What’s the rush?

There was a time last season when the Seahawks had the No. 2-ranked run defense in the NFL.

It was entering their Week 8 game against the Raiders in Oakland, when the Seahawks were allowing an average of 95.5 rushing yards.

In that game, however, defensive end Red Bryant went down for the season with a knee injury and defensive tackle Colin Cole was lost for five games with an ankle injury. Without Bryant and Cole, the Raiders ran for 239 yards on Halloween and the Seahawks finished the season ranked 21st against the run.

Cole was back at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Tuesday morning, when players were allowed to return after the 136-day lockout was lifted.

Cole’s 328-pound body is vital to the defense, especially with defensive tackle Brandon Mebane scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and Bryant also on the mend.

“I’ll be back as soon as they’ll clear me,” Cole said. “I’m on the road to recovery.”

“Back” was the key work on Tuesday, when other players also returned to VMAC.

“I’m happy to get back to football, just as everybody else is,” Cole said. “It’s time to get back to work.”

Cole also is eager to get the run defense back to where it was before injuries played into the Seahawks allowing an average of 143.8 rushing yards in their final 10 games – and 165.0 in the six games that Cole was out.

“It’s a matter of everybody coming together, the nucleus being there, guys just buying in and getting it done,” he said. “The bottom line is getting it done. It doesn’t matter how you get it done, it’s just getting it done.”

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