A recap of the activities in the Seahawks’ OTA practice for May 24:
The quarterbacks. Pete Carroll wasn’t kidding when he said that incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent addition Matt Flynn and third-round draft choice Russell Wilson would compete for the starting job.
And the actions of the team’s third-year coach during the first week of the team’s OTA practices have spoken even louder than his word. Today, Wilson was first in the rotation. Wednesday, it was Flynn. Tuesday, it was Jackson.
“We’re rotating all the guys,” Carroll said. “To present really the competition as balanced as we can we need to see them with all the guys.”
Today marked Wilson’s most extensive stint with the No. 1 unit, and Carroll commended offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith for making sure the reps have been split equally and with a variety of units.
“If you had your starter going, he’d probably be taking two-to-one snaps over everybody else,” Carroll said. “So it’s not like that. It’s going to hold us back a bit, but we’re not worried about it at this time. We’ve got plenty of time.”
Carroll was asked again if his had a timetable for making a decision on a starter. Again he offered, “There really isn’t. I can’t do that. I wouldn’t know how to set a table right now. We’ve just got to keep going and just keep taking the information. I’m good about that. Like I said, I’m going to be more patient than you guys (reporters) and we’ll figure this thing out in time.”
That would make Carroll not a waiter, but a wait-or.
Bobby Wagner. The team’s second-round draft choice continues to work at middle linebacker with the No. 1 defense, and also is seeing time in the No. 1 nickel.
Today, he showed why by making an impressive read and an even more athletic move to intercept a Jackson pass over the middle.
Wagner’s play came in the same 7-on-7 drill where Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor jumped a Wilson pass to make an interception along the sideline.
Which play was better? “Wagner,” defensive backs coach Kris Richard said. “No, Kam. No, Wagner. You know what? They were both great plays.”
Marcus Trufant. The starting cornerback on the left side for most of his nine-season career with the Seahawks, Trufant continues to work as the nickel cornerback and today made a play to deflect a pass that showed he’s growing into his new role.
“He’s picking it up,” Carroll said. “He’s really working at it. There are a lot of nuances about this thing that he never had to pay attention to before, so he’s learning kind of like a first-timer. But he has so much savvy and ability we think that it could be a great spot for him.”
A back situation forced Trufant to go on injured reserve after four games last season, when rookie cornerback Richard Sherman stepped in and played well enough that he continues to be the starter on the left side.
WE’VE GOT SPIRIT, YES WE DO
It was an OTA practice, and in May at that. But the intensity level was, well, intense throughout the one-hour, 45-minute session. When a defensive player made a play, all his teammates celebrated – those on the sideline as well as on the field. It was the same scenario when an offensive player made a big play.
“It was guys competing and battling and it gets heated,” Carroll said. “We’re asking these guys to work really hard and it really matters to them. They really care. They want to make their plays and their statements and I don’t blame them one bit.
“But there is a line that you can’t cross and that’s what we talked about afterward. We want to be able to take it as far as you can and then demonstrate the poise when you need to most and that’s going to happen in games throughout the season. It was a good message for us, a good opportunity for us that we’ll move forward from that. But it’s really exciting that the guys are working so hard at it and they care so much. This is a very high-spirited group and if you’re around them at all you’ll see it. There’s a youth that’s exciting, there’s a leadership that’s exciting and there’s something that we’re after here that they can all sense and it’s going to call for us to reach deep.”
As with everything that happens on the practice field, Carroll turned it into a teaching opportunity.
“So when emotions are high I understand that,” he said. “We just need to keep them in check at the right times and we need to learn how to deal with situations like that because our games are going to easily be as heated and hot and all of that. It’s good stuff for us.”
THIS ’N THAT
First-round draft choice Bruce Irvin has returned to West Virginia for a funeral and ceremony to honor former West Virginia University football coach Bill Stewart. … Wide receiver Golden Tate also was missing because he injured his hand in Wednesday’s practice. … James Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice, did some jogging today – the next big step in his rehabilitation from the knee surgery that ended his rookie season. “Everybody was fired up for him,” Carroll said. “It was great to see him. He’s made a couple of big steps just recently, so that’s really encouraging.” … Among the impressive offensive plays was Flynn’s deep completion to wide receiver Deon Butler, who beat tight coverage from Sherman to make the catch. … Justin Helwege, a wide receiver from Central Washington University who had a tryout at the rookie minicamp, was signed today. To clear a spot on the 90-man roster, tackle Andrew Mitchell was released. … The players are off until Tuesday, and the next OTA practice is scheduled for Wednesday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It worked out for both sides. I’m going to miss my teammates out there – my boys. I’ve grown together a lot with those guys. But it’s the NFL. It’s hard. It’s good to have a job, you know. It’s good to have a job. So I’ll be OK.” – tight end Kellen Winslow on his trade from the Buccaneers to the Seahawks