A recap of the Saturday morning practice at Seahawks training camp:
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Ken Lucas. An offseason priority for the Seahawks was to get bigger at the cornerback spot opposite Marcus Trufant.
Enter the 6-foot, 205-pound Lucas. Or, to be precise, re-enter Lucas. The Seahawks’ second-round draft choice in 2001, Lucas was re-signed in April after playing the past four seasons for the Carolina Panthers.
Lucas waded back into it during the spring minicamps and OTA sessions. But Saturday morning, his efforts took a noticeable turn toward the “splash” mode. Lucas made a number of nice plays, including blanket coverage on Deion Branch to break up one deep pass along the sideline and a nice close on the ball to tip away another that was intended for T.J. Houshmandzadeh over the middle.
“Ken made a lot of plays today,” coach Jim Mora said after the nearly two-hour practice. “He’s got an intensity level about him when he practices that you really admire. He looks like he’s determined to have a great year, and I believe he will.”
PLAY OF THE DAY
Red Bryant, come on down. The second-year defensive tackle rejected a Seneca Wallace pass at the line of scrimmage with so much force that you had to do a double take to make sure the ball was still inflated.
Defensive end. Patrick Kerney spent his first two seasons with the Seahawks playing predominately on the left side. That has changed with the arrival of Cory Redding in a trade with the Detroit Lions.
Mora said if the defense had to lineup and play a game right now, Redding would be on he left side (backed up by Lawrence Jackson in the rotation), with Kerney on the right side (backed up by Darryl Tapp).
“You typically put a powerful guy at that position,” Mora said of using Redding on the left side on first and second downs (he’ll also slide inside to tackle in the nickel).
That’s because most teams are right-handed, so that left end faces double-team blocks from the tight end and a tackle. Moving Kerney to the right side will remove from that double duty, which is not a bad idea for a player who has had three shoulder surgeries in the past three seasons.
The monitoring of players coming of surgeries or injuries moved into high gear, as Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones (knee) and linebacker D.D. Lewis (knee) did not practice and center Chris Spencer (back), tackle Ray Willis (unspecified) and Kerney (shoulder) were limited.
“We’re going to be cautious and bring them along with the idea that we want them in shape, fresh and healthy for the first game,” Mora said.
With Spencer limited, it gave Steve Vallos and second-round draft choice Max Unger extra time to work at center.
Trufant (back) remains on PUP and defensive end Baraka Atkins has been excused to attend the funeral of a close friend in Florida.
The first day of two-a-day practices also brings the first workout in full pads later today (6:45-8:45 p.m.)
“I cautioned them out there (after the morning practice) that this doesn’t mean it becomes a slugfest – full speed and to the ground,” Mora said. “We still tempo the practice. It’s still important that they take care of each other while they compete hard.
“And that’s sometimes a little bit of a dance. You ask them to come out here and make the team, and get better, and compete every down. But at the same time you ask them to take care of their teammates. That’s a fine line that they’ve got to walk, but we’ve got to learn to walk it.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Walt is real cool, calm and collected. He’s going to walk quietly and carry a big stick – and beat you over the head with it.” – Redding on Jones, a former foe turned teammate