A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 8:
Duh. Terrell Owens. The future Hall of Fame receiver practiced with the Seahawks for the first time and it seemed like the whole world was watching his every move.
Cameras crowed around the exit to the practice fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center to capture his emergence from the locker room, wearing a No. 10 blue jersey and a where-do-I-go expression. Those same cameras – including those from ESPN and the NFL Network – were in the media crowd that gathered after practice to capture his every utterance.
It was in between those flirtations with the media mob that Terrell showed glimpses of why the Seahawks signed the 16-year veteran on Monday, as he took more snaps and did more with them than you would expect for a player who last played in the NFL during the 2010 season because he had major knee surgery.
Owens, who checked in 1,078 receptions, 15,934 receiving yards and 153 touchdowns on his resume, got a dozen snaps, caught a couple of passes and was even jammed to the turf by Brandon Browner, the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Pro Bowl cornerback.
His best effort came when Owens got behind the rookie tandem of cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy to make a falling grab along the sideline of a 35-yard pass from Matt Flynn.
Flashing that trademark smile during his post-practice Q&A session, Owens admitted to having some rust in his ample game and assured everyone that they ain’t seen nothing yet.
“Today didn’t go as particularly well as I would like, but it definitely was a step in the right direction,” he said.
“I’ve been rehabbing and working out for the past year since the injury. That’s all I’ve really wanted since I started my trek on this rehab and my journey to get back on the football field, is just an opportunity. That was provided by the Seattle Seahawks and, again, I’m very grateful for that.”
Flynn was among those who came away impressed by his newest teammate.
“Everyone on the team has watched him. Obviously, everyone knows his talent level and what he’s done,” said the QB who will start in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. “He’s here to make the team better and we’re excited.”
The nickel defensive line. Improving the pass rush was a priority for coach Pete Carroll this offseason after the Seahawks registered 33 sacks last season. So rush-tackle Jason Jones was signed in free agency and rush-end Bruce Irvin was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft to join – and help – Chris Clemons, who had 11 of those sacks.
But who fills the fourth spot? Brandon Mebane, the nose tackle in the base defense? Red Bryant, the tackle-sized end who plays opposite Clemons in the base defense? Alan Branch, the three-technique tackle in the base defense? Clinton McDonald, who works in the tackle rotation in the base defense?
“Right now, we’re running Mac in there,” line coach Todd Wash said of McDonald, who was acquired last August in a trade with the Bengals. “He’s really doing what we’re asking him to do and at the same time we’ve also got Brandon, Red and Branch.
“We’re looking for someone to help push that pocket.”
When push comes to shove, the 6-foot-2, 297-pound McDonald knows how to throw his weight around.
“He’s just so strong,” Wash said. “He’s got a little bit more center of gravity; he’s a little bit closer to the ground. He does a good job of getting under (blockers’) pads and getting push in the pocket. He does a tremendous job with that.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Defense: It had to be Browner’s welcome-to-camp jam that sent Owens to the turf.
“He tried to shock release me. He tried to run through me,” Browner said of his run-in with the 6-3, 224-pound Owens in the one-on-one drill. “I’m a big guy. That’s something that will work on somebody a little smaller.”
So Browner treated Owens as just another receiver? “Not just another receiver, that’s T.O.” Browner said. “You know what I mean? He’s one of the legends.”
Offense: Flynn and third-year receiver Golden Tate hooked up on a couple of impressive plays. On the first, Tate went up along the sideline between the Pro Bowl duo of free safety Earl Thomas and Browner, took a shot and still held on to the ball as he was falling out of bounds. On the second, Flynn was flushed from the pocket, rolled to his left and let go with a not-quite-textbook pass that Tate was able to catch behind cornerback Coy Francies and DeShawn Shead.
In between plays: Rushing into the lineup, Irvin was about to collide with running back Tyrell Sutton. Irvin, this year’s first-round draft choice, avoided the collision as he parking-metered the 5-8 Sutton. Parking metered? You remember, hopping over parking meters in a single bound.
IN ’N OUT
Defensive end Dexter Davis returned to practice after missing time with a sore hip and tight end Anthony McCoy also was back. But defensive tackle Alan Branch and tight end Kellen Winslow sat out to rest their knees.
Also sidelined: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; linebackers Matt McCoy, Allen Bradford and Jameson Knoz; and offensive linemen James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond, who remain on the physically unable to perform list.
Another morning practice on Thursday, as the players continue to prepare for Saturday night’s preseason opener.
JOIN THE CROWD
A boisterous crowd of 1,480 fans watched practice. While many chanted, “T.O. T.O,” two came with large T’s and O’s made out of cardboard that they lifted to match the chants.
Only three more practices are open to the public – Thursday, as well as next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can register here to attend.
Most of the fans came to today’s practice on the shores of Lake Washington sporting their Seahawks best, including jerseys of players past and present – Matt Hasselbeck (8), Lofa Tatupu (51), Shaun Alexander (37), Julian Peterson (98), Steve Largent (80), Mack Strong (38), Curt Warner (28) and Warren Moon (1); Earl Thomas (29), Marcus Trufant (23), Marshawn Lynch (24), Brandon Mebane (92), Sidney Rice (18), Kam Chancellor (31), Tarvaris Jackson (7), Richard Sherman (25) and Flynn (15) and Tate (81).
But only one was wearing a Chad Brown No. 94 jersey. Brown was a Pro Bowl linebacker from 1997-2004 and also was voted the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
“I’m just an all-time Seahawk fan,” said Cheyenne Smith, who’s 27 and lives in Darrington. “I like Chad Brown and the way he played. I really do.”
THE ROAD TO …
The club is advising fans attending Saturday night’s game to plan accordingly because state routes 520 (the Evergreen Point floating bridge) and 167 (the Valley Freeway) will be closed.
YOU DON’T SAY
“(Number) 81 wasn’t available. There were a couple of options, so I took 10. I look good in 10. So that’s going to be my number.” Owens, who wore No. 81 throughout his career, on switching to No. 10, which was worn most memorably for the Seahawks by former QB Jim Zorn