RENTON, Wash. -- I'll be heading to 49ers camp in a couple weeks, but first I had a chance to drop by Seahawks practice Monday. A few thoughts and observations after watching practice and speaking with players and coaches, notably new head coach Pete Carroll:
Defensive end Chris Clemons, acquired from Philadelphia in the Darryl Tapp trade, has validated the investment from Carroll's perspective. I asked Carroll about the pass rush in general. Carroll singled out Clemons in particular. Carroll: "Chris Clemons has really improved a lot. I think that was a very good move for us. Chris has shown terrific speed. He is really into what we are doing. He is a disciplined football player. I really like him at the spot we are playing him. So far, that has gone well. We are hoping Aaron Curry on the other side will give us two guys who can go into Qwest (Field) and light it up on the edge. There won't be many teams faster than those two guys off the edge." Curry's development as a pass-rusher will be key to that strategy.
Receiver Deon Butler, acquired by the Seahawks' previous leadership during the 2009 draft, stands out to Carroll as the most improved receiver this offseason. Butler was one of the more impressive receivers Monday. He adjusted to the ball and made a leaping grab along the sideline. I asked about Butler specifically because Carroll and the Seahawks prefer bigger receivers. Carroll started to answer before I had finished asking. Carroll: "Deon Butler has probably made more progress than anybody since we've got off the film that we looked at last year. He is more disciplined about his route running. We know he is really fast. He has been a consistent catcher. He needs to be physical. As a smaller guy, he needs to stay on his feet and not get knocked around by defensive backs. But he is in it, running a lot with the first groups, so we're getting a very good look at him right now."
Seattle sees Golden Tate as a natural punt returner. Tate keeps catching high passes between defenders in practice. He also ran a couple wrong routes Monday, something Carroll said he called "understandable" for a rookie trying to learn an NFL system.
A sore shoulder sidelined rookie E.J. Wilson.
Running back LenDale White says he weighs 219 pounds. He plans to works his way back up to 228 pounds by adding muscle. White said he topped 1,000 yards weighing 265 pounds and playing with a torn meniscus. "Now I'm 215-220 and I feel amazing," White said.
J.P. Losman threw the ball with authority. It's easy to see why the Seahawks signed him as their third quarterback. Most No. 3 quarterbacks lack Losman's physical skills.
Those were a few of the items that stood out. I'll be heading to the 49ers in June, as noted, and then attending all four NFC West teams' training camps.