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Friday, May 4, 2012
Deuce the vegan and other potential truths

By Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was definitely joking when he said Deuce Lutui, the team's new guard, checked in at 208 pounds for the offseason conditioning program.

But when Carroll indicated Lutui had indeed dropped considerable weight, the coach was serious. Carroll also dropped a shocker when he said Lutui, notorious for his weight troubles while with the Arizona Cardinals, had become a vegan.

That's right, a vegan.

Deuce Lutui
Coach Pete Carroll says the Seahawks were happy to add former Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui to the roster.
There were so many other angles to cover following the Seahawks' 45-minute voluntary workout for veterans Friday, but none could match this one for the double-take factor. Lutui's long history of weight issues invite skepticism. I followed up with Carroll twice in an effort to make sure the coach wasn't joking. He stuck with his story, but conceivably could have been kidding.

Weight troubles had, after all, derailed Lutui's signing with Cincinnati last offseason, leading the Bengals to fail him on a physical examination. The Cardinals valued Lutui as a starter for years, but they grew weary of the weight issues, relegating the former second-round draft choice to a backup role in 2011.

Lutui signed with Seattle this offseason and was reunited with Carroll, his former coach at USC. He was also reunited with the Trojans' former strength coach, Chris Carlisle.

"Deuce Lutui, he is a joy to have out here," Carroll said. "He has got such a great spirit. He always did. We looked at opportunities to get him on this club just because of that. He looks good. His weight is down -- I mean, way down from where he can be. He's a vegan, too, now, so he has really made a big turn, if you can imagine, yes."

Several reporters blurted out responses conveying surprise.

"Yeah, I wouldn't make that up," Carroll said.

Or would he? I'm not buying this one all the way. Lutui was not available for interviews. The team had a small window between its on-field session and meetings. Carroll, Flynn and Jackson were the ones made available.

The offensive players wore dark jerseys Friday, so there might have been a slimming factor to the visual, but all in all, I thought Lutui looked pretty good.

On to other subjects:
That's it for now. The NFC West chat begins at 3 p.m. ET.