Marcus Trufant. One good practice deserves another.
After intercepting a pair of passes in Friday’s practice, Trufant was up to his Pro Bowl-caliber tricks again during this morning’s soggy session – which was held in a steady mist that was coming off Lake Washington. The veteran cornerback batted away a Charlie Whitehurst pass that was intended for wide receiver Ben Obomanu and then knocked a J.P Losman pass from the grasp of rookie wide receiver Golden Tate.
After a 2009 season that was delayed and then hampered by back problems, Trufant looks like his old self – and maybe better.
“Actually, I just talked to him on the way out here and told him that. I said, ‘Hey, the last two days have been really good days for us,’ ” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “He’s playing really well.
“He’s one of our best players. We need him to play really well.”
The smile on Trufant’s face says it all when it comes to him moving past the back issues of a year ago – with continuing doses of preventive care.
“I’m feeling good. I haven’t felt this way in a long time,” said Trufant, whose actions are speaking louder that his words. “But I’ve got to stay on it. I’ve got to stay on all my stretching and everything extra – cold tubs and all that stuff.
“I’m trying to get back. I’m trying to be even better.”
Left tackle. It took until the start of his second practice for first-round draft choice Russell Okung to return to starting unit at this pivotal position following his six-day no-show before signing his contract.
Not surprising, since that is why the club selected him with the sixth pick in April’s NFL draft.
“Obviously with what we did in the draft, they made it a priority,” Hasselbeck said. “From Day One, from the first day that everybody got it, it was understood that that was going to be a priority. With taking him, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
The Seahawks didn’t have to worry about their left tackle from 1997-2008, either, because Walter Jones was playing the spot at a Hall of Fame level. But he missed the final four games of the 2008 season and all of last season following microfracture surgery. Jones retired in April.
“We’re not asking him to Walter Jones,” Hasselbeck said before Okung reported. “In fact, we’re asking him not to be Walter Jones (who skipped camp from 2002-04). Come to training camp. Just be here. Just learn the snap count with us.”
Hasselbeck got his wish, and the Seahawks have their needed left tackle.
CATS AND DAWGS
Boys will be boys, even when they’re overgrown men. While Trufant was being interviewed after practice, strong safety Lawyer Milloy stuck the football-on-a-stick that defensive line coach Dan Quinn uses in drills into the group gathered around Trufant.
“Come on,” a laughing Trufant said to Milloy, who countered with one of coach Pete Carroll’s favorite sayings: “It’s all about the ball.”
“That’s what I was saying,” Trufant fired back. “When you get your chance, you’ve got to catch it.”
Trufant and Milloy grew up in Tacoma before going their cross-state ways – Trufant to Washington State and Milloy to the University of Washington.
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was back after sitting out Friday’s practice.
Hasselbeck saw limited action, as has been the case in one practice when the team goes twice.
Rookie defensive tackle E.J. Wilson did not practice, while tackle Ray Willis was given the morning off.
Still sidelined: linebackers Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry and Joe Pawelek; defensive linemen Lawrence Jackson and Kevin Vickerson; safety Kam Chancellor and running back Louis Rankin.
The players will back on the field at 4 p.m. for today’s second practice, which is “sold out.”
Sunday, training camp moves across Lake Washington to Husky Stadium, where practice is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
THE “IN” CROWD
In addition to the 2,012 fans in attendance this morning, members of the Blue Angels made their annual visit to training camp. They will perform Sunday as part of the Seafair activities.
This morning’s crowd pushed the attendance for the nine practices that have been open to 14,256.
Three practices are open next week – single practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. To register to attend a practice, click here.
There were originally two practices scheduled for Tuesday. Fans who had registered for either session will get an email informing them of the change. They will be allowed to attend that day’s only practice, starting at 1:30 p.m., or any of the remaining open practices.
YOU DON’T SAY
“There’s just something different. They don’t do things like the rest of the team. They’ve got a code they live by that’s kind of a sacred code. I’d tell you what it is, but it’s so sacred I know nothing about it.” – Hasselbeck, on the offensive linemen