Thursday, May 29, 2014
Carpenter slim, Harvin healthy, more
By Terry Blount
RENTON, Wash. -- Here are a few of my observations of the offense from the first day of OTAs for the Seattle Seahawks, along with some of the things coach Pete Carroll had to say and a key quote from Percy Harvin.
I'll list some key thoughts on the defense Friday. The media's only access this week was Tuesday, but there was a lot to see:
The slim-and-trim Carp: Who in the world was that man in James Carpenter's jersey? It was none other than the man himself, the greatly reduced version of the Seahawks left guard.
"He doesn't look like the same guy, physically," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He's been focused. He's in it and he's moving like crazy. He's looked the best he's ever looked, by far. We're really fired up about James."
The coaches say Carpenter has dropped at least 15 pounds off his 2013 "listed" weight of 320 (a conservative estimate, to say the least). But he looked like he had dropped 50 pounds. OK, that's an exaggeration, but the man looked as fit as I've ever seen him. Maybe he is 305 now, but he probably was pushing 340 a year ago.
It's clear Carpenter got the message when Seattle didn't pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. In shape and focused, Carpenter can be one heck of a player up front for the Seahawks in 2014.
Healthy, hungry Harvin: For the first time since he came to the Seahawks, receiver Percy Harvin is 100 percent healthy. He plans to make the most of it.
"This is probably the best I've ever felt since before college," Harvin said. "It's a true blessing. I'm happy to be healthy. The Super Bowl made things good and let me get some of the [anger] out. But I got home and was unsettled. I felt I didn't make my mark last season like I wanted to."
Hauschka still a kicking machine: One of the best offseason decisions the Seahawks made was signing kicker Steven Hauschka to a new three-year deal worth $9.1 million. Speaking of millions, the man is money on field goals. There wasn't any rust on him Tuesday, when he was 5-for-5 in field goals attempts during the scrimmage.
Michael takes charge: With Marshawn Lynch skipping the first day of practice, Christine Michael got the first-team reps at running back and made the most of it. Michael had several impressive carries in the 11-on-11 scrimmage. There was no tackling, but he obviously would have broken into the secondary a couple of times and showed quite a burst at the line of scrimmage.
"We have very high expectations for him," Carroll said of Michael. "He's going to get a ton of work. He's just a million miles ahead of where he was in terms of understanding what we want scheme-wise, pass protection wise, route wise, and we know he's a natural runner. He's got explosive talent and we just want to get him to fit in."
Pryor gets a lot of work: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor looked comfortable in his first chance to run the Seattle offense, often moving players around who lined up in the wrong formation. Pryor had nice throws, but he also missed throws, some of which were too low.
Nevertheless, Carroll is pleased in what he's seen from Pryor.
"He's been exactly on the mark," Carroll said. "He's studied like crazy and he's taking great pride in being able to transition to a new team. His communication is on it, his attitude is good and his physical stuff is there.
"He's a big thrower and we know he can run, but we haven't seen him run very much because you don't get that until live situations. But he's done an excellent job so far."