Redding, Branch Ready to Play
Cory Redding (Getty)
Cory Redding (Getty)

Posted Jun 12, 2009


New defensive lineman Cory Redding, who arrived in Seattle in an offseason trade with Detroit that sent linebacker Julian Peterson to the Detroit Lions, finally took the field with his teammates for the first time.

"I felt like I was back at home on the field," Redding said. "It felt good. It's been a long time coming. I've been busting my tail every single day to get back on the field and do what I love to do and that's play football. So it's good to be around the guys and just to get moving around with them a little bit."

While with the Lions, Redding suffered a dislocated right knee cap last season on Oct. 19 against Houston, and just started running about a month ago. He participated in Seattle's last minicamp this week, working through individual drills with his teammates. At 6-foot-4, 292 pounds, Redding says he'll likely play both defensive end and defensive tackle for Seattle, moving inside on obvious passing situations.

For now, the one-time starting defensive tackle for Detroit will be competing for reps on the outside with fellow defensive ends Darryl Tapp, Lawrence Jackson and Baraka Atkins. Patrick Kerney, considered the team's best pass rusher, is still out rehabbing from offseason, shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

"I feel like I can drop down and play the end position," Redding said. "And also keep my strength so whenever I'm out there in the three-technique bring back in Patrick (Kerney) and all of the other guys and (Darryl) Tapp and all the other guys and we get out there and get to rushing, and get after the quarterback."

Seattle head coach Jim Mora says he does not want to rush back guys like Redding and Kerney, taking a measured approach in order to make sure they're ready for the start of training camp. "In the offseason, we take a somewhat conservative approach to bring those players back," Mora said. "And we do that because we want them to be at full strength when we start training camp. But it was good to see those guys work back into practice and get some work in."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Wide receiver Deion Branch took the field for the first time since receiving offseason surgery to clean up cartilage in his surgically repaired left knee in early March. Branch said his knee will never be the same since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the last game of the 2007 in the NFC playoffs at Green Bay. The Seahawks wide receiver understands his knee will never be the same. But he believes he can still perform at the same level as before the injury.
Branch proved he still knows how to get open at the end of last season, finally returning to the field healthy after bruising his right heel against the New York Giants earlier in the 2008 season.

"I'll never sit back and think about my knee once I take the field," Branch said. "Once I'm on the field running around I'm not worried about my knee because I think with the job the guys in the training room do and what we do in our weight room helps clear that up and helps you have that confidence."

Branch said he should be 100 percent by the start of training camp at the end of July. "Yeah, I'll be good to go," he said. "Everything right now is by choice. I think I could have pretty much done the whole practice today. But they don't just want to throw you back out there. You have to take your precautionary steps and everything."

And he did not mince words when asked if his knee will ever be the same as it was before the injury. "You will never be back to normal once you have this type of procedure done," Branch said. "I actually feel stronger, but it's not normal. Something has been done that removed (parts) of my knee. My biggest thing is to continue to strengthen it."

However, he did say that if he continues to strengthen his knee, Branch, who turns 30 years old next month, can still be effective in the passing game.

--Aaron Curry the pass rusher? That's what some teams could be seeing come September, as the rookie linebacker out of Wake Forest has looked good so far in pass rushing drills, something draft experts thought was a weakness for Curry. Mora said it's early and Curry is not working in pads, but that he has looked impressive going against the team's offensive lineman in practice.

"I say this with reservation because it's not padded practices and it's not live, but he has an aspect of pass rush that we didn't see on the college film because they didn't ask him to do it," Mora said. "And we've asked him to do that a little more here, and it looks like he's a guy who athletically can do that.

"Now, we have to wait to see when we get the pads on and it's live. But he looks like a guy who can do that, and if he can then that's a bonus for us."

--NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will join Seattle Seahawks coach Jim Mora and CEO Tod Leiweke when they climb nearby Mt. Rainier in a fund raiser for United Way in July. The group will participate in the climb to raise money for United Way of King County's "Response for Basic Needs" fund. Local mountaineer Ed Viesturs and Pete Whittaker will lead the inaugural Climb for the Community.

The group will begin the climb of the 14,411-feet peak on July 5, with the hope to plant a flag for the community at the summit on July 8. United Way CEO Jon Fine will also be in the group.

"You know what, we're lucky because we're going with Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker, two of the greatest mountain climbers in the world," Mora said about the climb. "If Ed says step there, I'm stepping there. If he says sit down, I'm sitting down. If he says eat this, I'm doing exactly what he says."

--With the Seahawks picking up linebacker Tony Taylor, they released Port Orchard native free agent linebacker Tony Fein. Seattle also signed fullback Dan Curran to replace running back Tyler Roehl, who suffered an ACL tear in his knee.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "For me it's the most important time, especially as a thrower. It's probably similar to a pitcher. You get your arm ready for competitive throws, two days of practice in one day and those kinds of things. That's where you really sharpen your skills. You know you're coming back to camp. There's a conditioning test. A body fat percentage test. There's a weigh in. All that stuff is coming, so it's time to go at that point." -- Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on using the time after the team's last minicamp to get ready for the start of training camp at the end of July.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Leroy Hill: Tendered at 8.304M (tender withdrawn April 25; re-signed April 30).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)
--LB Wesley Mallard (not tendered as UFA June 1).
--C Steve McKinney (not tendered as UFA June 1).
--LS Jeff Robinson (not tendered as UFA June 1).
--WR Koren Robinson (not tendered as UFA June 1).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--QB Mike Teel (6/178): $1.864M/4 yrs, $114,000 SB; 2009 cap: $338,500.
--S Courtney Greene (7/245): $1.793M/4 yrs, $43,000 SB; 2009 cap: $320,750.
--DE Nick Reed (7/247): $1.791M/4 yrs, $41,000 SB; 2009: $320,250.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--LB Leroy Hill: UFA; $38M/6 yrs, $15.5M guaranteed.
--CB Kevin Hobbs: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--WR Jordan Kent: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--LB Lance Laury: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB D.D. Lewis: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Ben Obomanu: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
--WR Courtney Taylor: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
--S C.J. Wallace: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--OT Ray Willis: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--DT Colin Cole: UFA Packers; $21.4M/5 yrs, $6M guaranteed.
--FB Justin Griffith: FA Raiders; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh: UFA Bengals; $40M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--FB David Kirtman: FA; terms unknown.
--CB Ken Lucas; FA Panthers; $2.3M/1 yr.
--TE John Owens: UFA Lions; terms unknown.
--LS Bryan Pittman: UFA Texans; terms unknown.
--DT Cory Redding (trade Lions).

PLAYERS LOST
--DT Rocky Bernard: UFA Giants; $16M/4 yrs, guarantee unknown.
--WR Bobby Engram: UFA Chiefs; terms unknown.
--QB Charlie Frye: Not tendered as UFA/Raiders; terms unknown.
--OG Chris Gray: UFA; retired.
--DT Howard Green: UFA Jets; $625,000/1 yr, guarantees unknown.
--TE Will Heller: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--RB Maurice Morris: UFA Lions; $7M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--LB Julian Peterson (traded Lions).
--FB Leonard Weaver: UFA Eagles; $1.75M/1 yr.
--OT Floyd Womack: UFA Browns; terms unknown.


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