A recap of the only practice at Seahawks training camp on Friday:
James Carpenter. The team’s first-round draft choice signed his contract this morning in time to participate in the 100-minute practice.
After loosening up and being stretched out, the offensive tackle from Alabama jogged over to join the other linemen in their individual drills. When the No. 1 offense lined up for the first full-team drills, Carpenter was at right tackle – where he is expected to start.
There were a few moments where Carpenter looked like a late arrival to camp, but even more where he displayed the talents that prompted the Seahawks to select him with the 25th pick in the first round of the April NFL Draft: “A really tough, nasty, aggressive, solid guy,” as general manager John Schneider put it on draft day.
Line coach Tom Cable offered this assessment of Carpenter after he was drafted: “James was a guy I though from day one gave us the most in terms of his ability to play all four spots. He was a left tackle at Alabama, obviously, but he’s a guy we’ll start the process with a right tackle knowing he has the ability to move around if we need to. But I like a lot of things about this guy: A big, massive guy – 321 pounds – a lot of length and a lot of power. I think we upgraded ourselves in terms of toughness and getting some mass on the offensive line, which I think we needed to do.”
With Carpenter in camp, third-round pick John Moffitt is the only one of the team’s nine draft choices who remains unsigned. Moffitt is expected to start next to Carpenter at right guard.
Ricardo Lockette. The rookie free-agent wide receiver from Fort Valley State has been in town – and on the roster – only a few days, but he’s already got a nickname, complements of fellow wide-out Isaiah Stanback.
“It was Isaiah who called him ‘Lockette the Rocket,’ ” rookie wide receiver Kris Durham said after practice. “He’s amazing. That guy’s got a lot of speed.”
And that comes from a guy has run the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds.
That’s fast, but not as fast as Lockette. Check this resume: 10.0 seconds in the 100-meter dash; 20.23 in the 200-meter dash; 4.27 in the 40 at his Pro Day workout and 4.35 at the scouting combine in February. He was the NCAA Division II national champion in the 200 meters in 2008.
So the obvious question: Is Lockett a really fast guy who’s trying to play football? Or a football player who is really fast?
“I’ve been playing football since I was 6, and I only ran track three years out of my life,” he said. “I’ve just been blessed.”
Lockette is hoping to parlay that speed, and his versatility, into a roster spot at the position where the Seahawks are “stacked,” as he put it. He’s also getting a look as a punt and kickoff returner.
There’s Mike Williams, the split end who led the team in receptions last season. There’s Sidney Rice, the former Pro Bowl receiver for the Minnesota Vikings who reportedly will sign with the Seahawks this afternoon. There’s Ben Obomanu, a valuable special teams player in addition to a receiver who started six of the final eight games last season. There’s Golden Tate, last year’s second-round draft choice. There’s Deon Butler, who is recovering from the severely broken leg that ended his 2010 season. There’s Stanback, who missed last season after tearing an Achilles in training camp. There’s Durham, a fourth-round draft pick this year.
So coach Pete Carroll doesn’t have to preach his “always compete” mantra to Lockette.
“It’s all about who can do more,” Lockette said. “So I just try to broaden my horizons and be diverse – be a special teams guru, and be a help to the offense when I can.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Lockette’s one-handed grab against rookie cornerback Jesse Hoffman in the end zone.
Defense: Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant intercepting a Charlie Whitehurst pass on the first play of the first team period.
Second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond is sporting a new hairstyle that’s actually an old hairstyle: A fade, a la Christopher Reid of Kid ’n Play – but not as high.
“I wore the flattop a couple of years ago back at Oregon my junior year,” said Thurmond, who is working at right corner with the No. 1 defense. “So I’m just stuck in the 80s, I guess.”
The big signing, of course, was Carpenter. But there were other move, as well.
The club also reportedly re-signed two of its own free agents – fullback Michael Robinson and defensive lineman Junior Savaii – and former Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Alan Branch agreed to sign, according to reports.
The contracts of offensive linemen Stacy Andrews and Chris White were terminated, and three other players were waived: linebacker Joe Pawelek, defensive back James Brindley and defensive lineman Barrett Moen.
ON THE MEND
Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu did not practice after participating in both walk-thrus on Thursday. He had arthroscopic surgery on both knees during the offseason.
Still sidelined while recovering from injuries: defensive tackle Colin Cole (ankle), cornerback Roy Lewis (knee), tight end Cameron Morrah (toe) and Butler.
The Seahawks will practice twice on Saturday – at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – and also once on Sunday afternoon – at 1:30. Each practice is open to the public and you can register to attend here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Yeah, I was. But it’s still an honor to be here. You can’t really cry over spilt milk. I’m here now and the past doesn’t really matter. I’ve got to handle what I’ve got to do now.” – Lockette, when asked if he was surprised he didn’t get drafted