RENTON – Hurry up and wait.
The Seattle Seahawks were resigned to that Thursday afternoon, as players took the field in pads and helmets, signing autographs and twiddling their thumbs until the NFL finally gave them the go-ahead that the league’s new collective bargaining agreement had been ratified.
“We thought we were being pranked for a minute, with everybody just standing out there with their pads on,” said receiver Sidney Rice. “We kept waiting on phone calls from the coach’s people, the NFL and also our player rep and things like that, but once we finally got the word, we got to get our first full-team breakdown, so it was great.”
New Seattle tight end Zach Miller said considering how a four-month lockout hampered the offseason, he wasn’t surprised he had to wait another 40 minutes.
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When the Seahawks received the league’s blessing, coach Pete Carroll finally got a chance to see his team’s big, free-agent haul in action. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, offensive guard Robert Gallery, Rice and Miller were among a dozen or so players taking the field for the first time in training camp.
All showed flashes of why Seattle targeted them, along with a considerable amount of rust.
Jackson demonstrated good arm strength and a nice touch moving outside the pocket. But he also struggled with his timing under center, fumbling several snap exchanges during team and 7-on-7 drills.
But overall, the 28-year-old quarterback was pleased just to be on the field.
“It felt good just to get a chance to get out there and practice with the guys,” Jackson said. “I’ve been here for about a week now. And it’s just been kind of frustrating to be on the sidelines watching. I was just anxious to get out there. And now we got a chance to get out there and get familiar with each other.”
Rice provided some highlight reel catches during the 21/2 hour workout, and appeared to be in midseason form, showing good footwork moving in and out of routes.
The 24-year-old receiver said the transition has been eased by the fact he already knows offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s playbook from his time in Minnesota.
“It helps a whole lot,” Rice said. “As soon as we broke down I felt right in the huddle, the same plays I had the last four years. It felt great. I was comfortable with that as well as Coach Bevell’s offense and T-Jack (Jackson) back there at quarterback.”
Second-year safety Kam Chancellor said playing against guys like Jackson, Rice and Miller can only make the defense better.
“I think Sidney is a heck of a receiver, and Tarvaris is a heck of a quarterback,” Chancellor said. “I mean we’re all out here trying to improve every day, and make sure we get that team chemistry ready for Week 1.”
Thursday also provided the first opportunity to see how Miller and John Carlson will play together. Just as Carroll told reporters earlier this week, the Seahawks ran several plays with two-tight-end sets, with both Miller and Carlson on the field.
Miller said he thinks he and Carlson can coexist.
“We’re similar, but we’re different too,” Miller said. “We can play off each other. Any time you can put pressure on a defense with two-tight-ends sets, you’re going to give them headaches. We’re going to do a lot of that, and it’s going to be really good for our offense.”
Seattle re-signed defensive end Raheem Brock to a one-year deal, adding a proven pass rusher to the defense.
Brock, 33, finished with a career-high nine sacks in 2010, second on the team to Chris Clemons’ 11 sacks. He had another two sacks in the playoffs.
The Philadelphia native worked out for New England on Wednesday, but ultimately decided to return to the familiarity of Seattle.
BABINEAUX TO TITANS
Former Seahawks defensive back Jordan Babineaux agreed to a one-year contract with the Tennessee Titans, where he will rejoin Jerry Gray. Titans defensive coordinator Gray coached Seattle’s defensive secondary last season.