Pete Carroll gets his first look at his new Seahawks team
Lofa Tatupu is limited in minicamp; 17 players are participating on a tryout basis.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — First steps and fresh starts.
That's what the Seattle Seahawks found as they took the field Tuesday.
For Pete Carroll, it was his first practice as the franchise's coach.
"A new time for us," Carroll said. "It is a new day for the Seahawks we hope."
For former first-round picks like Reggie Williams and Mike Williams, it was an opportunity to play their way back into the league.
For Lofa Tatupu, it was his first steps back in practice after missing the final 10 games last season because of a torn pectoral muscle.
"I love this game, and you feel like a part of you is missing when you're not out there," Tatupu said.
Tatupu was limited in some drills and participated with a shoulder brace to prevent reinjury, but otherwise he was hip deep in the style of practice he remembered while playing for Carroll at USC.
The tempo: fast. The assistant coaches: vocal. And it deserves noting that Carroll can uncork a pretty tight spiral, showing that while throwing balls 30 yards downfield during a drill for defensive backs.
Mostly, coaches got to work hands-on with the players.
"A tremendous amount of this is to learn about our players to figure out who they are and what they are all about," Carroll said. "Try to begin to understand the scoop that they bring to our team. This is also a time to figure out where we are depth-wise and we can get a better sense of that as we head into the draft."
As far as first steps go, this was a small one. It was a voluntary practice. There were some surprises. Chris Spencer worked at center with Max Unger at right guard along the offensive line. There were also some bare spots. Seattle has three safeties on its roster right now: Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams and Quinton Teal.
The arrival of Charlie Whitehurst as the No. 2 quarterback means there is some semblance of a question at quarterback for the first time since Matt Hasselbeck established himself as the starter in 2002.
The fiercest competition this week may be among the 17 players at the minicamp on a tryout basis as Seattle searches to round out the roster.
"We are looking for guys that can help us," Carroll said.
That search took the Seahawks to a pair of receivers who were once top-10 picks in the NFL. Neither Mike Williams nor Reggie Williams appeared in an NFL game last season, but both are seeking a return to the league.
Reggie had the best catch of the day, leaping to catch a deep throw by Whitehurst along the sideline. Mike's conditioning was the biggest surprise. At 6 feet 5, Williams has reportedly been as heavy as 270 pounds, but said he weighed 235 and appeared to be in great shape.
"Night and day from where I am now," Williams said. "I feel good. I feel explosive."
Williams played two seasons under Carroll at USC. He did not play in 2004 after he was deemed ineligible for the draft, but was chosen No. 10 overall by Detroit in 2005. The Seahawks are his fourth team.