A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Theme player of the day. Today was “Turnover Thursday” on the practice field, as the Seahawks continued to prepare for their regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor took that very literally.
Chancellor, a fifth-round draft choice last year who is stepping in at the spot where Lawyer Milloy was the starter last season, intercepted a pass in the end zone early in practice and then added a second pick in the 7-on-7 drill.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Chancellor is a prototypical-plus strong safety, and teams with free safety Earl Thomas to give the Seahawks a last line of defense capable of making plays and playing together for seasons to come.
“Our guys are uniquely qualified,” coach Pete Carroll said. “You can’t get any bigger than Kam is and you can’t get any faster than Earl is, and those guys are very special in that regard. They are both aggressive, they both play well at the line of scrimmage and they both have good ball instincts.
“So we’re fortunate in that regard.”
It’s a combination that also gives the Seahawks flexibility.
“If you watch us carefully, you will see those guys moving around some,” Carroll said. “That’s kind of just the way we plan to take advantage of that when we can.”
With two more players who have “special qualities,” as Carroll puts it.
“I think it’s a good illustration that we’re not looking for cookie-cutter guys,” Carroll said. “We’re looking for guys that have special qualities. Without question, those guys are great examples of that. Earl has got a style that is very unique. Kam does as well – he’s 230-something pounds playing at strong safety. There’s not many guys like that in the league. And, he can run and cover, too.”
And, he also knows how to play to the coach’s theme of the day.
Right tackle. Breno Giacomini continued to work there with the No. 1 line, because rookie James Carpenter continued to work at left guard for Robert Gallery, who’s sidelined after spraining a knee in Friday night’s preseason finale.
Carroll is not ruling Gallery out for Sunday’s opener against the 49ers, but Gallery likely would have to get some work in Friday’s practice to be able to play. If not, it’s Carpenter for Gallery and Giacomini for Carpenter.
“I just go out there and try to improve every day,” said Giacomini, who was splitting reps with Carpenter last week even before Gallery went down. “If I start, then I start. If I don’t, then I played my role.”
The 6-7, 318-pound Giacomini filled another role on the final play of the two-hour practice, catching a pass from holder Jon Ryan on a fake field goal.
IN AND OUT
Defensive end Chris Clemons sat out the afternoon practice after twisting an ankle during the morning walk-thru. Raheem Brock filled in for Clemons.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice also sat out with the same shoulder problem that has sidelined him the past two weeks. Ben Obomanu worked in his spot during practice.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne was limited again, and got most of his reps with the No. 2 defense, because of the sore knee he got in the second preseason game. Rookie K.J. Wright worked at middle linebacker with the No. 1 defense.
“K.J. has been getting the majority of the reps and he’s been playing really well in the preseason,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “I don’t know, with the trainers, what’s the latest with ‘Heater.’ But whatever the case, I think our team’s got a lot of confidence in K.J.”
STAT DU JOUR
Tarvaris Jackson will become the 21st quarterback to start a regular-season game for the Seahawks when the play the 49ers on Sunday. Here’s a look at how some of the more notable QBs did in their first starts:
Player (year) Att. Comp. Yds. TD Int. Rating
Jim Zorn (1976) 37 17 292 2 2 68.8
Dave Krieg (1981) 26 20 264 2 3 94.6
Rick Mirer (1993) 27 20 154 0 1 72.1
Warren Moon (1997) 33 20 222 1 1 78.1
Jon Kitna (1997) 37 23 283 1 2 72.4
Matt Hasselbeck (2001) 34 20 178 0 2 48.4
Note: Krieg (27-23 over the Jets), Kitna (22-21 over the Raiders) and Hasselbeck (9-6 over the Browns) won; Zorn (30-24 to the Cardinals), Mirer (18-12 to the Chargers) and Moon (35-14 to the Broncos) lost.
The players will hold their final full practice of the week on Friday and then have a walk-thru on Saturday morning before the team flies to San Francisco for Sunday’s opener.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m not going to lie. I hated watching Seattle win that game. Oh man, I hated that. That was supposed to be us.” – 49ers running back Frank Gore, to the San Francisco Chronicle, on the Seahawks’ wild-card win over the Saints last season