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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

August 12, 2009 at 5:21 PM

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Lofa Tatupu, Chris Spencer return to practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seahawks logo.gifSEAHAWKS TRAINING CAMP: Day 13
One practice, Closed to the public, full pads, 2 hours, 20 minutes

Roll call: LB Lofa Tatupu returned to practice after sitting out Tuesday's workouts, same for center Chris Spencer, who was back after suffering a sprained ankle on Friday. Spencer participated in individual drills.

CB Josh Wilson and S Deon Grant also returned after sitting out a day because each suffered a slight groin strain. DE Cory Redding was practicing, too, though Patrick Kerney remained out.

The only new absence from practice was guard Mansfield Wrotto, whose injury has not been specified yet. With Wrotto sidelined, Max Unger took first-unit reps at right guard. Kyle Williams stepped in for Unger when the big man lost his shoe during practice.

INT-eresting development: The Seahawks' seven-on-seven portion of the afternoon practice is the kind of drill that would have driven coach Mike Holmgren nuts because it included three interceptions.

Well, that drew compliments from coach Jim Mora, who doesn't always see the game through the quarterback's eyes. That's not a knock on Holmgren. The man is a Hall of Fame coach with an incredible offensive acumen, but he always saw every practice and each game from the position he played and that was quarterback.

Mora's background is on the defensive side of the ball, and when Ken Lucas, Deon Grant and linebacker Dave Philistin each intercepted a pass during the seven-on-seven drill, the coach celebrated instead of fuming.

A minute to win it: Practice concluded with a 2-minute drill with the ball at about midfield and 54 seconds on the clock. The first-string offense got down to the 5 with 13 seconds left and hustled to the line as if it would be a quick spike to stop the clock. Nope. Hasselbeck lofted a pass out to Nate Burleson, who couldn't make the catch because of pretty apparent pass interference by Kelly Jennings. No penalty, though, much to the consternation of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. That made it second down, and Ken Lucas knocked away a pass thrown to Deon Butler at the edge. Third down, Hasselbeck threw a third incompletion. There was 0.4 seconds left on the clock, but no more plays. The horn sounded and the second-string offense took the field.

The second-string offense scored in four plays as Mike Hass caught a short curl to begin the drive and punctuated it with a great leaping catch at the back of the end zone. Tight end Cameron Morrah and wide receiver Courtney Taylor also made great catches during the drive.

Cool hand Lucas: I never covered Ken Lucas as a Seahawk before this training camp. I began covering the team in 2005, the first season he played for Carolina after signing a whopping free-agent deal. He returned to Seattle after declining a paycut from Carolina, getting released and finding the market for his services more tepid than expected. He's here on a one-year deal.

Lucas is an eight-year veteran, and I expected him to cruise through training camp, maybe rev his motor a few times in exhibition games, but he's been in this game long enough he didn't have to prove himself in training camp.

I was wrong about that one because Lucas practices hard. That was apparent from the very first days of training camp. He is a cornerback who is very feisty and is willing to press receivers in the first few yards of their break.

He practices as hard as an undrafted rookie trying to make the team, which is pretty immpressive because it's not like he came to training camp with a lot to prove. This is a guy whose body of work in the NFL led Mora to name him the starting cornerback once he signed.

Green with envy: T.J. Houshmandzadeh spent years wearing the Bengals' orange so he's not sweating the possibility that the Seahawks may wind up sporting an alternative green jersey that is the color of nuclear cabbage. "I haven't really seen a [green] jersey," Houshmandzadeh said, "but if you got style, then you can rock anything. I think I got style, so I'm going to be just fine."

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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