Good morning, and welcome to day two of the Seahawks’ three-day minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Like yesterday, today’s workout is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., but before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for June 12, 2013:
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has his notes from day one of minicamp, including injury updates, practice observations and post-practice reaction from head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune analyzes ESPN.com’s 20 Greatest Coaches in NFL History feature, looking at where past and present Seahawks coaches fall in relation to the list.
Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com catches up with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who has impressed coaches and media alike so far this offseason. O’Neil also has notes from day one of minicamp, keying in on versatile defensive end Michael Bennett.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald also has a feature on Bennett, one of the club’s top offseason acquisitions.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando has his thoughts after Wilson’s Tuesday morning appearance on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” – the podcast of which can be found below:
Audio File – Russell Wilson on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike”:
Insider Tony Ventrella talks with Carroll, Wilson and Baldwin following the first day of minicamp in his Seahawks Daily.
Team photographer Rod Mar has a look at day one of camp in photos.
And we’ll be back with plenty more following this afternoon’s practice.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 11, as the Seahawks kicked off a mandatory three-day minicamp that will conclude their offseason program:
FOCUS ON: MICHAEL BROOKS
After the rookie defensive tackle was claimed off waivers on May 29 and practiced with the Seahawks for the first time a few days later, Brooks admitted, “I’m just trying to learn my way around right now and get with this new system.”
The 6-foot-3, 299-pound Brooks apparently is a fast learner. In today’s practice, he tipped a pass incomplete and then penetrated to get a “sack” – on back-to-back plays. It was that talent and versatility that first attracted the Seahawks, who tried to sign Brooks after the NFL Draft in April. He opted for the Lions, but the Seahawks got another chance to acquire Brooks after he was waived.
“We saw some things we liked about him on tape and Michael certainly has come in here and tried to learn the system quickly,” first-year defensive line coach Travis Jones said after practice – which was held under sunny skies but also in a brisk breeze along the shores of Lake Washington.
And, like most of the linemen, Brooks is learning more than one position. He’s playing the three-technique tackle spot as well as the five-technique end position.
“Everybody’s got different positions to learn,” Jones said. “You’ve got to try to find a way to get on this team, and the best way to do that is to learn a couple of different positions.”
And it doesn’t hurt when you’re making multiple plays from those multiple positions.
PLAYER WATCH: CHRIS CLEMONS
The team’s sack leader the past three seasons was on hand for the start of the mandatory minicamp, but Clemons is continuing his rehab from surgery after tearing a ligament and meniscus in his left knee during the wild-card playoff victory over the Redskins in January.
“It’s good to get Clem back in, even though he can’t work,” Carroll said.
Clemons, who was acquired in a 2010 trade with the Eagles, has posted 11, 11 and 11.5 sacks in his first three seasons with the Seahawks.
“The doctors say he’s in great shape,” Carroll said. “He’s ahead (of schedule). He’s worked diligently to get there. Is he going to make it back by the first game? I don’t know. He has a chance. And if it can happen, he’ll make it happen.
“But like I said the whole time, we will not rush that. We’re going to take our time on that and make sure he’s right. The doctors are greatly confident. He is also.”
Even if he’s not practicing, Clemons provides a plus.
“Clem, he’s a great leader on this team. He’s tough as nails and really stands for something in this locker room,” Carroll said. “So to have him around is important.”
POSITION WATCH: TIGHT END
With starter Zach Miller sitting out to rest a sore left foot, it allowed second-year tight end Sean McGrath and rookie Luke Willson to work with the No. 1 offense – snaps that will prove invaluable as they continue to develop in the offense.
“It does give the other guys a chance to step up and get some good focus work,” Carroll said. “It’s really good for Luke and Sean McGrath is getting extra turns. So it’s a good deal.”
While Willson was selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft, McGrath spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad after being signed as a rookie free agent last year.
“Sean is stronger. He’s quicker,” said Carroll, pointing out that McGrath has added almost 10 pounds. “He just looks great. He always could catch the football really well. Now he knows what he’s doing and he’s become just a regular part of it. He’s in the rotation right now.”
ANOTHER TOP 100 PLAYER
A sixth Seahawk will be included among the players ranked 21-30 in the NFL Network’s continuing countdown of the Top 100 Players for 2013. The latest group will be unveiled starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
As usual, we can’t tell you who it is. But All-Pro center Max Unger (No. 95), receiver/returner/running Percy Harvin (No. 90), All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas (No. 66), Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson (No. 51) and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 50) are the Seahawks previously included. That leaves a very-prominent name still out there – All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch.
A WISH COME TRUE, AND THEN SOME
The club hosted Make-A-Wish recipient Kevin Lee today. Needless to say, it was an over-the-top experience for the 12-year old from Farmington Hills, Mich., who has had four open-heart surgeries.
We can’t share more details at this time because the event was videotaped by a crew from ESPN and will be included in the network’s Eighth Annual My Wish series that is scheduled to air the week of Aug. 18.
The players will practice again on Wednesday afternoon and then wrap up the three-day minicamp with a morning practice on Thursday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You saw him. He was killing it today in practice. He’s just a very, very talented football player – very fast; very, very quick. He’s a very smart football player. He has the mind of quarterback. He thinks all the time. He’s thinking about what’s going on. What the coverage looks like and how he’s matched up with certain guys. So that helps.” – quarterback Russell Wilson on third-year slot receiver Doug Baldwin, who was played through injuries most of last season after leading the team in receptions as a rookie free agent in 2011
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
The Seahawks have claimed rookie defensive tackle Michael Brooks off waivers from the Lions.
The 6-foot-3, 294-pound Brooks played at East Carolina and signed with the Lions this month. Brooks had 34 tackles as a senior and was named second team All-Conference USA, despite being limited to 10 games because of an injury.
To clear a roster spot, guard Jordon Roussos was waived.