RENTON, Wash. — Pete Carroll came away from Seattle’s preseason opener impressed with how his younger players who had shown off in practice were just as strong in the Seahawks first game situation.
Carroll wasn’t concerned about his starting offense and defense struggling for the brief time they got on the field, but instead focused on the unproven guys who got their chances in the Seahawks win over San Diego.
“I thought the guys that had been doing things in practice kind of did the same things in the game and it carried over and translated from the practice field. A number of our guys felt their matchups on the practice field got them ready and were tougher than what they had in the game,” Carroll said. “So it was really positive and the kind of first step I like getting.”
Sunday’s practice saw the return of backup running back Robert Turbin, who had yet to participate in training camp due to a foot injury. There might have been a little more urgency for Turbin to get back on the field after rookie Christine Michael rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries against the Chargers.
While Turbin returned, it will still be a couple more weeks for tight end Zach Miller (foot) and defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring), Carroll said. Both are improving but neither might be ready for the Seahawks’ third preseason game at Green Bay.
“They are doing well in the rehab and they are running well on the ground and working out. Again we are going to continue to be conservative with them at this early time,” Carroll said. “It might still be two weeks away before they do something but I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of this week they are doing more and getting closer to the practice field.”
Turbin sat the first two weeks of training camp with a sore foot that allowed for Michael and fellow rookie Spencer Ware their chances to take snaps that normally would be going to Turbin. He said the foot pain kept him from being able to make cuts the way he wanted to.
The injury was a setback after Turbin came on in the second half of last season. He rushed for 354 yards backing up Marshawn Lynch, but more than half that total came in three of the final four games of the regular season. Turbin hopes with Leon Washington now in New England he can become even more of a consistent third-down option for the Seahawks, but knows he’ll get pushed by Michael.
“I want to be a guy that’s very versatile, first, second, third, fourth down. Whatever the game situation is I want to be able to get in and execute and that’s ultimately how you develop into being a starter in this league,” Turbin said.
For me there was a sense of urgency, but for everybody else they had a lot more patience than I did and that’s probably how it’s supposed to be. The player wants to play but
This week will be an opportunity for Turbin to earn time as Michael is suffering from back spasms that kept him out of practice Sunday. Carroll said it could be a few days before Michael returns.
Opportunity is also what wide receiver Stephen Williams is trying to take advantage of. With Percy Harvin out and possessing a 6-foot-5 frame that Carroll loves in in receivers, Williams popped with two long catches, including a 42-yard touchdown reception from Tarvaris Jackson, continuing what he showed in practice making impressive catches against Seattle’s strong secondary.
“It’s always good when you practice like you play. I come in here every day with the expectation to compete and make big plays so in the game I took the same mindset,” Williams said.
Jackson also took an early lead in the race to backup starting QB Russell Wilson. Jackson completed 8 of 9 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Brady Quinn wasn’t bad either, completing 6 of 11 passes and throwing a touchdown.
Notes: Carroll said rookie offensive tackles Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie were both impressive and that assistant head coach Tom Cable raved about their performances. ... G James Carpenter, LB Bruce Irvin, DT Tony McDaniel, DT Jaye Howard, CB Byron Maxwell were among those sitting Sunday with minor injuries.