Seahawks Blog

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

August 9, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Camp Carroll 2.0: Day 10

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Robert Gallery: Straight from the heartland
By Danny O'Neil, The Seattle Times

RENTON -- There is a difference in the offensive line. That comes across first in the pace of practice.

Tom Cable wants everything done on the hop whether it's the reps within a particular drill or the transition from one drill to the next.

"We go very fast," said center Max Unger.

That's by design, and it is the single biggest adjustment for playing under Cable, said veteran Robert Gallery.

"He pushes guys," Gallery said. "He wants you to push your body past where you thought you could go. I think that's the biggest thing, just the mentality he wants you to bring to the game, and the style we run for us to be successful, we've got to come off and strike people and do that play after play after play. Some people are not built for that. So if that's not your deal or you can't learn to relish in that, it's going to be a long, long game."

There is so much different in Seattle this season from a new starting quarterback to a new-found depth at wide receiver. But it's the offensive line that has undergone the biggest overhaul. Only one Seahawks starter is back in the spot where he played last year: Left tackle Russell Okung. There are two rookies on the right side, and Gallery now plugged in at left guard.

So how do they look as Seattle approaches its first exhibition game Thursday in San Diego? They look bigger. Significantly bigger in fact. Max Unger is the lightest member of the line and he's 305.

There's more power in the run-blocking game with right tackle James Carpenter, right guard John Moffitt.

Pass protection is going to be the challenge. That's where continuity and familiarity play a larger role.

And if the past three years have been any guide, training camp is no time to pronounce Seattle's difficulty along the offensive line cured. That was the storyline when Mike Solari was brought in to coach the offensive line in 2008, and again when Alex Gibbs was hired in 2010. He quit eight days before the start of the regular season.

So is the offensive line essentially starting all over again?

"The concepts are the same, but you do start over," Unger said. "Really with the calls and the concepts of the plays. The offense is pretty much the same thing, but that's where it ends."

(Keep reading to see the rest of the report from Monday's training camp.)

• Is it time to get a little concerned about Red Bryant's status? Coach Pete Carroll has indicated there isn't anything all that serious, but Bryant did practice without limitation the first few days of training camp, playing without a knee brace, and he has been watching the past week. No defensive player had a bigger impact than Bryant last season, and when he was lost for the season just before halftime in Week 8, Seattle's run defense was never the same. But durability is a concern. He has undergone two knee surgeries in three years and never played more than seven games in any season. Seattle drafted one defensive lineman -- seventh-rounder Pep Levingston -- and signed Alan Branch, Jimmy Wilkerson and Ryan Sims in free agency, but Bryant is a big part of the plans this season.

• Receiver Ricardo Lockette continues to make plays on the regular during practice. Lockette is a burner, no doubt. He was timed running 40 yards in 4.37 seconds last year at the scouting combine, tied for fastest among of any receiver there. He's thicker than I expected, too, and what was most significant about a red-zone catch Monday was the way he sold his route, getting the cornerback moving back and creating the opening for Lockette to run a square in. Lockette and Doug Baldwin are two undrafted rookies to keep an eye on Thursday in San Diego.

Josh Pinkard is getting a shot to earn a safety job in Seattle. A cornerback under Carroll at USC, he was still recovering from knee surgery when he joined the Seahawks. He's playing with a bulky brace, and Seattle likes those coverage skills in their safeties. There's a lot of competition at safety, though.

• CB Walter Thurmond remains out with a sprained ankle, leaving Kelly Jennings working with the first-unit defense.

• LB Aaron Curry did not practice Monday. It was interesting that rookie Mike Morgan practiced at the strongside linebacker spot in Curry's absence. K.J. Wright, drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi State, has been seeing time as backup middle linebacker while Malcolm Smith is working as the backup weakside linebacker. Smith can run, that is obvious, and he very well may see time as a nickel linebacker right off the bat.

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We need to stash whichever young guys don't make the opening day roster on the practice squad...all this young talent can set a team up for a...  Posted on August 10, 2011 at 9:59 AM by LargentSon. Jump to comment
Great information. The only bummer is that Jennings is working with the first team. Hope Thurmond gets well soon or we'll be giving up yards...  Posted on August 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM by sndmnpja57. Jump to comment
Nice analysis tompage. It's helpful to hear from somebody who was at training camp, especially if you've gone there over the years. It...  Posted on August 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM by apotheosis29. Jump to comment

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