Thursday cyber surfing: Banks, of course, but also so much more

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 14:

Brian Banks returned to the Seahawks on Wednesday to begin his two-day tryout, and so did the national media. But there were other stories from the second day of the team’s three-day minicamp.

Eric Williams checks in with Sidney Rice, the wide receiver whose first season with the team was cut short because of a shoulder injury: “ ‘They thought it was just a little tear in the back when they read the first MRI, but once Dr. (James) Andrews got in there, he (saw) that it was an actual, 360 degree tear,’ he said. Rice had the torn labrum in his left shoulder repaired a month and a half later. ‘A lot of slipping out and popping out of place,’ Rice said. ‘Right now, they’re supposed to be brand new shoulders, and we’ll take it from here. Right now I’ve got to regain my strength in my shoulders and get ready for the season.’ Rice has gained 11 pounds of muscle, upping his weight to 209 pounds. Rice said he’d like to arrive at training camp at 215 pounds in order to better handle the pounding of a 16-game season.”

 
Williams also has the word on Banks’ return to a practice field: “ ‘The first day was amazing,’ Banks said. ‘This is just an amazing environment as well, to work out in this kind of weather, right off this water right here, with these coaches and these players. I’m just honored to be our here giving it my all.’ And Banks won over Seattle linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. ‘He made a great first impression,’ Norton said. ‘He’s really bright, really smart. He’s well spoken. And he has a great memory. He remembers everything you tell him. And that’s all a plus at this point.’ ”

 
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times also looks at Rice’s offseason of recovery: “Sidney Rice’s offseason sounds more like an anatomy lesson. Start with the right shoulder, where he had 11 anchors surgically installed to stabilize the joint. A month and a half later, he underwent a similar procedure on his left shoulder, another 11 anchors installed. Now, after an offseason of rehabilitation, the player signed to be Seattle’s top receiving threat is ready to start reaching for those heights once again. ‘They’re supposed to be brand-new shoulders,’ Rice said.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at what’s at stake for Chris Clemons, who is not attending this week’s mandatory minicamp: “Seattle’s current leadership hasn’t gone through a similar situation since taking over before the 2010 season. The rest of the team will be watching to see how the Seahawks respond. Coach Pete Carroll has made it clear through his public comments that the team values Clemons’ contributions. These situations are usually personal from the player’s perspective. It’s easier to reach a solution when the team takes the high road.”

Jason LaCanfora at CBSSports.com takes a bigger-picture look at Banks’ quest: “Bruce and Ryan Tollner had pretty much seen it all, spending their entire lives around football, running an agency with over 65 years of combined experience guiding careers and placing players with NFL teams. But nothing could truly prepare them for the events of the past three weeks. They’re facing one of the more daunting and unprecedented challenges of their careers — unquestionably one of their more rewarding endeavors — and enjoying every minute of the task. You see, the Tollners have been charged with directing the football career of Brian Banks, an extraordinary young man who is jetting around the country for tryouts having recently been exonerated of a false rape charge. The story has international appeal, and the response to Banks — a once-promising college football prospect who was away from the game for nearly 10 years due to this tragedy of justice — from the NFL community has been overwhelming. The demands for media (Banks, 26, has appeared on The Jay Leno Show, among others) and the difficulty of juggling so many requests from NFL teams has kept the Tollners, who are cousins, quite busy during what is normally a mostly dormant time in the NFL business calendar.”

Tim Booth at the Associated Press has the details on Banks’ first day: “The tryout candidate wearing No. 43 in white got yelled at when he screwed up, praised when he did something correct and treated just like the rest of the 80 or so Seahawks players on the field Wednesday. Being exactly like the peers around him never felt so rewarding to Brian Banks. ‘’It was more overwhelming than I thought,’’ Banks said. ‘’I had high hopes and dreams of being out here today and just to finally be out here, to have this helmet on, to have this 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.’ ”

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times also was on hand to see the first day of Banks’ tryout: “Brian Banks is living a childhood dream (and probably a Hollywood screenplay), but he faces long odds of garnering an invitation to training camp from the Seattle Seahawks. Banks, the former Long Beach Poly linebacker who spent five years in jail after being falsely accused of rape, participated in Seahawks minicamp Wednesday and plans to do so Thursday. If the team doesn’t sign him to a deal that assures him of a spot in training camp, he will fly to Minnesota later Thursday to work out for the Vikings. Already, he has made trips to San Diego and Kansas City to audition for those teams.”

Bob and Groz at 710 ESPN also have been impressed by the way Banks has handled himself – on and off the field – as you can hear in this report at mynorthwest.com.

Adam Rank at NFL.com selects his 1992 Dream Team, and of course Hall of Fame-bound Cortez Kennedy is featured in the photo gallery that also includes Reggie White, Jerome Brown and John Randle on the D-line: “Kennedy, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, had perhaps his finest season in 1992, when he recorded 14 sacks. Kennedy and Randle would clog the middle.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at the Seahawks’ unusual-looking defense through the eyes of tackle Alan Branch: “ ‘The coaches definitely knew what they were doing when they put this defense together,’ Branch said Wednesday, after the second practice in the team’s three-day minicamp. ‘When they put us all together they had a good thought of what can happen, and they kind of got a glimpse of that last season.’ Did they ever. In addition to that No. 9 ranking – only the sixth time in franchise history that the Seahawks have fielded a Top 10 unit – the defense also ranked No. 7 in average points allowed. (Earl) Thomas was voted to the Pro Bowl and (Brandon) Brandon and (Kam) Chancellor joined him as injury-replacement alternates. Browner (two) and (Red) Bryant returned interceptions for touchdowns; while Browner (six), (Richard) Sherman (four) and Chancellor (four) combined for 14 of the team’s 22 picks. After years of talking about playing more aggressively, the Seahawks actually went out and did it.”

We also take a look at Wednesday’s practice in our Hawkville report, including one exchange between Flynn and Thomas that the free safety won: “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.’ ”

There’s also Tony Ventrella’s video recap, as well as video of the Q&A sessions with Flynn and Banks.


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