Seahawks’ Russell Okung: ‘I get another chance Sunday’
Seahawk Russell Okung, who was called for three penalties against Washington, is still working himself into game shape after offseason toe surgery.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The latest lesson Russell Okung has learned about football? The value of the offseason and training camp.
The fifth-year pro out of Oklahoma State missed all of Seattle’s offseason program and much of training camp after having toe surgery.
It was the first time he had not been able to take part fully in offseason drills, and he said the difference has been noticeable through the first four games of the regular season. Okung was called for three penalties against Washington — two holds and a false start — and leads the team with five for the season.
“Obviously a lot comes with repetitions,’’ he said. “So I think some things would be better off (if he had been able to participate).’’
Okung, though, offers that only as an explanation under questioning, not as an excuse. He knows injuries are simply a part of NFL life.
Seattle coaches, though, say Okung is still essentially playing his way into game shape.
“I would say he’s at about 80 percent,’’ said offensive-line coach Tom Cable, asked what level Okung is now. “He missed all of spring and a good part of summer. So where everyone else has had 1,500 reps, he’s had 300.’’
Okung noted that Seattle’s coaches are “being really patient, working to get me back’’ and that he thinks he’s “getting close’’ to playing at his usual level.
“I wish I could have been a little bit more disciplined to help the guys out a little bit more (against Washington),’’ he said. “But the great thing is I get another chance this Sunday.’’
Unger insurance signed
Center Max Unger suffered what coach Pete Carroll called “a strained foot’’ late in the win over Washington. Unger came out for three plays but returned. He sat out Wednesday’s practice, and both Carroll and Cable said Unger is day to day.
If Unger can’t play, then the start will go to former Bellevue High standout Stephen Schilling.
Seattle also added depth at center, signing Patrick Lewis off Cleveland’s practice squad. Lewis, a second-year player from Texas A&M, was with Seattle during training camp, playing in the preseason finale.
The team waived cornerback Josh Thomas, who had been signed after the opener to provide depth after Tharold Simon had knee surgery. But Simon is expected back in the next few weeks.
Sherman’s safety days over
Washington’s first touchdown Monday came on a 60-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to DeSean Jackson against a Seattle defensive coverage that will likely go into the circular file.
Seattle was in a Cover 2 defense in which cornerback Richard Sherman was essentially playing a safety while safety Kam Chancellor ended up on Jackson.
Carroll called it “a very difficult situation’’ for Sherman and took the blame for the call. “I shouldn’t have put him there,” he said.
Said Sherman: “Yeah, yeah, I don’t think they’re going to put me back deep very often anymore. That was interesting. It was actually Cover 2 when they had me at safety. They (the Washington players) send two seams at you and you have to pick one and you pick your poison with that play. But I think we’re effectively going to throw that one out.”