A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Captains. The players voted on the captains for the season today, and coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have agreed more with the selections of cornerback Marcus Trufant (defense), quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (offense) and kick returner Leon Washington and fullback Michael Robinson (special teams).
“I’m real proud of those guys for taking a leadership position for us,” Carroll said after the team’s bonus Labor Day practice to start preparing for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“Those are great guys to put out front. It’s been obvious to why these guys would choose those guys.”
Trufant, Washington and Robinson were with the team last season, but Jackson was signed in free agency and didn’t even start practicing with team until Aug. 4. So his selection was especially pleasing to Carroll.
“It’s obvious that that’s who they wanted to be their leader,” Carroll said. “I’m pleased with all the choices, of course.”
The survivors. What else would you call the remaining 10 players from the roster that Carroll inherited 19 months ago? And when you look at just who they are, it’s understandable why they’re still around.
Trufant – The longest tenured Seahawk was a first-round draft choice in 2003 and has started 119 games the past eight seasons. He started all 16 games last season for the fifth time in his career and finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne – He made the team as a rookie free agent in 2008 and has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, last year while playing on the weak side and in 2009 while playing in the middle. This season, he’s back in the middle – replacing Lofa Tatupu, who was released in late July.
Punter Jon Ryan – Signed as a free agent one game into the 2008 season, Ryan already has set the franchise single-season record for average (46.2 yards in 2009) and tied the mark for net average (38.7 in ’09).
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane – A third-round draft in 2007, Mebane has started since his rookie season – registering career highs in tackles (49) in 2009 and sacks (5½) in 2008. But this year he moves to nose tackle.
Linebacker Aaron Curry – The fourth pick overall in 2009 draft, Curry has found his niche on the strong side after the previous coaching staff tried him as a pass-rusher. He had career highs in tackles (70) and sacks (3½) last season.
Linebacker Leroy Hill – A third-round pick in 2005, Hill returns after missing just about all of last season and nine games in 2008 and 2009. He is starting on the weak side, and looking like the player who collected 7½ sacks as a rookie and a career-high 92 tackles in 2006.
Defensive end Red Bryant – A fourth-round pick in 2008, the little-used D-tackle was moved to the five-technique end spot in Carroll’s defense last season. Bryant was a force against the run before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Week 8 loss to the Raiders.
Center Max Unger – A second-round draft choice in 2009, Unger missed almost all of last season with a toe injury that required surgery and he started 13 games at right guard as a rookie. But he’s back at center, the position he played at Oregon, on the Seahawks’ new-look line.
Running back Justin Forsett – A seventh-round draft choice in 2008, Forsett went to the Colts briefly as a rookie when the Seahawks released him with the plan to sign him to the practice squad. But the jack-of-all-skills back is back and figures prominently in the back-by-committee approach to the running game. He averaged 4.4 yards on 118 carries last season.
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu – A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu has developed from perennial bubble player to one of glue performers on offense as well as special teams. He started six games last season and had a career-high 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average and four touchdowns. He also had a dozen special teams tackles in 2009.
IN AND OUT
Four starters did not practice – running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and Hawthorne (knee). Carroll said Lynch and Hawthorne will practice on Wednesday, but he labeled Gallery day-to-day because of the knee he sprained in Friday’s game against the Raiders and said the decision on whether Rice plays on Sunday will be made later in the week.
Rookie James Carpenter got some work at left guard for Gallery, with Breno Giacomini working at right tackle with the No. 1 line. Carroll said the move of Carpenter to guard was “developing all the flexibility you can.”
Forsett got the first-team reps for Lynch; Obomanu worked in Rice’s spot; and rookie K.J. Wright continued to sub for Hawthorne. Wright was the team’s leading tackler in the preseason with 16.
Left tackle Russell Okung participated in every phase of practice and will play against the 49ers for the first time since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.
Three of newest Seahawks also practiced – kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive tackles Al Woods and Landon Cohen. Offensive tackle Jarriel King (ankle) sat out. All four were claimed off waivers on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was placed on injured reserve on the cut to 53, will have surgery to repair the knee he damaged against the Raiders, Carroll said. Also, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback, who also was placed on IR, no longer is with the team.
The final two spots on the eight-man practice squad were filled by running back Vai Taua and cornerback Ron Parker. Both players had been with the team in camp.
The players are off Tuesday and then return Wednesday for the start of the first week of the regular season in preparation for Sunday’s opener. The Seahawks opened their 2010 season at home with a 31-6 victory over the 49ers.
Tags: 19 Months, Center Focus, coach pete carroll, David Hawthorne, Draft Choice, Eight Seasons, Fifth Time, Free Agent, Fullback, Kick Returner, Leadership Position, Leon Washington, Marcus Trufant, Michael Robinson, Punter, Seahawk, Season Opener, Tarvaris Jackson, Tatupu, Virginia Mason
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