A recap of the activities on the second day of the Seahawks’ three-day Bing minicamp:
Brian Banks. The latest stop on his exoneration tour was a return to Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where Banks began a two-day tryout with the Seahawks after he worked out for the team last Thursday.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to have a number or a jersey,” said Banks, who was wearing No. 43. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first got here. I got to my locker and saw that there was a jersey in it and I just wanted to take a picture of it just for myself.
“It was amazing just to see my name on the back of it. It’s just an honor. It’s an honor to be taken serious and to be given this opportunity.”
In between trips to Seattle, Banks worked out for the Chargers on Friday and the Chiefs on Tuesday. It’s all part of trying to regain his life – and his love for football – after spending 62 months in prison for being wrongly accused of rape.
Today, Banks worked at middle linebacker with the No. 3 defense, flanked by Mike Morgan and Kyle Knox – who, like Banks, is at this minicamp on a tryout basis.
“This is the NFL – the best of the best – so it’s going to be really tough for him,” linebackers coach Ken Norton said. “Just the fact that he came out here and gave it a shot and didn’t shy away from it, you’ve got to give him a plus for that.
“But again, this is the best of the best, the highest level of athlete, and he’s been out of it for 10 years. So it’s going to be really, really tough. … Right now, he has a chance. But it’s going to be really, really tough.”
That’s all Banks is asking: An opportunity to make up for lost time. So today was a huge step for him.
“It was more overwhelming than I thought,” Banks said. “I had high hopes and dreams of being out here today. And then just to finally be out here, to have this helmet on, to have my name on the back of this jersey, to be a part of this team for a day, it’s more than I could ever imagine.”
What’s next for Banks? Another practice, as the Seahawks conclude their minicamp on Thursday. After that?
“What I take from it all, the advice that I appreciate the most, is just enjoy the moment,” Banks said. “Enjoy the moment – if it’s for one day, if it’s for the whole season, if it’s for however long. Just enjoy the moment.
“I’ve already won. I have my freedom. That’s what’s most important to me. Making this team is just an additional blessing to this freedom.”
Quarterback. Today was Matt Flynn’s turn to run the No. 1 offense in the three-way competition for the starting job that also includes Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson.
Flynn admitted that while it is a competition, it’s not a cut-throat situation as he vies with Jackson, the incumbent starter; and Wilson, who was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft.
“I don’t think we look at it like we’re going against each other,” said Flynn, who was signed in free agency after serving as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay the past four seasons. “We’re trying to help each other out. If they made a good throw, I’m the first one there telling them good job. So it’s not like any bad blood coming out here – where we’re on the field and I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m going against you.’
“It’s not like that. Everybody’s trying to compete. Everybody’s trying to get better. And everybody’s trying to make the team better. I think that’s really the overall goal.”
Flynn got a taste of just how much closing speed Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas processes. It happened on a deep throw to wide receiver Deon Butler that instead ended up in the hands of Thomas.
“I got first-hand experience to see how fast Earl was today,” Flynn said. “I get a two-minute situation and I’ve Deon streaking down and I throw it. I’m thinking, ‘That might be a touchdown.’ Then all of a sudden I see this flash like come across.
“I don’t think I’ve had a DB back there, especially at safety, with that kind of speed.”
In addition to Thomas’ out-of-nowhere interception, other practice highlights included nickel back Marcus Trufant slapping away a pass intended for wide receiver Doug Baldwin; wide receiver Charly Martin going up between cornerback Ron Parker and safety Winston Guy to pull down a touchdown pass from Wilson; Guy making a last-second tip of a pass just as it was settling into the hands of wide receiver Phil Bates; tight end Kellen Winslow grabbing a low pass from Jackson for an 18-yard gain; defensive lineman Pep Levingston getting to running back Robert Turbin for a 1-yard loss; and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reaching around running back Marshawn Lynch to deflect a pass.
ON THE MEND
Eleven players are not practicing as they continue their rehabs from offseason surgeries or more recent injuries: wide receivers Golden Tate, Mike Williams and Jermaine Kearse; offensive lineman James Carpenter; defensive lineman Monte Taylor; linebackers Barrett Ruud, Malcolm Smith and Jameson Konz; and defensive backs Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and Chris Maragos.
Tate has what coach Pete Carroll calls “a very slight, little crack” in a bone on his right hand, adding the left-handed Tate could play if there was a game this week. Williams is “close” to returning, Carroll said, and should be ready for the start of training camp at the end of July. Ruud is “very close,” in Carroll’s words, and he also should be ready for training camp.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I can’t even imagine. So I wouldn’t be doing justice if I talked about it because I can’t imagine what he’s been through and what he’s feeling just being out here now.” – Flynn, when asked his thoughts on Banks’ situation