A recap of the day’s activities at Seahawks minicamp:
LenDale White. The third, and final, day of the NFL draft last week dawned very early for the Tennessee Titans’ running back.
It started with a crack-of-dawn phone call from Pete Carroll, his old coach at USC and suddenly his new coach with the Seahawks. A sleepy White was informed that Carroll had just traded for him.
“I talked to coach Carroll at maybe 8 o’clock,” White said after practicing with the team for the first time.
He couldn’t have asked for a better wake-up call. Or a better destination to jumpstart his career.
“I’m excited. This is a chance I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” White said. “It was great to get drafted by the Tennessee Titans and get a start there. But this is a place where I feel like this is going to be my home and I can make a great future here.”
White isn’t just here. He’s here to play, and start. The first indication that he is serious came when he checked in at 225 pounds.
“I’ve come here to start,” said White, who lost that job to NFL rushing champion Chris Johnson in Tennessee. “I didn’t come here to sit the bench anymore. I’m going to do everything in my power to come here, win football games and start.
“So I hope the other guys are ready. I’m pretty sure they’re ready. That’s just what it needs to be, because competition isn’t going to do anything but bring out the best in all of us.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Rookie wide receiver Golden Tate, the team’s second-round draft choice, made several nice catches. But the best was his reaching grab of a pass from Matt Hasselbeck between cornerback Marcus Trufant and strong safety Jordan Babineaux.
Defense: Speaking of Trufant, he intercepted two passes. The best one was the first one, when he got a good jump on the ball to pick off Hasselbeck pass to wide receiver Deon Butler.
ON THE MEND
Wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch are not practicing because they’re recovering from having surgery last week, Carroll said.
Houshmandzadeh had a sports hernia repaired, and Carroll said he should be sidelined for a couple of weeks. Branch needed a cleanout procedure on his left knee, the same one that already had been operated on twice.
“There’s always concern when you’ve gone in three times,” Carroll said of Branch’s knee. “What they did was very minor, but it was necessary.”
Tate. With Houshmandzadeh and Branch sidelined, it gave more reps to the other receivers – and, as already mentioned, Tate made the most of his opportunities.
“I’m just coming out and trying to show I can compete,” Tate said. “They drafted me for a reason. It wasn’t to come in and not play. So I’m doing my best to earn my way and earn respect on this team.”
Today, the rookie receiver from Notre Dame took several large steps in that direction.
“We really liked seeing Golden Tate catch some balls,” Carroll said. “He got downfield and made some nice plays.”
Veteran safety Lawyer Milloy was re-signed, providing Carroll with a veteran presence at the position, as well as a tutor for first-round draft choice Earl Thomas. Milloy also spent last season, his 14th in the NFL, with the Seahawks.
“Lawyer is a fantastic pro,” said Carroll, who also coached Milloy when both were with the New England Patriots. “He’s one of the toughest guys I ever coached, anywhere. He brings that, plus he’s got a sense of the game that can help our guys.”
On several occasions during practice, Milloy had an arm-around-the-shoulder discussion with Thomas – who will start at free safety, with Jordan Babineaux moving to strong safety.
“Lawyer kind of took me under his wing,” Thomas said. “I sit by him in meetings, and if I have any questions he’s the first person I ask. He gives me real solid advice.”
For example? “He just told me, ‘You’re not going to learn anything in the first day. Just take everything, take the coaching, and you’ll be fine.’ ”
But Thomas obviously learned something very valuable in the first day: When in doubt, ask Milloy.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I see Julius Jones over there running the ball; I wanted to ask for his autograph.” – Thomas, on the team’s veteran running back