A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 3, as the Seahawks kicked off the final week of their OTA sessions:
FOCUS ON: ZACH MILLER
The Seahawks’ veteran tight end does so many things well that focusing on just one could be difficult. Except that when it comes to making one-handed catches, Miller is exceptional.
He had another during today’s OTA session, as well as a finger-tip grab of a pass after he got behind Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor. Miller also had a one-hander in the end zone last Wednesday that earned five-highs from several players – defensive, as well as offensive – and coach Pete Carroll. All three passes were thrown by quarterback Russell Wilson.
“I’ve always had a knack for just being able to get the big paw on it,” Miller said through a smile after the team’s sun-drenched session along the shores of Lake Washington. “It helps that I’ve got pretty big hands.”
But making the one-handers is mental as well as physical.
“You’ve got to understand what kind of passes you can catch like that,” Miller said. “If the ball is coming to you fast, you have no chance. So you’ve kind of got to pick your times to do that.”
While those catches can be uplifting for Miller, the QB who throws the pass and the other offensive players, they can have the reverse effect on the players who are covering Miller.
“If you make a one-hander, the defenders don’t like that,” he said. “They think they’ve got you. Then you stick a big paw out and you bring it in, they’re like, ‘Really, you caught that?’ ”
With Miller, the answer is a resounding “yes,” and comes with the tagline “again.”
PLAYER WATCH: MICHAEL BROOKS
The rookie defensive tackle has now practiced with the team twice since being claimed off waivers last week. But Brooks admits to feeling like the new kid who has entered a new school at midterm.
“I’m just trying to learn my way around right now and get with this new system,” said Brooks, who was signed by the Lions after April’s NFL Draft.
Brooks did things one way at East Carolina and was learning to do them another with the Lions. Now comes the way defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and line coach Travis Fisher teach their techniques.
“I was just getting used to the way they do things in Detroit, then I get here and I’ve got to switch it all over,” he said.
In his first two practices – Friday and today – Brooks has participated in the individual drills and then been tutored while on the sideline during the team portions.
“It’s been a pretty good transition. Everybody is helping out,” he said. “I’m just watching and trying to learn from the older guys. They’ve been in the system for a while and I’m just kind of feeling my way through.”
POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLE
With incumbent starter Breno Giacomini missing today’s session, rookie tackle Michael Bowie worked on the right side of the offensive line with the No. 1 unit that also included Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, veteran left guard Paul McQuistan, All-Pro center Max Unger and second-year right guard J.R. Sweezy.
Bowie also continued to work with the No. 3 line, along with left tackle Mike Person, rookie left guard Alvin Bailey and fellow seventh-round draft choices Jared Smith at center and Ryan Seymour at right guard.
The extra reps will only help Bowie as he works to earn one of the backup spots on the 53-man roster.
JOSH PORTIS CFL BOUND
Josh Portis, the quarterback released last month by the Seahawks, has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, the team has announced.
Portis was the Seahawks’ No. 3 quarterback on 2011, when he was active for one game. He was released last August on the roster cut to 53 players, signed to the practice squad and then released in November. Portis was re-signed in April.
The players will be back on the field Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as they complete the 10 OTA sessions allowed by the CBA that ended the 136-day lockout in 2011.
The Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field will kick off its grand re-opening weekend on Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 5:30, with Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin doing the honors.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s ready to learn. He’s listening to everything. He’s asking questions. Which is exactly how you want your rookie to be. He’s making plays out. He’s having some good days. It’s what he’s got to do to be our second tight end. … And he has that speed that he can separate from guys pretty easily. He’s going to be a weapon for us on offense.” – Miller on Luke Willson, the tight end the Seahawks selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft