A recap of the Seahawks’ practice at Bing Training Camp:
Matt Hasselbeck. Coach Pete Carroll ended the first full-pads practice of camp with a “move the ball” period, and Hasselbeck did just that.
The Seahawks’ starting quarterback was 5 of 6 while directing the No. 1 offense to the only touchdown that was scored during the drill – and it was his 28-yard pass to second-year wide receiver Deon Butler that got the ball into the end zone.
“The No. 1’s had excellent tempo,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said. “That was impressive. They were in and out (of the huddle). It was good to see Deion (Branch) and T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) out there. The offensive line did a good job. We’ve got something to build on.”
With Hasselbeck wielding the largest hammer. His only incompletion came when he threw the ball away while being pressured by defensive end Chris Clemmons. Before and after that throw, Hasselbeck was on target – hitting Branch for 9 yards and Houshmandzadeh for 16; then going to Houshmandzadeh for 5 yards; and finally finishing it off with completions of 13 and 28 yards to Butler.
“Matt did a really nice job with tempo and utilized a lot of guys,” Carroll said. “It was good first work with them getting out there on the field by themselves without the coaches screaming at them all the time.
“It worked out very well for the first time out.”
All eyes were on free safety Earl Thomas, of course, after the just-signed first-round draft choice practiced for the first time in camp. But the nod goes to linebacker Joe Pawelek.
If the name isn’t familiar, it’s understandable. At a position where the team is loaded, the free agent from Baylor is battling what they call long odds.
But this afternoon, with Aaron Curry sitting out because of a headache and Matt McCoy limited after having a fingernail torn off in the morning practice Saturday, Pawelek not only got more opportunities, he made the most of them.
“Having a couple guys go down made me get in there and get reps – which, more than anything, is the best way to learn,” the 6-foot-2, 237-pound middle linebacker said. “You can do so much film study and so much looking at the playbook, but until things are flying at you it just isn’t the same.”
In a down-and-distance drill, Pawelek used nice reads and even better reactions to get to running backs Justin Forsett and Quinton Ganther before they could really get going. In the final drill, Pawelek tipped away a J.P. Losman pass that was intended for wide receiver Isaiah Stanback.
“He had a better day today,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “It’s just a learning process for him. We’ve installed a lot and he’s trying to figure out how to do some things. But he did a nice job, and it was good to see.”
Pawelek definitely agrees with that assessment.
“From pre-snap to the snap of the ball, I’ve got the basics down,” he said. “But then all the intricacies of the defense I’m still learning on the fly.”
This afternoon, he was flying in the right direction.
Offensive line. With first-round draft choice Russell Okung unsigned, Ray Willis continues to work at left tackle with a No. 1 unit that also includes left guard Ben Hamilton, center Chris Spencer, right guard Max Unger and right tackle Sean Locklear.
The No. 2 unit is comprised of – from left tackle to right – Mansfield Wrotto, Mitch Erickson, Steve Vallos, Mike Gibson and Joe Toledo. In the third unit are Jacob Phillips, Erickson, Jeff Byers, Adrian Martinez and Toledo.
Those combinations will change, however, when Okung reports and just-signed Chester Pitts is ready to practice. And also because …
TOO-DEEP DEPTH CHART
Trying to formulate a depth chart while watching practice? Good luck. The coaches continue to mix and match players, and it’s by design.
“If you’re about competition, then you’ve got to give guys a chance,” Carroll said. “You’ve to ‘show’ them, so they can show what they can do. It’s our job to find the reps so that guys can get a look out there so we know where they fit in.
“Right now, we’re not even concerned about the depth chart being settled at all. So there’s a lot of fluctuation, a lot of guys getting put in with the first group so we can get a look at them and get a sense how they fit in with us.”
Curry watching for the sideline because of a headache was not surprising after the way last year’s first-round draft choice was flying around the field hitting anything and everything during the Saturday afternoon practice.
Also sitting out were rookie tight end Jameson Konz and two players who remain on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list: Pitts and rookie cornerback Josh Pinkard.
Fullback Owen Schmitt, who had been on PUP, practiced for the first time after being sidelined by an infection.
McCoy, meanwhile, earned some toughness points from Carroll for returning to practice so quickly after having a fingernail torn off.
“If you can imagine Matt practicing and running around out there today with what happened to him yesterday, amazing toughness,” Carroll said. “I don’t think many of us would be out there doing it. But Matt just said, ‘No way. I’m going to get out there and practice with everybody.’ ”
Long snapper Clint Gresham practiced with the team for the first time after being claimed off waivers on Friday.
Rookie safety James Brindley was waived to clear a roster spot for Thomas.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is just a dream come true and I’m happy for my family and just the whole Orange, Texas, back home.” – Thomas, after signing his contract Sunday morning and then practicing for the first time in camp