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Tuesday in Hawkville: Subtleties serve Jermaine Kearse and Clinton McDonald well
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for July 30, when the Seahawks were back on the practice fields at their training camp presented by Bing:
PLAYS OF THE DAY: JERMAINE KERSE, CLINTON McDONALD
Offense: It was only one play, and in a 1-on-1 drill early in practice at that. But it was noteworthy because second-year wide receiver Jermaine Kearse put a practice’s worth of moves on cornerback Brandon Browner to get open and catch a pass from Russell Wilson in the end zone.
First, Kearse beat Browner off the line, which is not easy to do.
|YOU DON'T SAY
“To have a mobile, smart quarterback, and his size. He hides behind those linemen when he’s rushing, so it was very difficult.”
Just-acquired linebacker/rush-end O’Brien Schofield after practicing with the Seahawks for the first time on how he prepared for Russell Wilson while playing for division rival Cardinals last season.
“B.B. is one of the best press corners in the league,” Kearse said after the first full-pads practice of camp. “Just going against him and Richard Sherman every day is making my releases better.”
Then, Kearse turned Browner around with a nifty slant-and-go move to flash open in the end zone.
“B.B. is one of the top corners in the league, so every time I go against him I’ve just got to tune in and make sure I bring my ‘A’ game because if I don’t he’s going to beat me pretty bad,” Kearse said. “So I got the route, just made a good release, ran a good route and got the ball.”
It was actually harder than Kearse made it sound – or look. He credits it to the difficult task of facing the Seahawks’ impressive collection corners.
“Getting the chance to go against them every day evolves my game – you know, being challenged and being held to play at a certain standard – because you can’t take a play off against them,” he said. “Being able to have that every day makes me a better receiver.”
And increases his value to the team.
“We like him across the board,” coach Pete Carroll said of Kearse. “One of the great statements for him is he’s one of our core special teams guys. Coach Brian Schneider has raved about his work there. That tells you a lot. He’s one of the starters on our kickoff team as a wide receiver. That’s a terrific asset.”
Defense: A nod to cornerback Byron Maxwell for his interception at the goal line in the final drill of practice, but the pick here goes to another play that also came early – and quickly – in practice: nose tackle Clinton McDonald tipping a Brady Quinn that was almost intercepted by defensive tackle Jordan Hill.
“They’re stressing a lot of stuff for us,” McDonald said. “No. 1 is be a pass-rusher. No. 2, if we’re not going to be a pass-rusher be a pass defender. And No. 3, it’s kind of like being a savvy player. This is going on my fifth year in the NFL, and you’ve got to read the situation.”
In this situation, Quinn was in an empty backfield set and in a short-yardage situation,
“That normally means quick pass,” McDonald said.
And that’s exactly what it was. So what McDonald did before tipping the pass was almost as good as the tipped pass, because he wouldn’t have had the one without the other?
“Yes, exactly,” he said.
As defensive coordinator Dan Quinn put it, “As you’re pushing and getting close to the QB and you can’t get there, now it’s time to become a defender when you feel like the quarterback’s hand is coming off the ball. It’s just an emphasis for everybody.”
And he now has a prime example to show his other linemen during their video review of today’s practice.
INJURY REPORT: HARVIN TO UNDERGO SURGERY; SIDNEY RICE IN SWITZERLAND
Most of the questions in Carroll’s post-practice session with the media involved wide receiver Percy Harvin being in New York to get a second opinion on the hip injury that forced him to be placed on the physically unable to perform list when camp opened.
UPDATE (July 30, 2013 at 7:30pm PT): Percy Harvin to undergo surgery Thursday
Carroll revealed that wide receiver Sidney Rice is in Switzerland for a nonsurgical procedure on a troublesome knee.
“We’re taking care of his knee thing that we’ve been monitoring for some time,” Carroll said. “We’re really excited about what he’s doing – something that he’s been working towards that we’ve been working with it for a long time. The timing came up that this was when he had to take his break to go to get his procedure.”
Carroll said Rice will be gone for a couple of days, but that last year’s leading receiver will rejoin practice when he returns.
