Training Camp Report: Day One

After an offseason that saw an unusual amount of change, the Seattle Seahawks rolled into Eastern Washington University ready to prove what the Great Character Experiment hath wrought. Seattle's veterans reported on Friday, and were greeted by the usual hot, clear Eastern Washington summer weather.

Morning and afternoon practices were notable for the lack of pads worn by the players, which head coach Mike Holmgren felt would be a welcome change.

“In the off-season, there was a lot of talk and a lot of memos floating around about allowing the players to get used to football again (when they) come to camp,” Holmgren told the team’s official website. “Instead of just banging right away, let them run around. It’s different than regular workouts and I think there is some merit to that. We are all anxious to see them bang around in pads. (but) I thought we could do this for a couple of days, get some good work in, and acclimate the young guys to what we are doing.”

While agility and endurance drills were the first order of the day, several Seahawks made impressive plays. Backup QB Seneca Wallace got off at least two good deep throws, both of which were actually caught by Darrell Jackson and Taco Wallace, respectively. New cornerback Andre Dyson was jumped by WR Jerheme Urban on a deep route, which resulted in an impressive Urban reception. Urban is looking to build on some very encouraging minicamp performances which brought forth the ringing endorsement of Matt Hasselbeck, and he’s off to a fine start. Early bets on the “Training Camp Breakout Player” award have Urban in the lead, as many fans are interested to see if the third-year wideout from Trinity University can leapfrog his way up the depth chart and into the starting rotation.

Did someone say, “Trinity”? Perhaps it was Shaun Alexander. The Seahawks’ elite running back was not in camp today, for reasons having nothing at all to do with the 1-year, $6.323 million modified franchise tender agreement he signed on July 26th. Instead, it was the new baby girl that Shaun and his wife Valerie welcomed into the world just two days later that predicated his absence. Named Trinity, she is the Alexander family’s second child; daughter Heaven was born on Sept. 21, 2003. Alexander helped with Heaven’s delivery, which he then followed by rushing to Qwest Field to participate in a 24-23 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Holmgren said that he expects Alexander in camp by Sunday at the earliest. “The planning is not exactly what I would hope it would be,” Holmgren said. “But I can’t control (things like this). You know what, bless his heart, I'm glad the baby is healthy and it’s an exciting time for him. We're happy for him.”

WR Alex Bannister (clavicle), FS Ken Hamlin (shoulder), CB Kevin House (forearm), DT Cedric Woodard (knee) and OLB Cornelius Wortham (hamstring) were in attendance, but did not practice.

Alexander and P Ryan Dutton (shin) were not in attendance. Two other absentees of some concern were the team’s fist two draft picks in 2005 – C Chris Spencer and LB Lofa Tatupu. Neither player has agreed to terms with the team, although several reports have indicated that both rookies could be signed and in camp very soon. Seahawks president Tim Ruskell told the team’s official site that he’s hopeful both deals will be done by the end of the weekend.

Two interesting happenings with the Seahawks’ potentially dominant secondary – CB Marcus Trufant was moved to the right side, according to Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune. This move was made because the team’s two offseason CB acquisitions, Andre Dyson and Kelly Hernson, are more comfortable on the left side.In addition, Sando reported that FS Ken Hamlin won’t be back from offseason shoulder surgery until the third preseason game.

Finally, today’s camp report wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to LT Walter Jones, present and accounted for in Cheney for the first time since 2001. Jones has held out through the last three training camps as the team’s franchise player, but the 7-year, $52.5 million contract he signed in February insured his attendance. “It’s a little different,” Jones told the assembled media. “But I’m happy to be here with my teammates, and the fans are happy to see me. I just want to be prepared to have the best season I can.”

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Doug Farrar ts the Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.NET. Feel free to contact him at Top Stories