Well, all of that talk about easy practices for the next couple of games? Out the window for the offensive line.
But first Tony Jackson and Cedric Woodward were without pads. as were Alex Bannister and a couple of others that got by me. Not a sign of Wayne Hunter.
Punter: who's it going to be? Leo Araguz or Chris Kluwe? It's pretty divided, Araguz seems to have the inside track and is holding for extra points and sometimes field goals. I have no idea why, because in my opinion, Kluwe is the superior punter. He is for sure the more pleasant. Usually the first one out the door to practice and always a smile and a "hello" for the fans.
Araguz, on the other hand, seems to be feeling the pressure. He comes out frowning and mostly looking at the ground. You can't pry a comment from him - even "good morning". I guess next Friday we'll all know for sure.
Jerramy Stevens was not talking to anyone this morning. A fan asked about yesterday (when Marcus Trufant made a miraculous interception on a pass intended for Stevens) and that finished his comments for the morning. So I tactfully didn't ask how he and Trufant was getting along.
Mack Strong was really cool on his way out this morning. Stopped and said hello to a couple of folks, signed several autographs. He and Leonard Weaver (the Hydrant) were gabbing and talking like old high school friends as they headed to the field.
Itula Mili was most gracious this morning. He had time to stop and talk to several fans including this reporter. Signed several autographs and had an easy manner with everyone. Walter & Pork Chop came out together this morning laughing and talking. I can tell you that this ended when they got through with their stretches. Robbie Tobeck came out looking like a storm cloud. I'm guessing that he was remembering the defensive attack from yesterday's practice.
The defense spent most of the morning doing agility drills. And watching their every move was Grant Wistrom. When it was Wistrom's turn, he hit it full tilt boogie and came back and watched everyone else. He seems to be saying, "look at me and do as I do".
The defensive line worked as hard and as brutally as I have ever seen at training camp. The only ones with real pads, they hit each other and pushed the 2-man blocking sled all over the field. Then they lined up and worked on being exactly right in their stance and then hit each other again. They set up as offense and defense and had the offensive guys hit the defensive guys at game day speed using pads to take up the blow. Then they turned around and did the same thing from the defensive side.
This all happened right in front of Joe ("DrCool") and myself, and they kept at it for about 35-40 minutes. Every one of them had to stop and get water and rest a minute during these drills. It was brutal but beautiful to watch. There were some surprises on which nine were doing all of this. Depending on how the games go, I wouldn't be surprised to see some major changes in the offensive line.
Joe, one of the gang that came over to our house for the bash came by and introduced me to his wife and son. We spent some time watching together. It was my pleasure Joe, nice to see you again. When Mili was signing his son's small football the son dropped it on the player side of the fence. Mili laughed, picked it up and finished the signing. It was a nice gesture and the fans there let him know how they appreciated it.
Tomorrow is the last day. Morning only. You local folks be there or miss out for another year.
|Punter Chris Kluwe heads out to the practice field.||FB Leonard Weaver surveys the scene.|
|This training camp has seen a much more serious Jerramy Stevens.||C Robbie Tobeck and FB Mack Strong look ready for action...|
|...but there's always time for the fans.||Leo Araguz is in a determined battle with Chris Kluwe for the position of punter.|
|Guard Doug Nienhuis smiles for the camera.||OTs Floyd Womack and Walter Jones share a laugh.|
|DT Antonio Cochran (78), DT Cleveland Pinkney (50), DE Kevin Emanuel (79) and DE Otis Leverette (67) walk to the practice field.|
|Tackle Sean Locklear gets busy during blocking drills.||Guard Doug Nienhuis knows that it's time to get serious and show all you've got.|
|If slot receiver Joe Jurevicius can stay healthy, he'll prove to be a valuable acquisition.||WR Jerheme Urban, once thought to be a lock for at least a backup role, now fights to make the team.|
|D.J. Hackett's development has been a pleasant surprise.||CB Kelly Herndon will look to significantly upgrade Seattle's nickel package.|
|If backup FB Leonard Weaver continues his impressive performance, rookie Tony Jackson (44) might be the odd man out.||Time to hit those sleds!|
|"First one to me gets ice cream!" Grant Wistrom looks on as his D-line compadres go through agility drills.|
|Steve Hutchinson watches Doug Nienhuis attack the blocking sled.||With training camp winding down, it's time to get in those last few hits.|