The Seahawks kicked off their week of preparation for their regular-season opener with a Monday afternoon practice, and among those on the field was left tackle Duane Brown, who prior to this week had not practiced since reporting for the start of training camp, though he did take part in walkthroughs and team meetings throughout the past six weeks.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did not comment on any potential contract negotiations going on with Brown, but did say that the four-time Pro-Bowler will be ready for Sunday's season-opener in Indianapolis.
"He's ready to go," Carroll said, "We're pleased to have him. All in all in the camp that he was able to put forth he did all the learning, and he's really healthy, really healthy right now, and I'm really thrilled about that for him. It was one of the things realized in about the process of it that we would not wear him down at all during camp, like any player, so he's got fresh legs coming in—he wants to play tight end, we probably won't get that chance, but he's asking."
Carroll also confirmed that safety Quandre Diggs was back and on track to play Sunday after sitting out practices last week while, as he put it, tending to "a couple things that I had to get cleared up for myself, business-wise."
In addition to Brown and Diggs returning to practice, here are five things we learned from Carroll's Monday press conference:
1. K.J. Wright will "always be a Seahawk."
Monday marked the end of an era, with K.J. Wright signing with the Raiders, officially ending a decade-long tenure with the Seahawks. While Wright will wear the silver and black this year, he'll always have a special place in Seahawks history.
"K.J. Wright has been an incredible Seahawk, and been an incredible man in this community as well," Carroll said. "There aren't enough words to talk about the kind of person that he is, the great competitor that he, the wonderful contributor he's been in the program for 10 years. We had a blast together. I love K.J. Through the process we stayed together on it and talked through it, and as he as he made his decision, this was a good choice for him at this time, so he jumped at it. K.J. will always be—I don't know how long he can play there—but he'll always be a Seahawk."
2. Why Ahkello Witherspoon was traded and Carroll's thoughts on the cornerback depth.
Ahkello Witherspoon signed with the Seahawks as a free agent and was a leading candidate to win a starting job when camp began, but last week the Seahawks instead decided to trade the former 49ers starter to the Steelers.
Asked about that decision, Carroll "It just didn't this work time around, and another club wanted him. The competition that we had coming up and coming in we were excited about, and we thought that would be the best way to go."
As things stand now the most likely starting combination would be Tre Flowers on the right side and D.J. Reed on the left, but the Seahawks also have added multiple corners in recent weeks, including trades to add Sidney Jones and John Reid, the latter of whom is now on the practice squad, and a waiver claim to add Nigel Warrior. The Seahawks also have rookie Tre Brown, though he is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
While there has been a lot of change at that position, Carroll is excited about the talent and depth at cornerback.
"We have really good guys and really we're competitive," Carroll said. "We have fast guys and guys with experience. Sidney is a really good football player; we've known about him for a long time, so we're excited about him. John Reid has done a really nice job, he plays really fast, he's competing like crazy out here, and has the ability play multiple spots. We're excited to see these guys go out and battle and fight for their spots."
3. Ugo Amadi and Marquise Blair continue to battle at "a very competitive" nickel CB spot.
One of the best competitions in training camp has been the battle between 2019 draft picks Ugo Amadi and Marquise Blair for the nickel corner role. Blair won the spot in camp last year, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2, and Amadi played well in that role after taking over for Blair. The two have been competing throughout camp, though Blair has been limited by a sore knee, allowing him to play in only one preseason game, and if a decision has been made at that spot, Carroll wouldn't reveal it on Monday.
"You have to wait and see," he said. "Ugo has done a great job, really, Ugo has done a fantastic job at this point, and only did better than he had done in the past, he came back very experienced. Marquise is really just totally on the rise. I think he might have gotten 17 plays or something in preseason, so it's not a lot. He's working his way back into it, and he isn't happy with not playing. He wants to get out there and he's going to fight like crazy, and Ugo is going to do what he can to not let him take the job, so it's a very competitive spot, and we're in great shape there."
Carroll also indicated that the Seahawks could use both players in that role and not give one player 100 percent of the snaps there. Asked if the nickel role had to be held by only one player, Carroll said, "Not necessarily. Good question."
4. Why the Seahawks signed Jake Luton.
The Seahawks made a change to their quarterback depth last week, signing Jake Luton after waiving Sean Mannion, who had made the initial roster as the team's third quarterback. Luton, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School grad who played at Oregon State, brings to Seattle a lot of traits any team would want in a quarterback.
"Our coaches really like him—the arm strength, his competitiveness, smarts, playmaking, he's a really good talent, so we're excited to see how he does," Carroll said. "When Sean Mannion was here, he showed us a lot of stuff in a similar style, so it's kind of natural for us to go this way."
5. Injury updates.
The Seahawks are for the most part healthy heading into their opener, but will be without at least a couple of players due to injury, including tight end Colby Parkinson, who injured his foot in training camp. While Parkinson is out this week, he's "on his way back," Carroll said. "He just isn't going to make it yet. It's a foot injury that you just have to work your way back at it and not overdo it and not mess it up along the way. We felt like if we don't have him available here, then we can get a couple weeks to get him ready. That'll be really important, so that we can get him back, he'll stay back. He runs every day, he's working hard at it, but he's not up to full speed yet."
Also not expected to be available this week is rookie corner Tre Brown, who has been dealing with a knee injury for the past couple of weeks.
"It's going to be a bit for him too," Carroll said. "He's got a couple of things we're working on, but none of them are debilitating, none of them are serious, it's just going to take some time, so it's going to be a couple of weeks."
Safety Ryan Neal, who has been dealing with an oblique injury, was a full-go in Monday's practice, a good sign for him being ready for Sunday's game.
"Back at practice today, going full speed," Carroll said of Neal. "Great to see him."