I am still pinching myself in disbelief over the fact that Terrell Owens is a Seahawk. It was kind of surreal to see T.O. in a navy blue Seahawks practice jersey and see him address the media in front of the Seahawks logo-filled press conference background. It was estimated that there were over four times as many media members and cameras on hand for today’s practice than an average training camp practice. The Seahawks have not had this kind of national media coverage since the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XL. In my opinion it was a nice change to see us be the lead on Sportscenter as well.
The focus of today’s practice was of course the wide receivers. Owens spent the majority of practice running with the second-string unit opposite Braylon Edwards. Owens lined up at flanker for the most part, which is Sidney Rice’s primary position with the first-string unit. From what I could tell he looked very sharp. He did not drop any balls and made every route he ran and catch he made look incredibly easy. Having said that, Owens has been out of the league for over a full season so there is some catch up physically and mentally to be expected. “I’m a little rusty… now I’m just trying to get myself physically back in shape to play football and today was a step in the right direction” Owens said in his post-practice press conference. Coach Carroll indicated yesterday that Owens will not play against Tennessee on Saturday night which as a fan is disappointing but surely understandable. You cannot expect to throw a raw and rusty veteran on the field four days after being signed. The good thing though is Owens is familiar with the offense and based on what he talked about today all that really needs to happen is for him to get his football legs back and get back into great football shape. I expect Owens to play next weekend against Denver and by then be challenging to line up opposite Rice with the first-team offense.
Yesterday Coach Carroll announced that Tarvaris Jackson’s reps would be cut significantly and that Matt Flynn will start against Tennessee on Saturday. The goal is to have Flynn play the entire first half and then have Russell Wilson step in to play the second half. Today in practice, Flynn looked very sharp. His best play was a 30-yard streak to Terrell Owens among others. Flynn’s great practice today was praised by former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen, who told Dave “Softy” Mahler of KJR “It’s likely that in all of 2011, Tarvaris Jackson never had as good a practice as Matt Flynn had today.”
I think it is becoming clearer what the plan is for the quarterback competition. Coach Carroll said yesterday that they have enough data and knowledge on Jackson that they don’t want to see him in this preseason game and can afford to cut his first-team reps down in practice. My prediction is that Jackson will be cut by the time the regular season starts. Carroll suggested he is 100 percent comfortable handing the keys of the car over to Flynn and if that is the case, there is no good reason why he would not be starter come week one. My guess is that Flynn will be the starter, Wilson the backup, and Josh Portis will be the third-string quarterback.
Tomorrow I will be live from the VMAC for practice. If T.O. signs autographs there is no doubt I will try to get a word with him. Three days until the Tennessee game everybody!