A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 28:
Matt Flynn. The backup quarterback was able to throw more in today’s practice than he has since an inflamed muscle in the right elbow started acting up last week. Flynn took part in all phases of practice, a good sign that he’ll be able to play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field.
It also was Flynn’s longest on-field stint since coach Pete Carroll announced on Sunday that rookie Russell Wilson had won the starting job. So Flynn needs to begin taking advantage of whatever opportunities come his way.
“Matt came through in all ways,” Carroll said of Flynn’s performance in the QB competition that began in May – when just-traded Tarvaris Jackson also was part of equation. “He’s done everything he’s needed to do to lead us and show us he could do that. To show us that he understands the system, can use all aspects of it, can throw all the balls we wanted him to throw. He did everything just fine.
“Russell’s performance was just so far off the charts that we had to recognize it.”
Flynn was unable to play in the preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City on Friday night, when Wilson led six consecutive scoring drives in his first NFL start to all but settle the situation.
“The games did kind of decided the issue, but the work these guys have done and put in has been well carried out, highly competitive, fought throughout and we had to get to a point where we had to make a decision and we feel really good about the decision,” Carroll said.
Now, Flynn has to maintain his edge while working in a backup role to insure he’s ready if needed.
“I’m expecting Russell to play really well,” Carroll said. “But Matt is not going to take a knee on this thing. He’s going to go for it and keep battling, and when the opportunity comes I know he’ll be ready.”
ON THE FIELD
The 95-miunte practice concluded with each quarterback throwing a touchdown pass during a red-zone drill.
Wilson’s came on his first play, as he passed to wide receiver Sidney Rice after he had gotten a step on cornerback Richard Sherman. Flynn threw his scoring pass to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette on third down, after rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin pressured Flynn into an incompletion on first down. Josh Portis also threw a third-down TD pass to rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei.
Red Bryant has been listed among the blue-chip defensive ends in the league by Michael Lombardi at NFL.com. It’s overdue recognition for all the things – little and large – that Bryant has done, and continues to do.
Says Lombardi: “Those who are surprised that Bryant qualified as a blue-chipper should talk to any team that has tried to run the ball in his direction. He is a dominant player.”
He also lists Pro Bowl free safety as a “red-chipper,” adding, “Thomas is very close to joining the blue-chippers.”
On offense, running back Marshawn Lynch and center Max Unger were blue-chippers. “(Nick) Mangold might be the best, but (Alex) Mack and Unger are both close to his talent level,” Lombardi says.
IN ’N OUT
The number of players sidelined grew by two as tight ends Kellen Winslow (knee) and Cooper Helfet (unspecified) did not practice.
Still sidelined: wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), running back Marshawn Lynch (back), guard James Carpenter (knee), defensive linemen Jason Jones (knee) and Greg Scruggs (hamstring), linebacker Matt McCoy (knee) and defensive backs Chris Maragos (shoulder) and Walter Thurmond (leg).
Lynch was able to watch practice from the sideline today after spending Monday in the training room while the team was practicing.
The players will have a walkthrough on Wednesday morning, their final on-field preparation for Thursday night’s preseason finale.
The 75-man roster must be trimmed to 53 players on Friday and the team can start compiling its eight-man practice squad on Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Coach Sherm always says, ‘The best ability is dependability.’ I just want to make sure when I’m on the field I’m dependable.” – rookie running back Robert Turbin on position coach Sherman Smith, the franchise’s original running back