A recap of the morning practice at Seahawks training camp:
Red Bryant. The disruptive defensive end is making up for lost time, and also picking up where he left off, as he turned in several impressive plays during the 110-miunte practice to help set the tempo for the defense.
Bryant, who plays the five-technique spot, missed the final nine games last season after injuring a knee that required surgery. The run defense ranked second in the league before he was lost for the season, and then gradually slipped to No. 21 after he was injured.
“I’m getting better each day,” Bryant said. “I feel like today was the best day so far.”
It also looked that way.
On one snap, Bryant fought off a block by tight end John Carlson to pressure QB Charlie Whitehurst. On another, he read a pass to running back Leon Washington coming out of the backfield and got his 6-foot-4, 323-pound body to the sideline to smother the play – and Washington. The effort was greeted by hoots and hollers from the defensive players on the sideline and prompted coordinator Gus Bradley to sprint over and give Bryant a way-to-go slap. A few players player, Bryant got to the hole at the same time as running back Justin Forsett and, on the very next play, he was there to meet Marshawn Lynch after he made a nice cutback move.
All in a morning’s work for Bryant.
“I’m still a little rusty. I’ve still got a little ways to go,” he said. “But I like the progress I’m making. Hopefully by the time the season gets here, I’ll be ready to rock ’n roll.”
“Spectators.” Not the fans who attended practice, but those players watching practice because they’re not allowed to join in until Aug. 4. It was an imposing group: quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, wide receiver Sidney Rice, guard Robert Gallery and defensive lineman Alan Branch, who were signed Friday; and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, linebackers Leroy Hill and Matt McCoy and fullback Michael Robinson, who were re-signed Friday.
It also created a situation that left coach Pete Carroll flummoxed.
“I can’t tell you how frustrating this is that the players have come up with a system that is going to hold our players out until next Thursday,” Carroll said. “We’re asking our players to come in six days, seven days before the first game and I don’t how we can think that’s what’s best for them.
“We’re fitting this together and we’re going to make the most of it. But in this one instance, I just don’t understand how Tarvaris and Sidney and Robert and those guys can have a chance to be at their best and best protected in just the numbers of days time. So I’m hoping that something happens here in the next couple of days with some consideration and understating for that.”
Defensive tackle. Mebane doesn’t just have a new contract; he’s getting a new position. Carroll said that Mebane will move to nose tackle, with Branch replacing him as the three-technique tackle.
Branch also will see some time at the five-technique end spot as the backup to Bryant.
“So we think that he has really two spots he fills for us,” Carroll said of Branch, who played the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. “He’s a unique body type. He’s a monster of a guy (6-5, 330). It was really difficult to find that guy in the draft, (so) all from the draft on we’ve been looking for this guy to come to us, because we thought he had the ability to give us that dual role.”
Colin Cole, the nose tackle the past two seasons, is recovering from ankle surgery. As to when he might be ready to practice, Carroll said, “He’s a while yet.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Wide receiver Chris Carter catching a pass along the sideline from rookie QB Zac Lee while falling and being covered by rookie cornerback Jesse Hoffman.
Defense: So many from which to chose, but we’ll go with the 1-2 punch that was Bryant stuffing the screen and then rookie cornerback Richard Sherman closing quickly to tip away a Josh Portis pass that was intended for tight end Jameson Konz.
Did-you-see-that play: Wide receiver Ben Obomanu lost the towel that was tucked into his waistband while running his route, made the catch and then scooped up the towel in almost the same motion.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Everything.” – Carroll, when asked what he envisioned Rice adding to the offense