said. “So they collect the hair from donations and make wigs out of it.”
Ryan became more involved in cancer awareness after losing his father to the disease.
“It’s definitely a good cause,” Ryan said.
His hair needs to be 10 inches before it can be cut and donated.
“It’s about eight (inches) right now,” he said. “So I need at least three more to have a little wiggle room to cut it. So it’s definitely going to go through the season, at least.”
Growing you hair that long is not as easy as it sounds.
“It does sort of drive me crazy, and I think it looks a little ridiculous sometimes,” he said. “But you’ve got to remember it’s for a good cause and it’s all worth it.”
The official report, as released by the team:
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
Did not practice
LB Matt McCoy (quad)
Limited in practice
WR Mike Williams (thigh)
OG Chester Pitts (knee)
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
OG Mike Gibson (back)
Offensive lineman Ben Hamilton had to leave the field after getting a gash on his nose, but he returned with the cut bandaged.
For the Broncos, six players did not practice: S Darcel McBath (forearm), OL Ryan Harris (ankle), OL Chris Kuper (knee/ankle), LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring), DL Jamal Williams (non-injury related) and RB Laurence Maroney (thigh), who was acquired this week in a trade with the Patriots. WR Eddie Royals (groin) was limited, after not practicing Wednesday.
The players will practice Friday, their final full workout before Sunday’s game in Denver.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Champ Bailey is one of the best corners of all-time. I think for our receivers, especially, it’s going to be partly an honor to go up against him just to see what you’ve got. But also a great challenge to say, ‘OK, this is one of the best ever and let’s see what I can do; see if I can make a play.” – Hasselbeck on the Broncos’ nine-time Pro Bowl cornerback