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Friday in Hawkville: Marshawn Lynch attends practice, does not participate
The Seahawks have traveled to San Diego to take on the Chargers in their third preseason game of the year, a game that will see the starters get the most playing time of the preseason.
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It was family day here at the VMAC as the Seahawks had their last practice of the week before heading to San Diego tomorrow for a preaseon matchup against the Chargers on Saturday.
"Turnover Thursday" was the motto for Wednesdays practice of preseason week 3 in preparation for the San Diego Chargers.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for August 1, when the Seahawks held the seventh practice in their Training Camp presented by Bing in front of 2,555 fans:
Running back Marshawn Lynch, who arrived at team headquarters yesterday afternoon after missing the first seven days of camp, was on the field for Friday's walk-thru practice session, but did not participate.
Lynch, who was sporting a white long-sleeved t-shirt under his No. 24 jersey, blue Seahawks pants, team hat, and a pair of green and blue gold-bottomed cleats, conversed with teammates and running backs coach Sherman Smith throughout the light workout in advance of Saturday's "Mock Game."
Second-year running back Christine Michael and fourth-year pro Robert Turbin have been receiving a majority of the reps in Lynch's absence. Smith expressed relief to have the team's leading rusher the past four seasons back in the fold, but was confident in the efforts put forth by Michael and Turbin, who have excelled as the next men up.
"We are better with Marshawn," Smith said. "He's one of the best backs in the League, but we were going to try to get the job done if he wasn't here."
Despite Lynch nursing what was described as an ankle injury during the team's minicamp in June, Smith said the seventh-year pro has been cleared to practice and should re-join the offense soon. With his experience and knowledge of the system, the team's priority will be to have Lynch ready for the regular season opener against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field.
"Marshawn doesn't do a lot of running in preseason, so that's the way it's going to be," said Smith. "He comes back, nothing's going to change. Absolutely nothing."
IT'S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE
Head coach Pete Carroll heaped praised on tight end Cooper Helfet yesterday, pointing to the faster and stronger play of the third-year pro. Helfet, whose sure hands and precise route running have allowed him to haul in several big catches through the course of camp, credits Carroll's program for his rapid development.
Outside of attitude, Helfet said going against the NFL's No. 1 defense hasn't hurt his development, either. After a rookie year that saw him bounce on and off the roster, Helfet spent the entire 2013 season on the Seahawks practice squad, where he had the chance to imitate opposing team's tight ends in work against Seattle's top-ranked D.
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“It's real important. I had guys like Golden Tate and Sidney Rice who took me under their wings to teach me the ropes, teach me the offense, and just how things are run around here. Now I've been blessed enough to be in the position where I can help those who were once in my situation and try to lead them in the right direction as well.”
– Third-year pro Jermaine Kearse, on becoming one of the veteran leaders at the wide receiver position
"I got to be a bunch of different kinds of tight ends and run a bunch of different kinds of routes and block schemes," Helfet said of his work on the scout team last season. "Going against that defense every day you can't help but get a ton better going against the best."
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds, the speedy Helfet has primarily been used as a pass-catching tight end in training camp, but his comfort level as a run-blocker is on the rise.
"Blocking is coming around a lot better," he said. "There's certain things when you don't have a ton of size that you could still gain an advantage - being quick off the ball, knowing all the little technique things. I need to take advantage of everything I can in run blocking.
"I've gotten a lot, lot better since I first got here. It's night and day."
That's good news for the Seahawks, who yesterday lost fifth-year tight end Anthony McCoy to injured reserve for the second straight season. Helfet, who saw McCoy as a mentor at the position, is ready to work hard to make up for his teammate's setback.
"The best thing for me to do is just show out," said Helfet. "Show that hopefully I can fill his shoes, even though they're pretty big shoes to fill."
Defensive tackle Jesse Williams was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of practice. The second-year player suffered a knee injury during Wednesday's session and had to be carted off the field. On Thursday, head coach Pete Carroll labeled the setback serious enough that it could require surgery.
"You'll Never Find a Better Sparring Partner Than Adversity #WarriorNotAWorrier," Williams wrote on his Instagram account.
The team also released wide receiver Randall Carroll, who was signed on Tuesday of this week.
In place of Williams and Carroll, the club filled out their 90-man active roster by removing Lynch from the reserve/did not report list and by signing the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Marcus Dowtin - a 25-year-old linebacker who has spent time with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills.
UP NEXT: GAMEDAY, SORT OF
The Seahawks return to team headquarters on Saturday, Aug. 2 for a "Mock Game" at 1 p.m. Carroll said he likes to use the opportunity to ready his squad for their first preseason matchup, which comes Thursday, Aug. 7 at the home of the Denver Broncos in a rematch of Super Bowl XLVIII. The two teams will also meet in Week 3 of the regular season at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.
After Saturday's "Mock Game" the players receive Sunday off before beginning their game-week preparation with a "Competition Wednesday" practice on Monday, Aug. 4 - trust me, it makes more sense than you might think.