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Friday in Hawkville: Rookie minicamp off to a fast start

A recap of the day’s activities at the Seahawks’ rookie camp for May 11:

FOCUS ON

Tempo. The first day of the team’s three-day rookie minicamp wasn’t just an initiation for the new players, it was an indoctrination into how things are done on a Pete Carroll-coached team – fast, precise and with a purpose.

Not surprisingly, the speed and tempo of the two-hour practice caught some of the players by surprise.

“They kind of warned us yesterday,” first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin said. “But I still didn’t know what to expect. It still kind of caught me off guard.

“I probably lost like about seven, eight pounds today.”

Also count Phil Bates among those who weren’t quite sure what to expect.

“It was up-tempo. It was fast. It was something that you’d never really done before,” said Bates, a rookie wide receiver from Ohio University who was signed as a free agent after the draft. “It’s something you’ve got to get used it, but at the same time it was fun.”

Fun, with a focus.

“We really pounded these guys with a bunch of stuff to get on the field for the first time,” Carroll said of the mental side of what today was all about. “It’s hard for you to imagine just how much you have to learn to get on the field and run plays, but the coaches did a really good job and the players have studied hard coming in and we were able to go out there and put together a nice practice.

“There were a lot of exciting things.”

VETERAN PRESENCE

The 55-player roster for this minicamp includes three who were on the Seahawks’ practice squad last season: running back Vai Taua, offensive lineman Brent Osborne and defensive end Pierre Allen.

TRYING (OUT) TIMES

The rookie-camp also includes 30 players who are in on a tryout basis:

WR Pat Carter, Louisville

QB Chris Hart, Webber International (Fla.)

QB Josh McGregor, Jacksonville

CB Dionte Dinkins, Fort Valley State

CB Donny Lisowksi, Montana

CB Josh Gatlin, North Dakota State

FB Bryson Kelly, Central Washington

FB James Stampley, LSU

S Craig Ray, Indianapolis

SS Austin Cassidy, Nebraska

FS Kareem Moore, Nicholls State

LB E.J. Savannah, Washington

LS Braedyn Eagle, Portland State

LB Mychal Sisson, Colorado State

TE Shawn Nelson, Southern Mississippi

TE Cooper Helfet, Duke

LB Najel Byrd, Arkansas State

C Jayson Palmgren, Missouri

LB Kyle Knox, Fresno State

LB Shane Horton, USC

DT Renard Williams, Eastern Washington

OG Julian Gray, North Carolina Central

OG Joel Figueroa, Miami

OT Andrew Mitchell, Oklahoma State

OT Alex Barron, Florida State

OT Chima Okoli, Penn State

OT Mark Huyge, Michigan

WR Cam Kenney, Oklahoma

WR Josh Smith, UCLA

DT Zach Masch, Hawaii

Barron, of course, is hardly a rookie. He was a first-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. After starting 74 games in five seasons with the Rams, the 6-foot-7, 320-pound Barron played for the Cowboys in 2010. He began last season on the Saints’ injured reserve list, after damaging a knee during training camp, before being released in October.

“We want to see what he’s got,” Carroll said. “He was a highly regarded player a few years back and he’s been smacked around with injuries and situations and all of that, so we’re going to find out. He handled his own pretty well today and he acted a bit like a veteran. He knew what was going on and was a little bit more comfortable than some of the other guys. So we’ll see in the next couple days and see where that puts at the end of this minicamp.”

THE BATTLE OF FIRST-ROUND PICKS

Barron was the 19th pick in the first round of his draft, while Irvin was the 15th pick overall in this year’s draft. These two found themselves matched against each other often, with Irvin at the “Leo” end spot and Barron working at left tackle.

“Oh man, it’s just going to help me get better,” Irvin said. “He’s a great competitor. He’s a great player. He’s a big dude. So going against him is going to do nothing but make me better. I’m going to come in and I’m going to compete, and he’s going to compete. We’re just going to make each other better, everyday.”

JUST WATCHING

Safety Winston Guy, a sixth-round draft choice, will not participate in this minicamp because he is recovering after having a surgical procedure on his shoulder.

“It’s going to take few more weeks before we can see him physically, and it’s killing him,” Carroll said. “He probably could get through it, but we won’t let him until he’s well.”

The veterans had the day off from their offseason conditioning program that will resume on Monday, but Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas, leading receiver Doug Baldwin and fellow wide receiver Ricardo Lockette watched practice from the sideline.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It feels great. A lot of kids want to be in this situation. I’m fortunate to one of the few that made it. Getting a chance to live my dream, so that’s a great feeling and I’m looking forward to being a success.” – Irvin, on starting the next chapter of his life


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