For the first preseason game in San Diego at 7 p.m. Thursday, the Seahawks will give long looks to some key backups, especially at quarterback, where veterans Tarvaris Jackson and Brady Quinn get their first real chance to put some daylight between each other.
“It’s a big deal for both,” said coach Pete Carroll after practice at VMAC in Renton Wednesday. “I’m real anxious to see how this will go. They’ve both performed well during practice and they have both handled themselves in the team really well.
“We are very fortunate to have their experience. They got four games to really prove it and they will get a lot of playing time.”
One receiver they won’t be throwing to is Early Doucet, the sixth-year receiver cut by Arizona and signed by Seattle Friday to a veteran’s minimum deal of $715,000. But he practiced only once, Sunday, and was cut Wednesday after Carroll spoke. The NFL transaction wire said the reason was a failure to disclose a physical condition.
Before the news, Carroll was asked for an update and didn’t sound optimistic.
“He’s been banged up,” he said, “and he’s got some issues that we’re still working with right now.”
The Seahawks also won’t have DE/LB Bruce Irvin, who will stay home because of a groin strain. Irvin already is booked to miss the first four games as a result of a suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
“Yeah, I’m disappointed in it and so is he,” said Carroll, who thought Irvin would return to practice next week. “We’re frustrated by that because these games are important to him. He’s one of the guys who has a chance to really show something. Unfortunately it can’t work out.”
Carroll has said that G James Carpenter is out with a foot problem unrelated to previous injuries and that C Max Unger has a groin strain that will make his play a game-time decision. WR Sidney Rice is also unlikely after having a treatment in Switzerland for chronic knee pain. and MLB Bobby Wagner will sit out.
Of Bradford, a sixth-round pick by Tampa in 2011 who played for Carroll at USC, he said, “This has been a long project with Allen since we transitioned him from running back. You don’t know this, but way back in the day, he was one of the best high school players in the nation both ways. He was a great defensive player. He played running back at USC and always kind of liked the thought of playing defense.
“So when he finally got back here and turned things around, he and (linebackers coach) Ken Norton kind of came to an agreement that we would take some time to figure it out. But now is his time. He played just a little bit when we had pads on in practice last year and we got a great evaluation of him. It’s been a great experiment. He’s really fast, really strong, and really tough.
“We’ll give him a month and see how it works. He’s very talented so we’re cheering for him.”
Of Michael, a second-rounder from Texas A&M who was the Seahawks’ top pick in April, Carroll said, “He’ll get a load. He and (rookie fullback Spencer Ware) are going to carry the football. They’re going to be a regular part. You’re not going to see a whole bunch of Marshawn (Lynch).
“You’re going to see Christine right off the bat (on kickoff returns). I don’t mind telling you that because I’m kind of anxious to see it myself.”
Overall, Carroll said the progress made last season doesn’t mean much regarding security this season.
“Just because you started figuring things out last year, doesn’t mean anything for this year,” he said. “It just doesn’t. It’s what you do (now), and how you respond, and how you answer the call. I know everybody talks about expectations coming from last season. That doesn’t matter to me at all.”
He said he plans to push the rookies front and center.
“We are very excited about the young guys,” he said. “We think that there is a lot of brightness in these guys and they can add to our football team.”