A recap of the afternoon practice at Seahawks training camp on Tuesday:
Byron Maxwell. The team’s sixth-round draft choice is starting to flash just in time for Thursday night’s nationally televised preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego.
The rookie cornerback from Clemson intercepted two passes today to go with the one he had on Monday. One of his picks today came while he was lined up as the nickel back and covering a slot receiver.
Told that he looked comfortable in that role, Maxwell said, “I don’t feel comfortable. I’m just learning on the fly.”
Which pick was better? The one he got on an overthrown ball while playing corner? Or the one he got by stepping in front of slot receiver Chris Carter while playing nickel back?
“Either one is fine with me,” Maxwell said with a laugh.
Coach Pete Carroll could only agree.
“He’s been really special the last two or three days,” Carroll said after the 2 hour, 10 minute practice. “He looks very competitive. He’s tough. He’s tackled well. He’s got a nose for the football. He’s really bright. He’s really picked things up.
“He’s right in the mix of this with the young cornerbacks.”
Payback can be sweet. Just ask Leon Washington. The 5-foot-8, 203-pound running back made a textbook block to drop blitzing linebacker Malcolm Smith, a 6-foot, 226-pound rookie linebacker, setting off a raucous celebration by his offensive teammates.
“Honestly, Malcolm got me a few times earlier in camp,” Washington said with a smile. “I’ve been gunning for him, trying to get him back. I finally got a chance.”
Just another “tool” in Washington’s already impressive ace-of-many-trades repertoire. He returned three kickoffs for touchdowns last season and also had an 84-yard punt return. This season, he’s expected to get more plays at running back.
“Leon had a spectacular block on Malcolm Smith today,” Carroll said. “Malcolm has made a bunch of plays in camp, so this was a little payback for the offense because they got him once today. It kind of raised the level of the whole practice on that one hit. It was a fantastic block by Leon.”
LAPPING THE FIELD
After a rash of false-start penalties last week, the offensive linemen decided to do something about it. Get a penalty, take a lap. They started the penalty-for-a-penalty process on Saturday, and today’s lappers were left guard Robert Gallery, tight end Anthony McCoy, right tackle James Carpenter and left tackle Russell Okung.
“It’s a way of kind of punishing ourselves,” Okung said. “We’ve just got to get better. It’s inexcusable. We can’t have false starts. They kill an offense. So if this is what it’s going to take, or even more than this, this is what it’s going to take.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Washington’s payback hit on Smith, of course.
Defense: Smith wasn’t the only one with two picks. Earl Thomas also had a pair, and the second came when the second-year free safety darted in front of slot receiver Golden Tate while lined up as the nickel back to intercept a Tarvaris Jackson pass.
ON THE MEND
Several players likely will not play against the Chargers, Carroll said. The list includes wide receiver Mike Williams (sprained toe), defensive end Red Bryant (who is coming off knee surgery), rookie wide receiver Kris Durham (strained hamstring) and defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer (stinger).
Cornerback Walter Thurmond and defensive lineman Ryan Sims also sat out today, while linebacker Aaron Curry and running back Thomas Clayton were back after missing practice on Monday.
The team will hold a walk-thru on Wednesday morning before flying to San Diego for Thursday night’s preseason opener. The players will be off Friday, so the next practice open to the public is Saturday at 1:30.
Today’s practice drew a crowd of 1,003 fans and 1,051 attended Monday’s practice. You can register to attend Saturday’s practice here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m looking forward to it a lot. NFL lineup. NFL stadium. It’s something I grew up watching. So my eyes are probably going to be like that when I get there.” – Maxwell, using his thumb and index finger to create form a large circle around his eye when asked about making is NFL debut on Thursday night