RENTON -- The Seahawks wrap their offseason workouts over the next three days with their only mandatory practices of their summer calendar.
The three-day mandatory mini-camp will conclude workouts for the team until they reconvene upon the Virginia Mason Athletic Center at the end of July for the start of training camp for the 2019 NFL season.
Unlike in many previous seasons, everyone was accounted for for the start of mini-camp. There were no contract holdouts and only one absence as defensive tackle Al Woods was excused to attend to a personal matter. Linebacker Bobby Wagner was on the practice field and had a helmet on throughout the 90-minute practice, but it served as little more than a decoration. Wagner has vowed to be with the team even though he isn't practicing as he seeks a new contract extension from the team.
Approximately 15 players sat out of practice due to injuries with most not expected to take part in the mini-camp. However, only a few players are expected to be out when training camp gets underway next month.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke with reporters for the first time since the start of OTAs and gave a run down of where the team stands as its offseason nears conclusion.
-- Bobby Wagner continues to want a new contract from the Seahawks as he prepares to enter the final year of his deal with the team. Wagner is serving as his own agent throughout the process and is the direct point of communication with the team regarding contract talks. Both sides have been upbeat throughout the spring and summer and Carroll lauded Wagner for his approach to his situation.
"He’s handled it beautifully," Carroll said. "You know, Bobby’s an incredible player in this program and everything that he does, just his presence is obvious. He’s been around for everything. He’s been involved with everything and he’s handled it exactly the way he should under these circumstances."
Carroll was asked where discussions stand on a new deal and he said the two sides have agreed not to discuss the status of talks publicly.
-- Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah continues to work out on side fields during practice as he works his way back from a shoulder injury that ended his 2018 season with the Detroit Lions.
Ansah isn't expected to be back on the practice fields until sometime during training camp in August. Carroll indicated today Ansah has taken part in walkthroughs and is focusing on regaining strength in his shoulder.
"He's a real smart guy, bright guy, picking up the scheme," Carroll said. "He's in the walkthroughs and stuff, today he was, so he's able to get the huddle calls and make the calls and adjustments. He's going to be really good at all that kind of stuff. What we know mostly is from watching him and playing against him. The kind of competitor and the tough guy that he is and the effort guy that he is. So we're counting on all of that coming back. He's working really hard and he's doing great in his process coming back. It's just a matter of strength-gaining. His shoulder is healed and all that so it's just making sure that we don't come back too soon and ensure that his recovery is for good.
"We're going to wait. These six weeks coming up will be crucial and we have a really specific plan set up for him. He has a little traveling that he has to do to go home (to Ghana) but other than that he'll be working with our guys throughout. And then we'll just see when camp comes. We'll take the camp to get it done, I'm sure. I don't think we'll rush him. There won't be a need to start him up right out of the chutes and we'll see how he goes in the weeks to follow."
-- Shaquem Griffin has been deployed as more of a pass rush threat during offseason workouts as the team looks to find a better fit for his skills in their defense in year two. He's been used as a strong-side linebacker in base defense looks and a weak-side linebacker in nickel situations. Last season, he was mainly a backup at the weak-side spot.
"It’s been really a good deal for him," Carroll said. "We see how much background he has on the edge. He’s played safety and outside linebacker for the most part in his career. He’s just more comfortable out there. That doesn’t mean that he can’t play behind the line of scrimmage. He’s gained a lot there, but you can see him on the edge, in space and coming off the edge and pressures and stuff like that, that it’s a good spot for him. So he’s had a very, very good off season with us."
-- Defensive tackle Jarran Reed was back taking part in portions of practice on Tuesday for the first time since having offseason sports hernia surgery.
"That's the first chance he's had to get back out there," Carroll said. "He's been working a lot and conditioning on the side to make sure he's coming along. Just the fact that he was out there was fun to see him out."
-- Wide receiver Gary Jennings took part in team workouts for the first time in a practice open to reporters. Jennings had done some early work in the last practice of OTAs last Thursday. He has been sidelined since the NFL Draft due to a strained hamstring.
'Really important," Carroll said. "We missed all that, you know, all those first few weeks. Every day is important for these young guys. Gary’s started out well, he’s come out looking good, moving well, catching the ball well. It hasn’t had very limited in what he’s done, but just to see him in the drills and all so we can see him move in comparison to the other guys. He’s a really strong, well fit, speedy guy. And so it’s going to be interesting to see how he fits into this whole thing. But he’s behind though, you know, this is putting behind, he’s going to have to catch up."
-- Additional injury updates:
Running back Travis Homer: "Travis, I think, got a little bit of running in today. ... He had a hammy, I think."
Safety Marquise Blair: "Marquise is still coming back from a hammy that happened about a week ago, 10 days ago. ... The little bit that he's had, he's looked very good and we're disappointed we can't get him back out."
Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven: "He had athletic hernia surgery about six weeks ago now. So he's back running. He did the walkthroughs today so he's back. Just not quite ready to do this workload."
Guard Mike Iupati: "He got his foot turned a little bit. Just got a minor foot sprain. He'll be fine. We're resting him. He won't work tomorrow or the next day. But he's OK. I think it happened Thursday in practice so he's a little sore."
Wide receiver Amara Darboh: "He’s had a sore knee that kind of got activated through the work. It’s the knee that bothered him a little bit last year. He didn’t get injured. It’s just sore enough that we want to make sure and get them through the camp and not let this be a factor going through the summer."
Wide receiver Caleb Scott (broken foot), wide receiver Malik Turner (foot), defensive tackle Nazair Jones (knee), safety Delano Hill (hip), defensive tackle Jamie Meder, tackle Demetrius Knox, cornerback Derrek Thomas and tight end Will Dissly (knee) also did not practice on Tuesday. Running back Chris Carson also remains out as he rehabs from offseason knee surgery, but Carroll said he's in even better shape than he was a season ago.
“Nobody is in better shape than Chris Carson," Carroll said. “He’s just an extremely well-fit guy. He’s just razor sharp strength-wise and explosion-wise. He’s always really impressive.”
Photo Credit: SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 16: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during warm ups prior to their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)