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Seahawks not just blowing smoke

7/26/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seahawks have finished their morning practice. The team put its powers of concentration to work as smoke from a nearby BBQ wafted across the field like something out of a Yogi Bear cartoon. Overtones of grilled onions eventually gave way to the sweet smell of bacon as team chef Mac McNabb prepared a lunch of ribs of baked beans. Seemed like practice would never end.

Now that the scene is set, a few observations:

  • Starting center Chris Spencer isn't working. Coach Mike Holmgren lumped Spencer into a group of players taking things easy following offseason surgeries. Unlike the other guys who passed physicals, Spencer hasn't practiced since early in the first session Friday. His injury situation is definitely worth monitoring.

  • Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs ran sprints off to the side during practice. The Seahawks want him back for the regular season, but they can't be counting on him given the knee issues that have sidelined Tubbs repeatedly.

  • The young receivers have yet to separate. Ben Obomanu made what I thought was the most impressive catch of the day for a 25-yard gain near the left sideline. None of the receivers appear to be faltering yet, but it's early.

  • The Seahawks have not yet committed to Julius Jones as their starting running back, but if he is indeed the favorite, Maurice Morris can't afford to make the decision easier. That thought came to mind as Morris dropped an easy pass roughly 10 yards downfield. A short time later, Jones made a catch over his left shoulder despite tight coverage from linebacker David Hawthorne.

  • Charlie Frye might be showing signs of improvement as the third quarterback despite a few off-target throws today. He appears more comfortable. He also tossed a 30- or 40-yard ball into a small opening in a practice net. The Seahawks would like Frye to improve enough for Holmgren to feel good about using No. 2 quarterback as a receiver on occasion.

  • The Seahawks appear to be developing young offensive linemen more effectively with Mike Solari and Mike DeBord coaching the line. Reminder: Keep an eye on Mansfield Wrotto and Kyle Williams in the exhibition games.

  • Matt Hasselbeck popped up quickly and gave baseball's "safe" sign after falling awkwardly after a handoff. If only wise-cracking center Robbie Tobeck had been there. Tobeck retired before last season, taking his one-liners with him. Tobeck used to call out "Seabiscuit" when slow-footed former quarterback Trent Dilfer would run with the ball.

  • Rookie running back Justin Forsett, 5-foot-8 and 194 pounds, can be hard to find out there -- for defenders as well as spectators. He's got some fight, too, at one point winning a tug-of-war for the ball with Lofa Tatupu on the other end. It looked as though Forsett surprised Tatupu with his strength.

I'll be back in a bit after catching up on happenings in the other NFC West camps. The Seahawks hold another practice at 2:45 p.m. PT.