A recap of today’s first practice at Bing Training Camp:
Pads. A first impression from the first practice of the Seahawks’ first training camp under Pete Carroll? The players came out wearing shoulder pads, and it made for a rock-’em-shock-’em tempo that matched the intensity of the team’s new coach.
“After awhile you get kind of tired of just running around in helmets,” said wide receiver Mike Williams, one of eight players on the 80-man roster who played for Carroll at the University of Southern California. “This is football and football is played with pads. So it was good.”
Or mostly good. “Unless you come across Leroy Hill,” Williams added with a smile, referring to the Seahawks’ linebacker. “He’s going to thud you a little more than anybody else.”
In addition to Hill, rookie tackle Jacob Phillips, linebacker David Hawthorne, cornerback Kennard Cox and running back Quinton Ganther also delivered memorable hits – to the delight of not only Carroll and his assistant coaches, but the 1,578 fans who attended the practice.
“It’s different,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said of practicing in shoulder pads from the get-go. “We practiced pretty hard this offseason – the OTAs and minicamps. Those were pretty intense, with no pads. This is the first chance to get some kind of pads.
“Upfront, it’s pretty much live anyway. The difference is really for the runners, the tight ends, the receivers.”
Marcus Trufant. When training camp opened last summer, the team’s Pro Bowl cornerback was on the inside looking out. Literally. Trufant began camp last year on the physically-unable-to-perform list after injuring his back a few days earlier. He stayed there until the seventh game of the season.
Today, Trufant was back where he belongs, and the defense needs him: On the left side. He slapped an exclamation point on his improved situation – and condition – by breaking up a couple of passes.
“It’s different for everybody, but I’m one of those guys where I feel like I need to be on the field, I need to be doing something, I need to be around the guys, I need to be coached-up,” Trufant said after practice – and after doing a radio interview, and after signing autographs for fans, and after doing a TV interview.
“This year, I want to be up to speed. Being out here at camp, doing everything, I think it’s going to be good for me.”
Golden Tate. The coaches didn’t waste any time getting the team’s just-signed second-round draft choice into the mix. Tate was working with veterans T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch in the No. 1 three-receiver sets and also was paired with Ruvell Martin in the No. 2 base offense.
Tate’s best catch came went he went up and over a defender to snag a Hasselbeck pass.
“Golden is doing well. He made a nice catch today,” Houshmandzadeh said. “It will be a little adjustment for him somewhat. We’ve talked about that – just kind of getting his pads down a little bit at the line of scrimmage so you’ve got more of a surface to hit when you have shoulder pads on.
“For the most part, he doesn’t lack confidence. And that goes along way when you’re very confidence. And he’s very confident.”
Veteran wide receiver and former Pro Bowl special teams player Sean Morey has retired.
Morey, 34, signed with the Seahawks in March and had played for Carroll when both were with the New England Patriots. He has a history of concussion problems and last year was one of three NFL players who decided to donate his brain to the Boston University School of Medicine’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy – where researchers are studying the effects of trauma on the brain and spinal cord.
Last season, when he was playing with the Arizona Cardinals, Morey revealed that he had played in a game with a concussion. At that time, he declined to divulge how many concussions he has had, saying only it was “more than I’d like to admit.”
The only players missing were first-round draft choices Russell Okung and Earl Thomas, who remain unsigned.
In Okung’s absence, Ray Willis worked at left tackle with the No. 1 offense, while Jordan Babineaux stepped in at free safety with the No. 1 defense for Thomas.
Three players did not practice: fullback Owen Schmitt, just-signed offensive lineman Chester Pitts, who is coming off microfracture surgery; and cornerback Josh Pinkard, who continues to rehab from a knee surgery.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I thought it was a good start. Our goal was to have a great first practice. But the day’s not over. I think the challenge in two-a-days is coming out and having a great second practice. That’s tougher to do.” – Hasselbeck