“He didn’t get hurt,” Carroll said. “We’re just trying to help him along.”
As for Harvin, Carroll offered, “We continue to progress with this simple thought that we’re going do whatever we need to do to help Percy be right. Whatever that is.”
Linebacker Heath Farwell returned to practice after missing two days because of back spasms and rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams also was back after sitting out Sunday to rest a sore knee.
In addition to Rice, cornerback Ron Parker (hamstring) was added to an injury list that already included defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring) and rookie tackle Michael Bowie (hamstring). Defensive lineman Michael Bennett was excused because his wife was having a baby.
ROSTER MOVES: JAMESON KONZ RETURNS
Jameson Konz, a versatile player who was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, was signed today.
|IT’S OFFICIAL: NFL REFS WORK PRACTICE|
Working practice was a five-man crew of NFL officials – field judge Craig Wrolstad, umpire Rich Hall, head linesman Tom Stablie, back judge Kirk Dornan and developmental field judge Clay Reynard.
It was part of the annual-visit program where the officials also meet with the players and coaches to explain rule changes and points of emphasis for the coming season.
To clear a spot of the 90-man roster rookie tight end Victor Marshall was released. Marshall, a wide receiver at Kirkland’s Juanita High School and the University of British Columbia, had been signed in May.
Konz spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a hip injury. He was released in 2011 on the final roster cut, then signed to the practice squad and eventually to the active roster. But he injured a knee in the one game he played and was placed on IR. He was released on last year’s final roster cut.
POSITION WATCH: NICKEL BACK
The spot was filled last season by Marcus Trufant, the former first-round draft choice and long-time starter at left cornerback. But Trufant was allowed to sign with the Jaguars in free agency. So Antoine Winfield, Walter Thurmond and Jeremy Lane are getting the reps in camp – in that order.
“There are a couple of spots that have good competition, and that’s one of them,” Quinn said, adding that the three-technique tackle spot is the other. “For those guys, what’s nice about working against our offense is there’s a good group of slot receivers to work inside against.
“How do you not get better trying to cover Doug Baldwin? He has such suddenness, quickness and the ability to break out, and the football smarts to recognize leverage and things like that. So all those guys, we put them in all the spots – man-to-man coverage, zone coverage, blitzing. And all those guys are responding well. I don’t think you could ask for anything more there.”
PLAYER WATCH: BENSON MAYOWA
The rookie free agent from Idaho is getting work at Leo end with the No. 1 defense because Chris Clemons is completing his rehab from knee surgery, Avril is sidelined and Bruce Irvin also is working at strong-side linebacker.
“He’s done a really cool job in this camp,” Carroll said. “He’s shown an unusual knack rushing the passer. So far he’s been very impressive. We don’t know what that means at this point, we’ve haven’t gotten him in enough live situations. But every day he’s made a play of some sort to gain some recognition.”
The Seahawks signed Mayowa after he participated in a regional combine at VMAC during the offseason.
Others from that combine who currently are in NFL training camps include linebacker Korey Jones (Cardinals), wide receiver Rashad Evans (Falcons), tight ends Brandon Williams (Panthers) and Peter Tuitupou, defensive tackles Zach Minter (Bears) and Kurt Taufa’asau (Raiders), linebacker Uona Kaveinga (Broncos), cornerback Brandon Smith (Packers) and punters Andrew Shapiro (Texans) and Richard Kent (Chargers).
Another 10:15 practice on Tuesday morning, followed by another 10:15 practice on Wednesday morning, followed by a 1 p.m. mock game on Friday. Then it’s another day off for the players in the four-/one-off format.
“The guys really kind of have to practice resting, if you will,” Carroll said as the players returned from having Monday off. “It is a really good break for them and we try to come back strong.”
At least from practice, as most players were at VMAC on Monday getting treatment, massages, and working out.
Today’s practice attracted 2,575 fans – the sold-out crowd of 2,500 who watched practice from the berm adjacent to the practice fields as well as the VIP and ADA guests.