A recap of the Seahawks’ Tuesday practice:
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Steve Vallos. With Chris Spencer out indefinitely with a tear in his left thigh muscle, Vallos was back where he finished last season – as the starting center.
Last season, however, Vallos was thrust into the role – in a nationally televised game against the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. This summer, the former seventh-round draft choice is much more comfortable stepping in.
“I’m a lot more ready,” Vallos said after a two-hour practice in full pads. “The five games at the end of last year really helped. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited.”
That first start for Vallos in his second stint will come Saturday night in the preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Cornerback Josh Wilson came free on a blitz, flushing quarterback Mike Teel from the pocket and forcing him to throw the ball away while on the run.
The offensive line, of course. Vallos will be at center at least until Spencer is able to return. But the rest of the No. 1 unit included Sean Locklear at left tackle, Rob Sims at left guard, rookie Max Unger at right guard and Ray Willis at right tackle.
Unger and Mansfield Wrotto are vying for the starting job. Unger will start against the Chiefs, because Wrotto started the home opener against the Denver Broncos last Saturday and Unger got the start in the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego.
Making up the No. 2 line were – from left tackle to right – Kyle Williams, Vallos, Unger, Wrotto and Na’Shan Goodard.
The club claimed guard Brian De La Puente off waivers from the Chiefs. To clear a roster spot, offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer was released.
Kicker Olindo Mare came within less than a yard of besting Bruce Fleischer of the Champions Tour in the annual closest-to-the-pin competition.
Fleischer, who is in town for the Boeing Classic this weekend, dropped the best of his three shots eight feet from the pin that was 80 yards away. Mare’s best shot was 10 feet from the pin. Free safety Brian Russell was at 25½ feet and safety Jordan Babineaux, the defending champion, was at 29½.
“His looked a lot better than mine,” Mare said of his close-but-no-cigar showing. “You don’t hear the ball come off his club, and you hear it come off ours. That’s a big deal. But I was glad I beat the other two guys. That was basically my goal – not to come in last.”
Speaking of big deals, Fleischer enjoyed his first visit to an NFL practice.
“Watching this today, I was upfront and personal, and it was terrific,” he said. “To come here for the Boeing Classic and to come to this facility, what a great experience.”
STAT DU JOUR
Over the past five years, 45 of the 60 teams to make the playoffs had a .500 or better record in the preseason. That’s 75 percent, or an average of nine teams (out of 12) each season. But then figuring that out is eighth-grade Sewickley.
Linebacker Aaron Curry and defensive end Lawrence Jackson returned to practice, while wide receiver Nate Burleson and Ruegamer were back on a limited basis.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill (back) started practice, but did not finish.
Linebacker David Hawthorne and cornerback Travis Fisher sat out with unspecified injuries, joining the trio of left tackle Walter Jones (knee), cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) and Spencer.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Babs has some nice shoes and clothes when we go play. He looks the role. New clubs. Head covers. He’s set. He doesn’t need anything, as far as equipment and looks-wise. Maybe for Christmas he’ll get a new swing and he’ll be fine.” – Mare, when asked about Babineaux not defending his title in the closest to the pin competition