A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for July 31:
Steven Hauschka. On the day when he became the only kicker in camp, Hauschka showed why.
He was kicking solo because rookie Carson Wiggs had been released earlier in the day to clear a roster spot for the signing of veteran receiver Braylon Edwards. Once on the field, Hauschka was kicking long because, well, that’s what he does – despite how it might look.
Hauschka has a beyond-smooth, oh-so-fluid motion that doesn’t seem like it could generate enough power to get the ball that far, but he hit from 58 yards during the special teams portion of practice and then converted from 57 yards when a drive stalled during a full-team drill.
“I’ve found for me, swinging hard doesn’t necessarily make the ball go farther,” Hauschka said. “So I just try to hit the ball on the bone and it takes off for me.”
He also kicked field goals of 39 and 19 yards during a two-minute drill and made three other kicks during the special teams period. Hauschka scored some style points, as well, by sharing his success with snapper Clint Gresham and holder Jon Ryan.
“My goal is to just get in a rhythm with Jon and Clint,” Hauschka said.
That rhythm was rockin’ during today’s two hour-plus practice.
“It was good that they stretched me out there and we got to build some confidence and get ready for the season,” Hauschka said.
And he is coming off a rock-solid season, his first with the Seahawks, as Hauschka converted 25 of 30 field goal attempts in 2011. Two of his misses came from 61 and 51 yards, while two others were blocked.
Offensive line, and guard J.R. Sweezy. This is a tandem category because Sweezy was working at right guard with the No. 1 line today. Deuce Lutui worked there as well this week, as starter John Moffitt is getting some work at center with the No. 2 unit.
“He’s been very tough. He’s really a physical kid,” coach Pete Carroll said of Sweezy, who played defensive tackle in college but was drafted in the seventh round with the plan of converting him to offensive guard. “We like what we’re seeing, and Tom (Cable, the line coach) just wanted to give him a shot and see what he looks like. Sometimes guys need to get around the starters to show where they fit.
“Just in general, we really like what he brings.”
Just don’t read more into Sweezy and Lutui working with the starters than is there.
“John’s doing fine at guard and he’s the starting right guard,” Carroll said.
Here’s a look at who comprised the three lines in practice: No. 1, left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Paul McQuistan, center Max Unger, Sweezy and right tackle Breno Giacomini; No. 2, Frank Omiyale, Allen Barbre, Moffitt, Lutui and Alex Barron; No. 3, Edawn Coughman, Barbre, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Rishaw Johnson and Paul Fanaika.
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: There were a number of nice throws and catches today, but let’s go back to before that started. In the 9-on-7 drill, Marshawn Lynch changed directions twice in two consecutive steps – a move that had defenders grasping at air and the offensive coaches and players with their arms in the air.
Defense: Again, there were a number of worthy efforts in the defense-dictated practice – including interceptions by veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant, rookie cornerback Donny Lisowski (in the end zone), rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie safety Winston Guy. But again, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner had a tempo-setting effort on one of the first plays when he put a capital “P” in press coverage by jamming wide receiver Golden Tate to the turf.
Special teams: Hauschka’s long kicks were impressive. But while waiting his turn during the special teams segment prior to the official start of practice, rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane popped a back flip – while wearing his helmet and shoulder pads.
Non-play: This play was nullified because of a penalty, but when Wagner tips a pass that 311-pound nose tackle Brandon Mebane intercepts with a lunging effort it deserves some recognition.
IN ‘N OUT
Two players were signed today – Edwards and rookie tight end Cooper Helfet. To clear spots on the 90-man roster, wide receiver Cameron Kenney and Wiggs were released. Edwards was a first-round draft choice by the Browns in 2005 and also played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011). Helfet was with the Seahawks this spring.
Tight end Kellen Winslow and middle linebacker Barrett Ruud did not practice. Winslow was held out because of a knee situation, while Ruud was resting a sore knee, Carroll said.
Defensive tackle Alan Branch and Lisowski returned to practice, but still sidelined were defensive lineman Jason Jones, linebacker Matt McCoy, tight end Anthony McCoy, cornerback Ron Parker, linebacker Jameson Konz and the three players who are on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter, cornerback Walter Thurmond and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
The players will have their first day off of camp Wednesday, and then return for a 10:15 a.m. practice Thursday.
“We don’t to wear them down at any one point. We don’t want to get them to the point where they get vulnerable,” Carroll said when asked about the early off day. “We have worked these guys as hard as we can work them in the time that we’ve had and will continue to do that.
“I want them to be able to practice at a really high level every single time we’re on the field. Whatever it takes to get that done is important to me, and rest is part of that to maintain the level of intensity that we think is best to teach and learn from.”
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s practice attracted 953 fans. Nine more practices are open to the public, including Thursday’s session as well as the final weekend practices of camp on Saturday and Sunday. You can register here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think it’s fantastic. Obviously it’s the greatest recognition a football player can get. He is obviously deserving because he was one of the all-time all-timers. He was a monster of a football player and a monster of a spirit, too, as I understand. This should make everybody here proud because he’s one of our guys. We’re thrilled for him.” – Carroll on eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday