Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 1.
The big story Sunday, of course, was the release of Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. So that’s what everyone wrote about.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has been on top of this story from the start, so we’ll begin with what he has to offer: “ ‘I choked up a little bit,’ linebacker Leroy Hill said. He probably wasn’t the only one in the city feeling that way, as the Seahawks said so long to the player who had captained the defense since his first season in Seattle. The team characterized Tatupu’s release as a mutual agreement, and coach Pete Carroll did his best to honor Tatupu’s contributions to the team even as he was asked why the team thought it best to move on.”
O’Neil also offers his personal feelings on Tatupu’s departure: “I covered each of his six seasons in Seattle on a daily basis, and found him to be one of the most thoughtful, accountable and earnest people that I have had the fortune to meet in my role as a journalist.”
Dave Boling of the News Tribune also gives Tatupu the respect he deserves: “At times like these, it seems the location of Seahawks headquarters on the shore of Lake Washington would make a special tribute possible. I could imagine Sunday afternoon the players getting an old row boat, erecting a mast, and making a sail out of a “51” jersey. They could shove it out to “sea” and somebody could throw in a flaming football to set it ablaze. Because if there was anybody around here whose career warranted a ceremonial Viking burial it was Lofa Tatupu, linebacker/leader/warrior chief.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look back at Tatupu’s unprecedented contributions, but also ahead to David Hawthorne stepping in – again – to replace him: “ ‘We all got to say our goodbyes to him today and just tell him what he has meant to us,’ said Hawthorne, who will slide into the middle to replace Tatupu. “He meant a lot, for me especially because I came in undrafted and he kind of took me under his wing and taught me a lot. So today was a hard day for the linebackers. Everybody knows what he’s done for the Seahawks organization if you’ve been around and watched Seahawks football. But he’s done a lot for me, especially.’ ”
We also have a recap of Sunday’s practice, with a focus on Leon Washington, who led the team in kickoff returns last season but is showing he can be more of a contributor on offense: “A year ago, he was coming off surgery to repair a severely broken leg and “just surviving,” as coach Pete Carroll put it. This afternoon, Washington was thriving while making plays by flashing his quickness and speed during the first padded practice of camp. His best effort came on a run where Washington made a nice read to get through the line and then exploded up the left sideline for a long gain. As Washington returned to the huddle, he gave a fist-bump to each of the offensive linemen – tackles Will Robinson and Breno Giacomini, guards Lemuel Jeanpierre and Paul Fanaika and center Mike Gibson – and Carroll then came over to slap hands with Washington. ‘It’s not even the same guy,’ Carroll said. ‘Last year at this time, he was limping around and we were cringing as he was running with the football. He is in full flow, full speed. He really is excited about it, as we are.’ ”
Former Seahawks center Chris Spencer has agreed to sign with the Chicago Bears in free agency, and CBSSports.com has the report. Spencer’s arrival means the Bears are severing ties with former UW center Olin Kreutz.