A recap of the day’s activities at the Seahawks’ OTA practice:
Focus and attention. Those were the traits that stood out for coach Pete Carroll as the Seahawks wrapped up the OTA portion of their offseason with another crisp practice on another brisk day.
“We’ve had a really successful session of the OTAs,” Carroll said after the 11th and final OTA practice. “I’m really pleased with the way the guys have brought their focus and attention, and the work ethic out here.
“We’re working with the kind of manner that gives us a chance to get good.”
The players will conclude their offseason next week with a three-day minicamp, where the emphasis will be on reviewing everything that has been installed to this point.
“We’ve learned a lot about of the players, they’ve learned about our system. So I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Carroll said. “We’re only comparing it to us, so we’ll have to wait and see until we start playing people. But at this point, we’ve done about everything we can do.”
Walter Thurmond. It was only limited work in individual drills – and in a June OTA practice, at that. But it also was the next step in his rehab for the team’s fourth-round draft choice.
“It feels good to be back out here and being part of the team,” said Thurmond, a cornerback from Oregon. “I’ll still continue to rehab and get my leg stronger. This was just the next step. Hopefully I’ll get to do a little more next week.”
Thurmond tore three ligaments in his right knee last September, ending his college career.
“It’s been pretty tough this past couple weeks,” he said of being a sideline spectator during practice. “Just being the competitor I am, it’s been tough watching the other guys compete. I just love playing football and I really want to get back out there.
“Today was really motivating and I’m looking forward to next week.”
It was actually a double-return day, as rookie cornerback Josh Pinkard also got in some limited work for the first time since being signed after the draft. He injured his knee in USC’s regular-season finale last year.
A GROOM, AND A BEST MAN
Justin Forsett was excused from practice because he’s getting married this weekend. So Quinton Ganther took advantage of his increased reps to be, well, the best man among the remaining running backs on this day.
Ganther, who was signed in free agency after playing last season with the Washington Redskins, got extra carries and passes thrown his way while working as the No. 2 back behind Julius Jones. Ganther’s best effort might have come on a run where it appeared the hole was closing just as he got there. But he displayed some nice footwork to dance through the pile of bodies in front of him and turned in a solid gain.
“That’s what I do,” Ganther said. “Opportunities rarely present themselves, so you have to make sure you’re ready for them. Because if you’re not ready for them and the opportunity comes, you may never get another one.”
That has been Ganther’s M.O. all spring, as he seems to have gotten better with each practice – and opportunity.
“It’s all about repetitions,” he said. “The more reps you get the more comfortable you become, and the more comfortable you become the more you can just go out and play.”
Gather also is growing on the coaches, who like his versatility. In addition to his running, receiving and blocking still, he could even play fullback if needed.
“I was always taught, the more you can do in this league the longer you’ll be around,” he said. “That’s why I’m going into year five now.”
WHO’S THE NEW GUY?
There was a new player at practice, but it wasn’t Cord Parks. The cornerback the Seahawks claimed off waivers Wednesday arrived too late to participate in practice.
No, the new guy was wearing jersey No. 69 – with Riggle across the back. Comedian Rob Riggle was invited by Carroll to speak to the team at its morning meeting, and he hung around to take part in some of the drills at practice.
We’ll have more on Riggle’s big adventure later today.
QUESTION DU JOUR
Q: Are the Hawks going to be switching to a base 3-4 defense? Seattle really does have talented linebackers and I feel that they should include Hawthorne and Hill together on the field along with Tatupu and Curry? – Michael, Olympia
A: There won’t be a fulltime switch to the 3-4, Michael, but the coaches are incorporating some 3-4 aspects into the new scheme.
What you’ll see is personnel packages, and substitutions, to match the down-and-distance situations. While the move of Red Bryant from tackle to end gives the base defense more bulk on the left side, the coaches will go with smaller pass-rushers on the edges in obvious passing situations. There also will be occasions when only three linemen will be on the field, with that fourth spot filled by a stand-up rusher.
As for the linebackers, Aaron Curry (strong side), David Hawthorne (middle) and Will Herring (weak side) continued to work with the No. 1 defense today. Hawthorne was in the middle again because Lofa Tatupu is being given some time off by the coaches. When Tatupu has been in the middle, Hawthorne slides to the weak side. Hill, who just rejoined the team Monday, continued to work with the No. 2 unit along with Matt McCoy (middle) and Anthony Heygood (strong side).
YOU DON’T SAY
“Just a tremendous amount of effort, with very little results.” – Riggle, summarizing his day on the practice field