With injuries to both knees
in consecutive seasons, his return to prominence may never quite happen. But if Tubbs could become
a solid backup, he could add some significant talent to a defensive front that
already is relatively strong.
Tubbs had microfracture surgery on his left knee two years ago and then he blew
out the right knee in a preseason game last season, ending that year prematurely.
There was some question whether Tubbs would be able to resume his career. But
after extensive rehab, Tubbs has been back on the field doing some agility and
running drills, and while Holmgren initially said he didn't expect Tubbs back
until the beginning of the regular season, now he says Tubbs may be ready to begin
training with the rest of the team in six weeks.
What it would mean is that a proven talent could be available to back up veteran
Rocky Bernard, who has injury issues of his own in recent seasons, and first-year
veteran Brandon Mebane, who proved during his rookie season that he is capable
of creating problems for opposing running games.
With Craig Terrill and rookie Red Bryant added to the mix, the defensive staff
could shuttle fresh players in and out much the same way they expect to do at
defensive end, where Patrick Kerney, Darryl Tapp and rookie Lawrence Jackson will
Otherwise, the other defensive tackle is likely to be either Chris Cooper, let
go by Arizona, or Larry Tripplett, released by Buffalo.
--The Seahawks' coaching
staff has switched philosophies with its young stable of wide receivers. Last
year, with Deion Branch, D.J. Hackett, Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram, they
could afford to teach the receivers every outside position. With Hackett gone,
Branch hurt and likely to miss a portion of the season and Engram holding out
of this camp and possibly training camp, the staff decided to teach every receiver
just one position.
"I think they have to be good right away," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren
said. "There's a learning curve involved certainly but I want to try and
speed it up if I can do it. I think the best way to do that is to have them
learn and get comfortable with doing one thing right now."
With that said, the brightest star of the bunch, Courtney Taylor, is being groomed
as a flanker. The team ultimately projects Taylor to start opposite Nate Burleson
at split end, provided that Taylor can remain healthy. Second-year receiver
Jordan Kent is at split end, in part because he is so big but also because as
a former track star he is the team's best deep threat. Logan Payne is being
taught the flanker spot, though he is likely to end up in the slot at some point
because he is better at getting underneath and finding seams that he can exploit.
And third-year Auburn product Ben Obomanu, a teammate of Taylor's in college,
actually already knows all the responsibilities of each position and will be
Still, Holmgren said, as the Seahawks finish up their final summer minicamp
and begin preparing for training camp in six weeks, he has no idea which player
will wind up being the third receiver behind Burleson and Engram.
All have strengths -- but all have weaknesses, too. "When you throw Branch's
injury into the situation and Bobby's situation, our wide receiver group I couldn't
tell you how we're going to line up right now," Holmgren said. "The
backup position, I believe we have good talent there; I just have to see how
that will pan out after the amount of time those guys get."
--Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren missed two days of mini-camp because he had minor
surgery. Holmgren declined to discuss what the surgery was -- though quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck chided him for having it during mini-camp. "He always says
you have to know the difference between being hurt and being injured,"
Hasselbeck joked. "I'm just going to stay away from those questions. I've
got all these great, funny things to day, but I just can't."
--WR Bobby Engram, who skipped voluntary minicamp because he wants a contract
extension, recently said it is a possibility that he holds out of training camp
-- though he would be fined a significant amount each day if he does so.
--Rookie FB Owen Schmitt is going to Cabo with his girlfriend before training
camp -- the first time he will travel outside of the country.
"Well, I've been to Canada but you can't really count that," Schmitt
--DE Chris Cooper missed three days of the minicamp because his wife gave birth
to their baby.
--Rookie TE John Carlson is getting married just before training camp -- honeymooning
along the Oregon coast.
--LB Lofa Tatupu was officially charged with DUI, though he was arrested a month
ago after registering a 0.155 and 0.158, almost twice the legal limit in the
state of Washington. As it turns out, the Hyundai Accent he was driving when
he was arrested was a rental car, not his own.
--QB Matt Hasselbeck is attending Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles to
cheer on his beloved Boston Celtics.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I tell them all the time, there is enough food on the table
for everybody, you just got to find you seat." -- WR Nate Burleson on what
he's said to Seattle's young wide receivers.