Seahawks Mini-Camp: Day One

For the typical football fan, the month of June is the black hole of the NFL season. Not a lot is going on. The draft is over and training camp doesn't get underway until the end of July. In today's NFL that isn't the case anymore and the Seahawks began the first of eight workouts of the next two weeks before taking a month off before heading to Cheney, Washington and the start of their season.

At the team's Kirkland headquarters veterans and rookies took part in a passing camp that saw the defense come out and dominate the offense.

"I thought they were really enthusiastic," head coach Mike Holmgren told the assembled media following a spirited one hour and forty minute workout. "Outside of the offense I thought we did a great job, but it allowed me to make the point that even in mini camps, if one side of the ball isn't playing well, it's like in games where if one team comes out excited to play then the excited team is going to win and today the defense was pretty excited and the offense was just…OK."

Holmgren commented that his starting linebacking corps – Lofa Tatupu in the middle and Leroy Hill and Julian Peterson on the outside – had a good workout and that was backed up by Hill's assessment of day one.

"It was good," the second-year linebacker told the team's official site. "Coach Holmgren actually said something after practice how the defense came out and practiced hard and the offense came out flat, but we don't want him to say that. We want to come out with consistency and practice well every day."

That consistency was obvious last season when the Seahawks went on an 11-game winning streak that saw them end up the number one seed in the NFC heading into the postseason and running back Shaun Alexander said a lot of that was based off of the confidence the players had in each other.

"We just want to go out and show everyone that we're in good shape and start getting our plays down and start getting our confidence back in each other," Alexander said. "One of the things we did this past season was probably about week seven, we just started believing that everybody was going to be where they were supposed to be and everybody was going to do things right.

"People were going to make plays and you started seeing everybody not overdoing anything because they believed in everybody else and that's what we needed to do today, was to start get that confidence back into each other."

A player never short of confidence is QB Matt Hasselbeck who is the unquestioned leader of the team. He admitted the offense was a bit off today, but went on to say why no one should worry.

"Tomorrow, offensively, we're going to be better, but we've got a lot of new people out there too," Hasselbeck said. "We didn't have Darrell (Jackson) today. We didn't have Jerramy Stevens or Nate Burleson, but we've got to just overcome that type of stuff.

"The next guy has got to step in there and we've all just got to flow and make it look real, real good. With all of us being rusty, it looked pretty bad at times. There's a lot that I can do to improve. Each guy can get coached up on the film right now and I would expect that it's a lot better tomorrow offensively."

One area of the offense that is undergoing a bit of a change is at left guard where five-year veteran Floyd "Porkchop" Womack takes over for Steve Hutchinson who departed during free agency.

"Chop has played guard before. He's a good player," veteran guard Chris Gray said. "He's just got to go in there and take Steve's spot and take control there. I think he'll do a great job over there and fill in fine."

One player who could have left during free agency, FB Mack Strong, said he's happy to be re-signed and now, entering his 14th season, he knows that he will probably end his career where it began.

"It's kinda nice to have (the contract situation) out of the way," Strong said as he wiped sweat from his forehead. "I don't like the whole contract negotiation process. It can be something that weighs on you a little bit, so to have it behind me, to know that, barring any injury, I can end my career with the team I came in with. That's big."

The team will have practices for the next three days and take the weekend off before resuming their workouts next Monday. Stay tuned to Seahawks.NET for camp updates throughout the week.


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