SEATTLE (CBS/1090 The Fan) — The Seattle Seahawks opened training camp Saturday morning in front of a sold-out crowd of fans.
Here are some notes from the first day:
Defensive end Michael Bennett was present for training camp. While there were some murmurings earlier this year that his contract situation (read more about that here) could lead to a holdout à la Kam Chancellor in 2015, Bennett himself told Seattle’s 710 ESPN that he was planning to attend camp. So this shouldn’t come as a shock.
“I just want to be a Seahawk for the rest of my life and that’s just the most important thing,” he told reporters after practice.
Tight end Jimmy Graham (who is recovering from a ruptured patellar tendon) and running back Thomas Rawls (ankle) sat out today. Head coach Pete Carroll later confirmed both players have been added to the preseason PUP list.
Worth noting, unlike regular season PUP (where a player must sit out six weeks) a team may move a player from the preseason PUP list to the active roster at any time. So there’s no reason for fans to worry about what this move means — it was expected. Though he remains confident both Graham and Rawls will be ready to go week 1, Carroll has been stressing since OTAs that the team doesn’t plan to rush either player back. Carroll said Saturday he doesn’t expect there to be much of a change in either player’s PUP status for at least the next four days of camp (which would put us around Thursday’s practice on August 4 for an update).
Garry Gilliam, who had surgery in June to remove a cyst from his knee, participated during warmups but was held out of 11-on-11 drills. Bradley Sowell took over at left tackle, so that the first-team line from right to left was J’Marcus Webb, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi, and Sowell.
Play Of The Day
The biggest cheers from the crowd today were for a long pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to tight end Luke Willson, a long touchdown catch for Paul Richardson from Wilson, and a Kam Chancellor pick (also off Wilson).
Quote Of The Day
Bennett had a few poignant things to say post-practice, and it wasn’t surrounding his anticipated contract talk.
While he did speak briefly about his desire for a new deal (“I just think I deserve to be paid in the position that I play in. You know, I play four positions for the team, I do whatever I can to help the team win. So hopefully everything works out…”) Bennett took a few minutes to answer questions specifically about the Black Lives Matter t-shirt he was wearing.
“It means everything to me. I mean, it’s about social change and change economically and just change. You know, with everything that’s going on in society right now you just want to be a good advocate for speaking up when things are going wrong. Making sure the youth have great influences and being a professional athlete you want to be a great influence.”
He went on to say athletes have incredible power to influence, and because of that he hopes the sports community can speak together as a whole on important social issues.