A recap of the Seahawks’ first practice at Bing Training Camp:
Charlie Whitehurst. With starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck getting the morning off, it gave Whitehurst another opportunity to run the No. 1 offense – a needed, but also unusual, situation for a backup QB in training camp.
Whitehurst, who was obtained in a March trade with the San Diego Chargers, also got the starter reps in practice Saturday afternoon. He is scheduled to do it again on the days when the team practices twice, as coach Pete Carroll wants to give Hasselbeck some rest, but also because Whitehurst can use the work as he becomes more comfortable in the new offense being installed by coordinator Jeremy Bates.
“They’re giving Matt some time off – he deserves it and he’s performing well,” Whitehurst said. “So you go in there and you just try to maximize your opportunity.
“It’s good to be in there and get a little chemistry with some of those receivers, the guys that are going to be playing.”
Like tight end John Carlson, who hooked up with Whitehurst a couple of times; and rookie Golden Tate, who caught a pass that Whitehurst somehow threaded between the arms of two defensive linemen.
“You’re still studying and you’re still trying to get the fine details of the offense down, but you do have kind of an overall better knowledge than you did in the spring,” Whitehurst said. “We’re not introducing the offense anymore, so it’s really about fine-tuning it.”
But they are introducing Whitehurst to stints of working with the No. 1 offense, something that did not happen in his four training camps with the Chargers.
“It’s a good opportunity to just get a feel and rapport,” Whitehurst said. “It’s a good learning experience for me.”
Defensive line. In keeping with Carroll’s assessment from Sunday about not being concerned at this point that the depth chart isn’t settled, we present the mixing-and-matching that was the D-line in this morning’s practice.
Red Bryant worked at left end with the No. 1 base defense, but also at tackle with the No. 2 nickel line. The No. 1 nickel line included Brandon Mebane at tackle, next to either Lawrence Jackson or Craig Terrill. At end in that group, Chris Clemons was used in a three-point stance, but also as a standup rusher. Like Bryant, rookie E.J. Wilson got some work at tackle as well as end.
It’s all about developing versatility and finding which players can help in which roles.
“In any defense, you want to train guys to play various roles,” D-line coach Dan Quinn said. “When you do that, sometimes they have more value to the team. So we are training a lot of guys at different spots. To me, that only helps our overall defense.”
Chris Richards. The free-agent cornerback from Stony Brook – yes, Stony Brook – and Monroe High School in California’s San Fernando Valley, intercepted a J.P. Losman pass that was intended for wide receiver Deon Butler and returned it for a touchdown.
Obviously, plays like that can only help Richards, who is one of 10 cornerbacks on the roster and working behind veterans Marcus Trufant, Josh Wilson, Kelly Jennings and Roy Lewis. The group also includes fourth-round draft choice Walter Thurmond and Kennard Cox, who is having a solid camp.
Linebacker Aaron Curry continued to sit out because of a lingering headache from a collision in the Saturday afternoon practice. But rookie tight end Jameson Konz was back on a limited basis after being sidelined Sunday.
In addition to Hasselbeck, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, tackle Ray Willis and safety Lawyer Milloy were given the morning off. With Willis and Milloy out, Mansfield Wrotto worked at left tackle with the No. 1 offense and Jordan Babineaux was at strong safety with the No. 1 defense.
Just-signed offensive lineman Chester Pitts remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but he did some work on a side field with assistant trainer Donald Rich. Pitts had microfracture surgery on his right knee 10 months ago.
The Seahawks will be back on the practice field this afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. They also practice once Tuesday, starting at 1:30 p.m. Both sessions are open to the public, as are 10 other practices at VMAC. You can register to attend practice here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“That’s how I’m approaching practice: I’ve got a chip on my shoulder.” – Bryant, a fourth-round draft choice in 2008 who was inactive for 12 games as a rookie and 10 games last season