I was there bright and early and spoke to several of the players on their way out to the field. Everyone looked a little tired, but cheerful. I asked Mike Holmgren if he was going to be Dr. Jekyl or Mr. Hyde today. He said that it would take some time on the field before he knew for sure.
Our good friend Kris "Buckethead" Jones found me (having just arrived in Cheney the night before), and since they were using the 2 middle fields we walked around to the west side to watch. Geezerhawk joined us about that time. The team was doing some drills that I had never seen before for the offensive line. They had kind of a cage assembly that the down linesman had to get down in, and then into their stances. Then the player would move forward and up to hold off the approaching rusher. The player had to get down below the roof of the cage without touching it, get forward without hitting it, and engage the opposing rusher. It was really interesting.
Another drill that I had seen before, but with much less intensity, was to have 2 linemen grab each other and then try to get away from each other. In the past it was pretty humorous, but today they went at it with great force. To the point of throwing each other on the ground.
The coaches set up a partial line: Center, guard, tackle. The players were then directed, one by one, to rush the passer from the outside and OT Sean Locklear had to stop the rush. First up...Grant Wistrom. On the snap count, he was so quick that Locklear barely touched him as Wistrom ran around him. Locklear was not happy with himself at all, so the next few guys got the brunt of it. Then Jeb Huckeba came up, roared out at the snap count and slapped Locklear flat on the chest with his hands on both sides of his chest just below the shoulder. You could hear the hit a long ways away. It set Sean back about 2 steps and Huckeba turned left in front of him to get to the QB. Play then stopped as Sean had obviously had the wind knocked out of him. Off came the helmet, and he had to sit down for a few minutes. They are getting serious.
When watching 11-on-11 drills, practicing runs through the line, we noticed that OT Wayne Hunter was not able to get up from the bottom of a pileup. He tried and then lay on his back in obvious pain. The coaches ran out to check, working on his right leg. Finally they got him up and he carefully hobbled to the end line right in front of us. Spent 10-15 minutes checking him and and then getting him up he started to walk around a little. Then when he got over by the fence he tried to sit down and then moved down to the ground to lay down again.
They came in checked his right knee very carefully again for a long time, all the while Hunter in very obvious pain. They finally got a bag of ice out, put it on the front of his right knee and wrapped it into place with an Ace bandage. I was right there, about six feet away, and he was hurting a lot. I've had knee problems and I know how they feel.
Then when I went over to catch pictures of the players giving autographs I noticed that they brought Hunter out on a motorized cart. Not good.
And since the Seahawks said that there is no camp on Wednesday morning, I guess I will get some things done around the house!
|Special teams coach Bob Casullo walks to morning practice.||G Chris Gray (62), C Robbie Tobeck (61) and G Andy King (68) walk to the field. Matt Hasselbeck is seen behind.|
|The offensive linemen participated in some interesting drills today...||...including a "cage drill" intended to reinforce the importance of staying in one's assigned position...|
|...but after that, it was back to some good old-fashioned mauling!|
|Jeb Huckeba and Marcus Tubbs get a hand up during kicking drills.|
|During 11-on-11s, OT Wayne Hunter goes down with a right knee injury.|
|After the team's staff helps him to his feet...||...Hunter walks (gingerly) off the field.|
|Hunter was eventually taken off the field in a cart.||Hopefully, the injury isn't too serious.|
|From the beginning, observers noted that today's practice seemed sluggish. Coach Holmgren eventually talked to the players and gave them at least tomorrow morning off.|
|After morning practice, players stopped to sign autographs. TE Jerramy Stevens...||...Pro Bowl G Steve Hutchinson...|
|...FB Mack Strong...||...Promising young WR D.J. Hackett...|
|...CB Marcus Trufant...||...and LB Isaiah Kacyvenski.|