A recap of the Seahawks’ final training camp practice on Thursday:
The obvious. It’s the end of camp, which was like none in franchise history – or league history, for that matter – because of the condensed schedule and hurry-up feeling following the 136-day lockout.
“This happened way too fast,” coach Pete Carroll said after the final two-hour practice. “Every day we spent here has been so important, and we just need more of them. We stayed long again today, and just try to take advantage of every chance we get on the practice field to get ready and get the players ready.”
He wasn’t talking about being ready for Saturday night’s preseason home opener against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field. Carroll is talking about being as prepared as possible for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“We’ll still get after it with a big week next week. Next week will be like an official game week for us in terms of preparation.”
Russell Okung. Step by step, the team’s starting left tackle is moving closer to being ready for the opener against the 49ers. He has not practiced since spraining his left ankle in the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego last week, but Okung has had limited participation in the morning walk-thru sessions.
“We know that Russell’s maybe a week away, or two weeks away at the most,” Carroll said. “But we can’t hold our breath and wait for Russell. We have to keep going. We know he’s coming back quickly, though, and we love the fact that he’s making a great recovery.
“He’s mindfully strong about this. He’s in much better shape mentally than he was those other times because he knows he’s going to make it back soon.”
Those “other times” Carroll spoke of came last season, when Okung missed large blocks of time twice with high sprains of his right and then left ankle. This injury is not as serious as either of those.
Until Okung returns, Tyler Polumbus will start at left tackle.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Red Bryant. The starting defensive end has been in and out of practice as he recovers from the knee surgery that ended his 2010 season. But today, he was all over the field.
Bryant rammed into the quarterback on one play – a definite no-no as the QBs wear red no-contact jerseys. He later was 10 yards downfield to drop tight end Dominique Byrd like a 10-pound sack of potatoes.
“Red’s antics were up today,” Carroll said. “He was having fun playing football. I think when he tackled Dominique Byrd about 25 yards downfield on a full speed, live tackle, we realized that Red was officially back. That came just two plays after he thumped Josh Portis in the back on a pass rush.
“Red’s alive and well. And when you’re cooling Red down, that’s when you like him the most.”
Carroll. Asked who had the most disappointing camp, Carroll did not hesitate.
“I would think probably me,” he said. “I’ve not thrown the ball nearly as well as I thought I would at this time. Even though I was pumped up about my ability to run around, my hose just is not in shape right now.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Defense: Wednesday, the defensive line set the tempo in practice. Today, it was the defensive backs. They got their hands on dozen passes – including interceptions by strong safety Kam Chancellor, rookie cornerback Byron Maxwell and rookie safety Jeron Johnson. But the defensive play of practice was turned in rookie linebacker Malcolm Smith, who bowled over fullback Dorson Boyce on his way to plowing into running back Justin Forsett behind the line of scrimmage.
Offense: Marshawn Lynch staggered defensive end Raheem Brock in his tracks with a nifty cut that allowed him to break a long run.
Special teams: Rookie linebacker Mike Morgan breaking up a pass to tight end Anthony McCoy on a two-point conversion attempt.
IN AND OUT
Boyce, the former University of Washington fullback, was re-signed and cornerback Marcus Brown was waived to clear a spot on the 90-man roster. Boyce had been released on Tuesday to clear a roster spot when safety Atari Bigby was signed.
Defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback and safety Rickey Thenarse returned to practice. But seven players remained sidelined: cornerbacks Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond, defensive end Chris Clemons, tight end John Carlson, defensive linemen Ryan Sims and Pierre Allen and Okung. Also out are the four players on the physically unable to perform list: wide receiver Deon Butler, tight end Cameron Morrah, defensive tackle Colin Cole and cornerback Roy Lewis.
The players will have a walk-thru on Friday morning, as they continue to prepare for Saturday night’s home opener against the Vikings.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Are you still singing with the Grateful Dead?” – long snapper Clint Gresham, spotting a certain web writer wearing his traditional last-day-of-camp tie-dye T-shirt