Deon Grant. Or should that be “coach” of the day? When he wasn’t making plays during the 2½-hour practice in full pads, the team’s veteran strong safety was pointing out things to help his teammates make plays.
At one point, Grant got into an animated discussion with linebackers Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and D.D. Lewis.
“That’s me all the time,” Grant said. “Any time I can offer my input, and it’s helpful, I make sure I do that.”
But he never talks the talk without walking the walk.
This afternoon, Grant displayed every aspect of his game by tipping away a pass intended for tight end John Owens, making a nice read in getting to running back T.J. Duckett in the backfield, chasing down and “tagging” wide receiver Nate Burleson after a 40-yard catch-and-run and intercepting a pass in the end zone.
“I can’t just go out there and talk and not lead by example,” Grant said. “That would be a contradiction. So I make sure I lead first and then if I can help another guy, I’ll do that.”
PLAY OF THE DAY
In a practiced spiced with numerous candidates, the nod goes to running back Justin Forsett throwing a long pass to wide-open wide receiver Ben Obomanu.
Speaking of “trick” plays, the offense continues to work on them.
In addition to Forsett’s halfback pass, T.J. Houshmandzadeh teamed up with fellow wide receiver Nate Burleson on a hook-and-ladder after taking a pass over the middle from Matt Hasselbeck.
“It’s fun,” Houshmandzadeh said. “It’s probably more fun for Nate, because he gets to tail end of it to go score.
“But we’re just working on all types of situations. That’s one thing about coach (Jim) Mora and coach (Greg) Knapp, you work on all types of situations. We probably won’t use it during the season, but if need be we’ve practiced it. We know what to do. You don’t have to get on the sideline and draw it up. They can call the play and we know what to do.”
A four-man NFL officiating crew is in camp for two days to work the practices and meet with the players about rules changes for this season.
The crew – field judge Craig Wrolstad, back judge Kirk Dorman, head linesman Tom Stable and umpire Steve Wilson – also will work Friday night’s practice at Husky Stadium.
Tackle Walter Jones (back), cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) and wide receiver Deion Branch (knee) remained sidelined, and were joined by linebacker Lance Laury (knee) and defensive end Michael Bennett (shoulder).
Wide receiver Billy McMullen returned to practice after sitting out to rest a sore knee.
In addition to the evening practice (6:30-8:30) at Husky Stadium, the players also will practice Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Both sessions are open to the public, but the VMAC practice is sold out.
YOU DON’T SAY
“They’re not that heavy. My pads are real small. They’re like peewee pads. I had to carry pads as a rookie. We don’t haze him too much, because I didn’t get hazed.” – Houshmandzadeh, when asked about the rookie ritual of having third-round draft choice Deon Butler carry his helmet and pads off the field after practice