A recap of the day’s limited activities, and some leftovers from a hectic Monday:
Pat Ruel. At one point during practice on Monday, assistant coach Art Valero had the linemen huddled around him after a play, while Ruel was being, well, coached by head coach Pete Carroll.
That will happen when your line coach – Alex Gibbs – abruptly retires on Saturday and Ruel doesn’t arrive until late Sunday after being quickly hired to replace him.
“The big thing I have to do is learn a bunch of terms,” Ruel said. “I’m kind of like a player right now. Matter of fact, I’m asking some the veterans, ‘What do we call that?’
“But I’ll catch up real fast, and the big thing I want to do is be as much help as I can to help the offensive line come along and help coach Art.”
Ruel, 59, has a history with Carroll. They were graduate assistants together at the University of Arkansas – in 1977. Ruel also coached the line for Carroll the past five seasons at USC. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates also was with the Trojans last season.
“It’s not as drastic as you may think,” Carroll said, trying to defuse the sky-is-falling attitude that accompanied a lot of the questions he was asked after practice.
“First off, Alex is an extraordinary individual. We were lucky to have him as we did. Our players were lucky to have a chance to be coached by him. He’s one of the greats that ever coached in this league. We wish him the best. We love him. We hate to see him go. But this is something he had to do.”
So Carroll did what he had to do, which was turn things over to Valero and quality control coach Luke Butuks and bring in Ruel.
“The other side of it is, Artie Valero takes over, and Luke, and we brought in Pat,” Carroll said. “Those guys are guys that can really coach the game. Our offensive line work already had been split up the whole time. So Art is totally familiar with running the meetings, totally familiar with installation – with all the technique stuff and everything we’re doing.”
Valero was hired as the assistant line coach with the idea that he would take over when Gibbs retired. Carroll thought that would be in a couple of years, not seven months.
“So this is not a drastic step for us at all,” Carroll said. “I feel very comfortable with this transition, and our players will too.”
Which also will give Ruel an extra nano-second or two to get comfortable.
“Pat’s going to come in and us as he can,” Carroll said. “It was really a logical ‘get’ for us, and fortunately he was available to us. So we ran him in here as fast as we could.”
And began coaching up the coach.
Quarterback. Is it risky that the Seahawks are entering the season with only starter Matt Hasselbeck and backup Charlie Whitehurst on the 53-man roster? No, because Zac Robinson is on the eight-man practice squad.
The rookie from Oklahoma State, who had been with the New England Patriots this summer, is the type of developmental passer that usually fills the No. 3 spot on the roster but is never active on game day.
“Zac was a guy we had rated fairly highly in the draft and as soon as he was released his agent was very aggressive in trying to find him a good home,” general manager John Schneider said. “Zac was talking to a number of teams and later on (Sunday) afternoon he decided that this was the place he wanted to be.”
The Seahawks were glad to land him, because his style of play is a good fit for what they ask their quarterbacks to do.
“In college, we really liked his movement skills,” Schneider said. “You know, we hold it and we boot (leg) and we’ve got the guys moving. He’s got really nice feet.”
ON THE FIELD
Not today. The players are off, while the coaches are continuing to work on the game plan for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field.
The players will practice Wednesday starting at 1:30 as the regular-season schedule kicks in.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You can’t always believe what you read or see on TV.” – running back Julius Jones, on widespread – but erroneous – reports over the weekend that he had been released