Focus and attention. Those were the traits that stood out for coach Pete Carroll as the Seattle Seahawks wrapped up the OTA portion of their offseason with another crisp practice on another brisk day.
“We’ve had a really successful session of the OTAs,” Carroll said after the 11th and final OTA practice. “I’m really pleased with the way the guys have brought their focus and attention, and the work ethic out here.
“We’re working with the kind of manner that gives us a chance to get good.”
The players will conclude their offseason next week with a three-day minicamp, where the emphasis will be on reviewing everything that has been installed to this point.
“We’ve learned a lot about of the players, they’ve learned about our system. So I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Carroll said. “We’re only comparing it to us, so we’ll have to wait and see until we start playing people. But at this point, we’ve done about everything we can do.”
Walter Thurmond. It was only limited work in individual drills – and in a June OTA practice, at that. But it also was the next step in his rehab for the team’s fourth-round draft choice.
“It feels good to be back out here and being part of the team,” said Thurmond, a cornerback from Oregon. “I’ll still continue to rehab and get my leg stronger. This was just the next step. Hopefully I’ll get to do a little more next week.”
Thurmond tore three ligaments in his right knee last September, ending his college career.
“It’s been pretty tough this past couple weeks,” he said of being a sideline spectator during practice. “Just being the competitor I am, it’s been tough watching the other guys compete. I just love playing football and I really want to get back out there.
“Today was really motivating and I’m looking forward to next week.”
It was actually a double-return day, as rookie cornerback Josh Pinkard also got in some limited work for the first time since being signed after the draft. He injured his knee in USC’s regular-season finale last year.
A GROOM, AND A BEST MAN
Justin Forsett was excused from practice because he’s getting married this weekend. So Quinton Ganther took advantage of his increased reps to be, well, the best man among the remaining running backs on this day.
Ganther, who was signed in free agency after playing last season with the Washington Redskins, got extra carries and passes thrown his way while working as the No. 2 back behind Julius Jones. Ganther’s best effort might have come on a run where it appeared the hole was closing just as he got there. But he displayed some nice footwork to dance through the pile of bodies in front of him and turned in a solid gain.
“That’s what I do,” Ganther said. “Opportunities rarely present themselves, so you have to make sure you’re ready for them. Because if you’re not ready for them and the opportunity comes, you may never get another one.”
That has been Ganther’s M.O. all spring, as he seems to have gotten better with each practice – and opportunity.
“It’s all about repetitions,” he said. “The more reps you get the more comfortable you become, and the more comfortable you become the more you can just go out and play.”
Gather also is growing on the coaches, who like his versatility. In addition to his running, receiving and blocking still, he could even play fullback if needed.
“I was always taught, the more you can do in this league the longer you’ll be around,” he said. “That’s why I’m going into year five now.”
WHO’S THE NEW GUY?
There was a new player at practice, but it wasn’t Cord Parks. The cornerback the Seahawks claimed off waivers Wednesday arrived too late to participate in practice.
No, the new guy was wearing jersey No. 69 – with Riggle across the back. Comedian Rob Riggle was invited by Carroll to speak to the team at its morning meeting, and he hung around to take part in some of the drills at practice.
We’ll have more on Riggle’s big adventure later today.