A day off. Yes, coach Pete Carroll is giving the players Wednesday off after going through six practices in the first four days of camp.
After the way they performed this afternoon, the players earned it.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was extremely sharp while directing the No. 1 offense to a pair of touchdowns and a long Olindo Mare field goal in his three turns at running the two-minute offense. Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst had his best practice of camp. On back-to-back plays, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane knocked his blocker into the quarterback and then stuffed running back Julius Jones before he could hit the hole. Linebacker Leroy Hill was treating any ball carrier who came near him like a pinball.
All in all, it was a day of rest-worthy effort.
“I believe it’s Pete Carroll’s mother’s birthday. He said it was a way to honor her,” Hasselbeck said. “So we’ll take it.”
And the obvious stipulations that accompany it.
“With that comes a huge responsibility as players,” Hasselbeck said. “It’s an opportunity to do the right thing or do the wrong thing. (Pete) asked us to get off our feet and rest. I know I’m going to take advantage of it.”
But it’s not a 24-hour day off. The players return for a mandatory dinner at 5 p.m.
“Off while the sun’s out,” Hasselbeck said.
Plays Of The Day
Check out some highlights from Tuesday afternoon’s practice, the sixth of Bing Training Camp:
- Matt Hasselbeck continued to shine, leading a six-play, 64-yard drive in the two-minute drill that ended with a beautiful 27-yard touchdown pass to wideout Golden Tate, who made an equally impressive play on the ball.
- Later, on the final offensive play of the day, Hasselbeck delivered a pinpoint pass to tight end John Carlson for a short touchdown.
- Tate had another big-time play later on as well when he dragged his feet inbounds along the right sideline for a pretty reception from Hasselbeck in 7-on-7 period.
- During 1-on-1 drills, linebacker David Hawthorne tipped a bullet throw to himself, snagging the interception on the rebound.
- Also during 1-on-1 period, linebacker Leroy Hill leveled fullback Ryan Powdrell, who was running a pass route out of the backfield. The crowd cheered in admiration of the hit, while Powdrell bounced up and applauded Hill himself.
- Tailback Quinton Ganther turned in the longest run of the day on a nice rush up the middle during team drills.
- The strangest play of the day came when wideout Kole Heckendorf jumped up to catch a strike from Charlie Whitehurst but got popped by a safety as the ball approached. The pass bounced away before getting caught by tight end Chris Baker about 10 yards away for a magnificent completion near the goal line.
Golden Tate. It’s difficult to not watch the team’s multitalented second-round draft choice.
Today, the wide receiver from Notre Dame – who celebrated his 22nd birthday Monday – made a nice reaching grab of a Hasselbeck pass in the end zone, got the ball a couple of times on end-around runs and was among seven players returning kickoffs.
All in a day’s work for a player who seems to be getting better by the day.
“Golden Tate just makes plays,” Hasselbeck said. “I know they’re on him to be more disciplined in his route running and attention to detail and those kinds of things. But he just makes plays, and he’s kind of electric once he gets the ball in his hands.
“He’s got the stuff that’s really hard to coach. And the stuff that’s coachable is probably where he needs to get better. But that’s a great thing.”
Carroll talked about the conversion of Red Bryant from defensive tackle to end following the afternoon practice Monday – and after this story on Bryant was posted on Seahawks.com. But his comments definitely are worth repeating:
“Red has come out smokin’. I’m so fired up about that the change. He’s just in the right position now. He’s so long-levered and he can run well for a big man. He’s 330-something pounds and he’s holding his weight well. He’s in very good condition. The only thing that happened to Red was after the first double-day (on Saturday), he went in the sauna and he kind of gassed on the second day. He was trying to lose a couple of pounds and it was, ‘Not now, Red.’
“Red’s a little bit overanxious about getting ready and getting right. His attitude is perfect in most ways – we need to school him up on it a little bit. But (we’re) really fired up about him being out there and he’s really taken to it. He’s an outstanding kid with a lot of juice that he brings to the practice field. Every defensive coach loves to see that. It’s a big moment for Red. It’s a moment for him to step into a starting position and see if he can hold onto it through camp and through the competition. So I’m really pleased with everything that’s happened there.”
MORE ON MOREY
After retiring last week, Pro Bowl special teams performer Sean Morey reached out to Peter King of SI.com to explain that his decision was prompted by post-concussion syndrome.
Asked how he felt, physically, Morey told King, “Like I just played a tough game. Like I’d just made six or seven tackles.”
That was the problem: Morey had not played a game since the Arizona Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs in January. Morey, 34, signed with the Seahawks in March, reuniting with Pete Carroll – who also had coached him when both were with the New England Patriots.
You can read King’s full report here.
Linebacker Aaron Curry sat out a third consecutive practice because of lingering headaches from a collision on the Saturday afternoon. Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, rookie linebacker Joe Pawelek, defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson and rookie safety Kam Chancellor also did not participate in the full-pads practice to rest minor injuries.
Tight end Jameson Konz, who was waived/injured Monday, cleared waivers and was placed on injured reserve.
The players will return to practice Thursday, when the sessions begin at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Both practices are open to the public and you can register to attend here.
THE “IN” CROWD
Today’s practice drew 1,216 fans, pushing the total to 8,351 for the first five sessions that have been open the public. The practice this Saturday afternoon has “sold out.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Especially for me, as a sixth-round pick, that’s not my world. Probably some of the guys that were first-round picks can empathize more. I’m not there. That’s not me. … I’m obviously very biased against first-rounders. Always have been. Just pure jealously.” – Hasselbeck, when asked about Russell Okung, the team’s unsigned first-round draft choice and expected starter at left tackle