Pat Williams. When you’re a wide receiver on a team that already had Mike Williams, Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu and then added Sidney Rice, Kris Durham, Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette, you know your reps in practice will be limited – and that you need to make the most of them.
That’s what Williams did today.
“Reps are limited,” he said after practice. “So when guys go down, you’ve got to be paying attention and know your assignments and step in and not miss a beat.”
Williams’ cache of catches included a nice grab of pass that cornerback Brandon Browner came oh-so-close to tipping incomplete; gathering in a long pass that QB Tarvaris Jackson dropped nicely over Browner; and a TD reception.
Williams, a 6-foot-1, 204-pounder from Colorado, was on the practice squad last season. Now there are other young receivers to challenge for that spot as well as the berths on the 53-man roster.
“That’s the business of it all,” Williams said. “You can’t really pay attention to that. You put your head down and you grind every day. That’s what I’ve been taught ever since I was little. Whatever happens happens.”
Today, good things happened when Williams got his reps.
Slot receiver. Watching how new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is using Tate conjures visions of how Bevell used Percy Harvin as a slot receiver with the Minnesota Vikings last season.
Same position. Similar responsibilities. But dissimilar receivers.
“They’re two different type of athletes,” said Rice, who also was with the Vikings the past four seasons. “Percy is a bigger guy. Strong. Real fast. Golden is a quick guy. He likes to move around in there and he gets open.
“So it’s going to be some similar things that we’re going to see that we had with Percy as well.”
Richard Sherman. The fifth-round draft choice continues to stand out, and not just because he’s 6-3.
On back-to-back plays, Sherman broke up Charlie Whitehurst passes that were intended for Tate. On the second, Sherman reached in to slap away the ball and then bumped and barked at Tate.
“He’s a big corner. Long arms. And he’s got one of the better quick jams that I’ve seen I’ve been in this league,” Rice said. “So if he gets an opportunity to get out there and get his hands on somebody it’s going to be exciting for our team.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Lockette using his sprinter speed to blow past cornerback Marcus Brown. The slightly underthrown pass then hit Brown in the helmet as he caught up, but Lockette controlled the carom for a TD.
Defense: Junior Siavii exploding through a gap and into the end zone for what would have been a sack of Jackson on the final play of practice. Defensive players are not allowed to touch the red-clad QBs, but coach Pete Carroll stepped in to signal the safety.
Special teams: Brandon Coutu drilling a 53-yard field goal.
IN AND OUT
The club signed two players today: running back Vai Taua and linebacker Michael Johnson, who was with the team earlier in camp.
To clear roster spots, running back Chase Reynolds and defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye were waived. Ajiboye was on the roster when camp opened, waived and then re-signed Thursday. He played in the preseason opener against the Chargers and registered a tackle.
Taua, who played at Nevada, had been the Buffalo Bills camp before being released Aug. 5. He was a three-time All-WAC selection, rushing for more than 1,300 yards in each of his final three seasons – including 1,534 yards and 19 TDs last season.
Also, tight end Ryan Travis has been moved to fullback and practiced at that position for the first time this afternoon.
Wide receiver Chris Carter returned practice after sitting out on Saturday, but five new players joined the ranks of those not practicing: tight end John Carlson, defensive Jameson Konz, wide receiver Doug Baldwin, defensive end Pierre Allen and kicker Jeff Reed.
The players will have a walk-thru on Monday morning and then practice at 1:45. The session is the next-to-last that will be open to the public. Fans also can register to attend the Wednesday afternoon practice.
Today’s practice drew the largest turnout of camp – 2,319; five more than on Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I haven’t even thought about it. It’s football. No matter who’s on the other side I’m a Seahawk now. I’m going to war with those guys and the 12th Man this week. So that’s all that matters.” – Rice, when asked about the twist that is him playing his first home game at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night against his former team
The Seahawks continued to bolster their roster on Thursday, even after those players already in training camp had completed their work for the day.
Former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Alan Branch has agreed to sign with the team, according to reports, and the Seahawks also reportedly re-signed two of their own free agents – fullback Michael Robinson and defensive lineman Junior Siavii.
Robinson’s return is needed, as there was not a true fullback on the field Thursday. He also was a key contributor on special teams last season.
Siavii started six games last season – five at tackle when Colin Cole was sidelined and one at end, for an injured Red Bryant – before being placed on injured reserve. Siavii’s big body will help, with Cole recovering from ankle surgery and tackle Brandon Mebane unsigned.
Branch also brings versatility, as he can play the five-technique end spot as well as tackle.
Thursday, during a pair of walk-thrus, the No. 1 defensive line consisted of Bryant, rookie Pep Levingston, Jay Alford and Chris Clemons.
A recap of the day’s activities:
Josh Freeman. The quarterback the Seahawks face at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sunday will not be the same wide-eyed rookie they played at Qwest Field last December.
In that ’09 game, Freeman was making his seventh NFL start for a team that would finish 3-13. Entering Sunday’s game, Freeman is the established starter on a team that is 8-6 and clinging to playoff aspirations. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games, and has 18 through 14 games. He has thrown only one interception in the past five games, and his sixth for the season are the second-fewest among QBs with at least 400 attempts behind the Patriots’ Tom Brady (four).
Last season, Freeman had 10 TD passes and 18 picks.
“He was pretty raw when we played him last season,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “You’re seeing a much more poised quarterback. He’s done a nice job, and he makes a lot of things happen on the run.”
A recap of the day’s activities:
Tackling. In the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers in San Francisco two weeks ago, the primary culprit in yielding 227 yards on six plays was poor tackling. Last week, when the defense held Falcons’ 1,200-yard rusher Michael Turner to a 3.3-yard average on 25 carries – and Atlanta to a season-low 266 total yards – the credit was given to improved tackling.
Funny how that works.
“It was an emphasis that we captured last week that helped us,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We really turned back the pages in some fundamental aspects of what you talk about in tackling and showed some old clips and tried to make a point, in particular in the open field.”
The Seahawks hoped to retain their position atop the NFC West with a victory over the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, but struggled and fell 42-24 in front of the home crowd at Qwest Field.
The Seahawks hoped to rebound from the loss at Oakland with the help of the 12th Man as they returned to Qwest Field to face the visiting New York Giants.
Max Unger. The big toe on the left foot of the team’s starting right guard has the Seahawks in a jam as they start thinking about – and preparing for – this week’s game against the Broncos in Denver.
Unger injured the digit early in Sunday’s season opener against the 49ers at Qwest Field, but last year’s second-round draft choice continued to play. Now, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to play this Sunday.
“It looks like Max Unger is going to miss (this game),” coach Pete Carroll said after his first day-after Q&A session with the media. “He hurt his toe early in the game and he just toughed it out. We don’t have conclusive stuff, but it’s going be really, really difficult for him to make it back this game.”