A day after signing with the Seattle Seahawks, Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans was on the field with his new team for the first time Sunday, though he only did limited work during individual drills prior to watching the team's mock game portion of practice.
When the Seahawks return to practice Tuesday after a day off, Evans will begin ramping up his participation as he tries to find his place on a new team for the first time in a decade after a decorated 10-year career in New Orleans. Evans, a four-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro-Bowl right guard with the Saints, was released earlier this offseason, and after weighing his options, he elected to sign in Seattle to have a chance at more team success late in his career.
"It's a great group of guys here, these guys work hard," Evans said. "They're about winning. I've had 10 good years, won a lot of games, and done a lot of good things. It feels good up here, it's a good offense, a good scheme and I'm just looking to get to work."
And while Evans is approaching his 33rd birthday and was recently released by a team for the first time in his NFL career, he feels like he has plenty left in the tank to give to the Seahawks in 2016.
"I feel great, I still feel like I'm a top guard in this league if not the best," he said. "I'm just going out there to work hard and just show it on the field really. The eye in the sky doesn't lie. I've been asked to do a lot of things in New Orleans that I probably won't be asked to do here, that's a little bit different, but I'm just looking to go out there and work hard."
But no matter how confident Evans remains in his ability, and no matter how much he has done so far in his career, he knows he is coming in not to be handed a starting job, but rather to battle for playing time while at the same time providing leadership to an inexperienced line.
"Being a small-school guy and coming in in 2006 and thrown right in there having not played guard before, it's kind of the same thing these guys are going through," Evans said. "I just basically try to lead by example, show these guys how to be pros, and take care of their body because they're the future of this team. They're the future of this club and they're some big guys and they got some good attributes about them. I'm just here to get to work."
Evans worked mostly at left guard Sunday in his limited work, not his usual spot at right guard, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said they'll look hard at Evans at both spots to see what kind of flexibility they have with him. And Carroll made it clear nothing has been decided yet when it comes to the starting jobs at guard, which to this point in camp have been held down by Mark Glowinksi on the left side and rookie Germain Ifedi on the right side.
"I really like the experience that he brings to us, and the leadership that he has had in the past may be a factor for us, we don't know," Carroll said. "Right now he's competing for playing time. To have a guy like that, with that kind of experience to mix with our group, I think we're very fortunate. This is a guy that has done everything you can do in a game and we're thrilled he wants to come play with us. We're happy to have him.
"We'll see how it works out. I think it's a really interesting opportunity for us to bring him in. He's not been told he's the starter or anything like that, he's been brought in to compete, hoping he'll add to the level of our play."
The Seahawks scrimmaged against one another during the eighth practice of training camp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.