Russell Okung is making up for lost time

Published on August 6, 2010 by     

Despite missing the first eight practices of training camp, first-round draft choice Russell Okung reported on Friday determined to become “the best Russell Okung I can possibly be.”

As Russell Okung made his way from the locker room to the practice field, he reached up to slap the “I’m In” sign above the door with his huge right hand.

And that he is. Finally.

After missing the first six days – and eight practices – the team’s top draft choice signed a six-year contract Friday in time to practice for the first time at Bing Training Camp. It was difficult to tell who was more relieved – Okung, the talented left tackle from Oklahoma State; or coach Pete Carroll, who used the sixth pick overall in April’s NFL draft to address a pivotal, but problematic, position where four players started last season.

“It feels great,” Okung said. “I always say this is the best job in the world and I’m back out here and I’m enjoying it – first day out with the guys. I definitely feel blessed to be here.”

Offered Carroll, “Thrilled to finally get him here.”

Now that Okung is here, he’ll spend a lot of time catching up with everything he missed.

“He’s in a scramble mode until he starts to feel comfortable and that means he’ll be coached around the clock,” Carroll said. “And he’ll be pressed at every single opportunity.”

Like Friday, when the team practiced in full pads – a first for Okung with the Seahawks, after an offseason of shells-and-helmet sessions during minicamp and OTA practices. While he got most of his work with the No. 2 line, Okung also took some snaps with the starting unit.

But make no mistake; Okung is the Seahawks’ starter on the left side. Offensive line coach Alex Gibbs made that crystal clear shortly after Okung was drafted.

“He will be our starting left tackle – Day One, Hour One,” Gibbs said.

Even when the clock – and team – has been running without him, because of the skills and drive that first attracted the Seahawks.

“He has tremendously long arms and tall stature,” said Gibbs, who also labeled the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Okung a “can’t miss” prospect.  “He’s nasty and football is his life. He’s so committed to what he wants to do.

“He doesn’t have a lot of contingencies. He’s football. It’s the most important thing in his life and he is a committed young player, which is rare in today’s world – to get them where they come out (of college) and it’s everything they want to be.”

Despite his late arrival, Carroll has no qualms that Okung will be ready for the Aug. 14 preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans at Qwest Field.

“We are struggling a little bit at that position,” Carroll said of the left tackle spot where Ray Willis and Mansfield Wrotto have been working in Okung’s absence. “Within a week or so, he should be able to move his way back in. But he’ll get a bunch of reps here once he’s ready to handle that.”

Gibbs will make sure that is sooner, rather than later.

Asked what Gibbs had to say to him, Okung smile and said, “He has a lot of words for me. But that’s just him. I’m going to take the coaching and get better every day.”

Okung is well aware that he’s stepping into a position that Walter Jones played at a Hall of Fame level before retiring in April after 13 seasons and nine Pro Bowl berths – and the expectations that come with it.

“I love the fans of Seattle,” he said. “They don’t expect me to be Walter Jones. They expect me to be the best I can possibly me. And I’m going to be the best Russell Okung I can possibly be.”

As difficult as sitting and waiting was, Okung did not want to discuss what had transpired the past week.

“It’s done with now. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want it in my head,” he said. “I’m out here. I’m on the grass. I’m happy to be here.”

Carroll, however, emphasized that the no-show wasn’t necessary because Okung signed the contract that had been on the table. He also credited general manager John Schneider and vice president of football administration John Idzik, the club’s chief contract negotiator, for taking a firm stance in negotiations.

“This could have been done sooner,” Carroll said. “I think they took a stance that it was more important to fight for a contract that they thought (was fair), at the expense of him being out of football. That’s the way it goes. It puts Russell behind; it puts us behind, because they took that stance.

“It’s unfortunate it took so long, but we’re grateful it’s finally done.”

And that Okung is finally “in.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

wilson-entourage

Russell Wilson isn’t “Black Enough,” Seahawks Players Allegedly Say

After Percy Harvin was traded to the Jets, the leaks began almost immediately. Harvin physically fought teammates. Harvin ...
hi-res-c36ccb423dec27409ba5c600d9a89b53_crop_exact

Seahawks say they are far from buried

Here’s something to help the morning coffee go down more smoothly: Sure, these aren’t the same Seahawks who blew ...
Oct 19, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball for a touchdown during the second half of a football game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 28-26.  Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson is first player in NFL history to have 300/100 game

Peyton Manning wasn't the only NFL quarterback who made history in Week 7, so did Russell Wilson.In the ...
505963447TW00040_Seattle_Se

Percy Harvin gave Golden Tate black eye before Super Bowl

The Seahawks stunned the NFL world on Friday night by trading Percy Harvin to the Jets, less than ...
o-MARSHAWN-LYNCH-facebook

Darrell Bevell: I must get Marshawn Lynch the ball

Darrell Bevell has heard you, Seattle Seahawks fans. The offensive coordinator heard the rampant consternation and deep-throated queries wondering ...
goywh.AuSt.5

Seahawks trade WR Percy Harvin to Jets for draft choice

Well, that’s the end of that problem of getting Percy Harvin the ball down field more, or too ...
131230bennett6vgdfgdgdfg60

Less dancing, more tackling from Seahawks, please

As the Dallas Cowboys were giving them a beating last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks defense provided a CenturyLink ...
17YsDE.AuSt.5

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “Whenever we’re running the ball, we’re fine”

Marshawn Lynch sprinted down the right sideline untouched, into and out of the end zone. But he wasn’t carrying ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com
 

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz