Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 9.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says Terrell Owens’ first practice in a Seahawks uniform yesterday looked like a strong first step back into the NFL, “Owens is a veteran being given a chance that isn’t unlike Franco Harris got in Seattle. The former Steelers running back was a pretty big deal when he showed up in 1984, signed after Curt Warner suffered a season-ending knee injury. ‘We were desperate,’ said John Nordstrom, the Seahawks’ former owner. ‘It wasn’t clear whether Franco could still play.’ And how long did it take to see that Harris no longer had it? ‘About 20 minutes,’ Nordstrom said. After 20 minutes of watching Owens on Wednesday, it looked like a player just getting started, not someone winding down.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has comments from wide receivers coach Kippy Brown on Owens’ first practice, “Owens lined up at flanker with the second unit – shadowing Sidney Rice – and not at split end, where Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards, Kris Durham and others are competing for the starting spot opposite Rice. ‘He’s a playmaker, and that’s what he’s here for,’ Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown said about Owens. ‘And he got the opportunity and made a couple plays. That was positive. He’s still learning. He’s been here a couple days, and he’s got a lot to learn about our offense. But for the first day, he came out and was able to play pretty well.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press has a look at Owens’ first day back in the NFL, with comments from quarterback Matt Flynn, “Owens did have a few highlights during his first day. He beat rookie Jeremy Lane down the sideline and caught a perfect toss from Matt Flynn for a 35-yard reception, juggling the ball briefly before pulling it in to his stomach as he fell to the ground. He followed that with a quick slant across the middle on another strike from Flynn. ‘Once you get out there and you snap the ball and you’re going against the defense, you just see a helmet running out there,’ Flynn said. ‘You’re not thinking this is T.O. or whatever, you get out there and see a receiver and getting open.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald offers his take on Owens’ first practice session, “Owens got his welcome-back moment early courtesy of cornerback Brandon Browner, who rode Owens into the ground after the receiver tried to beat press coverage by going through Browner. ‘He tried to run through me, and I’m a big guy,’ Browner explained. ‘That’s something that’ll work on somebody that’s smaller.’ But Owens, who worked mostly at flanker with the second-team offense, also had a few highlight moments. A juggling catch on a deep pass down the sideline drew big cheers from the crowd, which not surprisingly was one of this training camp’s largest. And while Owens was the center of attention for fans and media on Wednesday, he insists he is only interested in being a team player this time around. ‘I’m here to compete for a job just like the rest of the guys,’ he said. ‘I have to earn my spot on this team like everyone else. I understand that.’ ”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a Wednesday segment of “Bob and Groz” in which Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable joined the show, “For me, it’s been night and day,’ Cable said of this summer compared to last. ‘You think about trying to plug two rookies in last year was one set of problems, but then putting in a whole new system. It was similar to what Alex Gibbs had done when he came, but he and I don’t have the same terminology and he and I don’t coach the same way. So … everybody kind of had to start over. And so without having OTAs and the offseason it was really kind of a tough period. But it is what it is. We got through it and finally got off our tails and got to blocking somebody, but it took too long. This year we’ve gotten ahead of it a little bit because of the offseason.’ ”
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Wednesday’s practice, “Owens surprised many by how lean and tall he is. He ran another crisp crossing route, and also battled Richard Sherman to grab a timing pattern on the sideline. Flynn looked sharp in his role as quarterback of the No. 1 offense. He scrambled away from pressure and found Golden Tate on a deep sideline pattern. Russell Wilson faced lots of pressure from the No. 1 defense as he led the second-team offense in 11-on-11 drills. Wilson did have a nice improvised shuffle pass to Cameron Morrah.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice, including a look at quarterback Matt Flynn, “As for Flynn, he had a very strong showing during practice Wednesday. Flynn will get the first-team reps in practice for the remainder of the week and start against the Tennessee Titans in the preseason opener on Saturday. Flynn took advantage of the extra workload and put together perhaps the strongest showing from a quarterback during the first two weeks of training camp. Flynn was precise and decisive in making throws all over the field. He connected with WR Golden Tate up the left sideline, fitting a ball into a window between Browner and S Earl Thomas. He found Tate again for a touchdown over Browner during a two-minute drill toward the end of practice as well as hitting TE Zach Miller on a crossing route and TE Cameron Morrahup the seam with nice throws as well. The throw to Miller was across his body as he was rolling to his left.”
Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com digests Owens’ first practice with the ‘Hawks, “Owens looked very much like a guy trying to come back from knee surgery, but there was enough to make people understand that there’s still something left in the tank. Wearing number No. 10 ‘because it was available’ instead of his usual 81, Owens took another valuable step back to the NFL. ‘It was good, just a little bit rusty but glad to be out here,’ Owens said after practice. ‘I’m grateful for the opportunities the Seahawks have given me and I’m thankful for God for giving me this opportunity. Today didn’t go as I would have liked, but it’s leading into the right direction.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com depicts Owens’ first day at camp, “So much has changed in the decade since Owens, then playing for division-rival San Francisco, celebrated a touchdown in the Seahawks’ house by removing a Sharpie from his sock, signing the football and handing it to an associate seated in a suite owned by Shawn Springs, then a cornerback with Seattle. The celebration seems quaint a decade later, particularly in relation to the hard miles Owens has accumulated in the interim. He’s bounced from the 49ers to the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and even to the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. He’s gone broke and even allowed that he contemplated suicide during his darkest moments. ‘The last two years have been life-changing for me,’ Owens said. ‘I don’t want to sit up here and try to emphasize how much I’ve changed. I think you’ll kind of see that as these days go along.’ It felt like a fresh start Wednesday. Owens sounded humble. He spoke quietly without sounding down or overly reflective. At times, it was hard to hear him. ‘A lot of people probably don’t expect me to use that word humble,’ he said, ‘but again, there’s been a lot of moments within the last two years that have had me to face and say that word.’ ”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth says Terrell Owens is off to a positive start in Seattle, saying and doing all the right things yesterday, ” ‘It’s all about, for me now, being part of something, rather than being the center of something,’ Owens said while facing cameras and reporters during a post-practice Q&A session. ‘I understand obviously a lot of the media is here because of me and, again, I’ve changed in a lot of ways. A lot of things have occurred that have occurred in the last two years. I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, put a lot of things in perspective, and I just want to move forward and leave all the things that happened five to 10 years ago behind me.’ ”
Farnsworth also has a look at Wednesday’s practice session, including a note on Seattle’s 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.’ ”
Quarterback Matt Flynn expressed excitement over taking first-team reps the rest of the week and starting the team’s preseason opener Saturday vs. Tennessee, and Farnsworth has the story, ” ‘It’s going to be good to be able to get these reps the next couple days in practice, get in a rhythm,’ said Flynn, speaking to the media for the first time since coach Pete Carroll announced on Tuesday that he would start the preseason opener. ‘Even today, after the offense got going, we played well. We got in a rhythm. We were in synch with each other. Hopefully that continues.’ In rhythm. In synch. In command. Flynn was all of that during the two-hour practice that was held in full pads.”
Max Unger continues his contribution to Seahawks.com, rehashing ‘Competition Wednesday’ and exhibiting his affection toward the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Lastly, in our Seahawks Daily we have a look at Owens’ first day at practice and catch up with wide receiver Golden Tate, safety Earl Thomas, and quarterback Matt Flynn who comment on the addition of Owens.