A recap of the Monday evening practice at Seahawks training camp:
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Lofa Tatupu. The team’s middle linebacker flaunted his multidimensional game during the full-pads, 105-minute practice – just the latest defensive player to take coordinator Gus Bradley’s pep talk on Sunday night to heart.
Tatupu’s most impressive efforts came in a blitz drill, where the linebackers were matched against running backs. Tatupu beat fullback Dan Curran and running backs T.J. Duckett and Justin Forsett.
“We have the advantage in that drill,” Tatupu said. “The back kind of has to go off what we’re doing.”
Still, “getting” the 254-pound Duckett was an accomplishment.
“I finally got one against him,” Tatupu said. “That’s the first time I’ve beat him in probably two or three camps. He’s a veteran. He’s got good leverage and great patience. But I was able to get him.”
Tatupu figures if he can have success against the backs, it will only help when he’s called upon to blitz and matched up against a lineman.
“I’m trying to work my moves on the quicker guys,” he said. “So if it works against them, it’s going to be that much harder for a lineman to block me.”
But Tatupu wasn’t done after one drill. He also rejected a Matt Hasselbeck pass and broke up a pass to wide receiver Courtney Taylor 15 yards down the field.
Before his evening was over, Tatupu remained on the field for another 30 minutes to sign autographs and pose for picture with fans.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Rookie running back Devin Moore was heading to the left side, with nowhere to run and linebacker Leroy Hill on a collision course. Until, that it, fullback David Kirtman put a block on Hill that sprung Moore up the sideline. Kirtman’s effort was so nice that running backs coach Kasey Dunn ran 15 yards down the field to give him way-to-go slap.
Last year, a rash of injuries left the Seahawks to not only sign wide receivers off the street (Koren Robinson, Billy McMullen and Samie Parker) and trade for them (Keary Colbert), but also play and even start them.
This year, they have enough depth that a couple of the promising young receivers won’t make the 53-man roster.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson and Deion Branch are locks. So is rookie Deon Butler, although the coaches won’t come right out and say it at this early point in camp.
That leaves two spots for the other seven receivers: Ben Obomanu, Taylor, Logan Payne, Jordan Kent, Michael Bumpus, Mike Hass and McMullen. Payne, Bumpus and Hass are eligible for the practice squad, but Obomanu, Kent, Taylor and McMullen are not.
“It’s going to be tough, but that’s great,” coach Jim Mora said. “That’s what you want. I think that competition for that fourth and fifth and sixth receiver position is just going to be one of the fun things to watch in this camp.
“They realize that there’s only so many spots on the roster. They look around and they see the guys that are in their group that have the capabilities of playing at this level, so it elevates the play of everybody.”
Fullback Owen Schmitt (calf) and McMullen (knee) did not practice. But tackle Ray Willis returned after sitting out the morning session.
Still sidelined are left tackle Walter Jones (back), cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (knee).
The team will practice once Tuesday, from 3:30-5:30 p.m., but the open-to-the-public session is sold out. The Friday evening practice also is open to fans and will be held at Husky Stadium from 6:30-8:30.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He can play. He’s small in size, but he plays big. That’s good. It will be interesting and I am looking forward to watching him in the preseason because he’s looked pretty good thus far. I hope he does well because I like the little dude, I like him a lot.” – Houshmandzadeh on Butler, who continues to have an impressive camp