Wednesday in Hawkville: Brandon Mebane reverts to baseball-playing days to make one big interception
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 5, when the Seahawks put the wraps on the on-field activities in the OTA portion of their offseason program:
FOCUS ON: BRANDON MEBANE
Pete Carroll stopped short of announcing the move of 311-pound nose tackle to extra-strong strong safety, but the Seahawks’ coach was duly impressed with the interception Mebane made during today’s OTA.
“The return was not that good,” Carroll cracked. “But the pick was nice.”
For Mebane, it was his second interception this week as he also had one on Monday. But today’s pick – which came off a pass that was tipped by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner – allowed him to display the full array of his athletic skills.
“I just saw the ball go up and my eyes got real big,” Mebane said. “I was like, ‘Just like baseball. Just catch it.’ ”
Baseball? Mebane played third base, catcher, second base and centerfield while growing up. That was before he grew into a nose tackle.
“That was just like a pop fly,” he said of the batted Brady Quinn pass he intercepted.
But Mebane’s second pick also was a testament to the work he has been putting in. The D-lineman began today’s OTA with a drill where coordinator Dan Quinn had them drop, turn and catch the ball as he threw it. Mebane displayed cat-like quickness in grabbing his.
PLAYER WATCH: MARSHAWN LYNCH
The All-Pro running back participated in today’s session, Lynch’s first OTA appearance this week. He looked quick and explosive while getting carries with the No. 1 and even No. 3 units.
“He had a nice day today. He got a little running room,” Carroll said. “He’s in really good shape. We’re trying to get him all the way through this offseason and get him ready for the real season. We know what Marshawn can do as long as he’s in good shape, and he’s in fantastic shape. He’s hard as a rock and he’s worked really hard to this point.
“It’s really just take the next step, the next step. Get him through minicamp. Then get him through the summertime. Then show up for camp and get him through the preseason. So that he’s right and ready to go. There’s so much (tread) on the tire and we don’t want to wear down that.”
The Seahawks ran the ball a league-high 536 times last season, and Lynch used his career-high 315 carries to produce 1,590 rushing yards and average 5.0 yards – also a career-bests.
POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLE
Rookie Michael Bowie continued to work with the No. 1 line because, as Carroll explained, starter Breno Giacomini has been in New York to have a knee that’s been bothering him checked out.
The news is good on both fronts: Giacomini will not need surgery, and the reps Bowie got with the first unit in his absence were invaluable for the seventh-round draft choice.
“He could have practice this week, but we wanted to take this time to make sure that we were doing the right thing,” Carroll said of Giacomini. “So he’s in good shape and that’s a really positive report for us.”
On Bowie, he added, “Michael got a great chance to show and it was cool to have him with the first group out there. He handled himself well. It’s a good initial statement that he’s made that he looks like he can fit in. He’s got a lot of ground to make up, but we’re very pleased with him.”
ALUMNI WATCH: CURT WARNER
Three generations of Seahawks running backs were on the field before the start of practice, as Warner had a sideline conversation with Lynch and Sherman Smith, the team’s original running back who now coaches the position.
Smith led the team in rushing from 1976-79 and again in 1982. Warner, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 1983, ran for 6,705 yards in six seasons, including 1,481 in 1986 and 1,449 as a rookie. Lynch has been the team’s leading rusher the past three seasons.
Also at practice was Edward Drummond, a retired Lt. Col. and the youngest of the Tuskegee Airman. He had his picture taken with Carroll and several players after practice.
Drummond, 86, was accompanied by his wife and eight students from Pacific West Aerospace Academy.
The players will work out on Thursday, but they won’t have their scheduled on-field session.
Friday, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman will sign autographs from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the weekend-long grand re-opening of the Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field. Quarterback Russell Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin will handle the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Next week, the team’s mandatory minicamp will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with an afternoon practice each day.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Walter is physically capable of showing off. He is a tremendous athlete. He has been in a situation where he’s kind of had to hold back a little bit for a long time. He’s really able to just go for it now.” – Carroll on oft-injured cornerback Walter Thurmond, who we profiled in this story on Monday