RENTON – You can’t put much value in assessments reaped from a 45-minute workout by an NFL team in early May. But even in a session without pads and helmets you can see who’s in condition and how those coming off injuries have recovered thus far.
You can at least see how these guys made it through the winter. And then you see Marshawn Lynch, who apparently believes it still is winter.
Always eager to express his unique personal style, Lynch once again worked out Wednesday at team headquarters wearing a full, balaclava-style ski mask pulled over his head and face.
If he’s seeking anonymity even among his teammates, the No. 24 jersey gives him away, of course, as do the jump-cuts and bursts through the line.
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Except for the head-gear, Lynch is representative of most of the veteran Seahawks on display in these workouts … lean and fit and fast.
Two of the new free agents, for instance, are obviously eager to make impressions.
Defensive lineman Jason Jones, at 6-5, 276 pounds, is all angles and levers. If slapping your way through a series of blocking dummies in a hurry is any indication, Jones seems to be a perfect fit as an interior rusher on passing downs.
And the new No. 72 is the surprisingly svelte guard Deuce Lutui, whom you may recall from the days when he was stretching out Arizona Cardinals jerseys. Lutui failed the physical last year with Cincinnati and returned to Arizona as a backup.
Although said to have been topping out in the 400-pound range, he’s listed at a believable 338 now, having slimmed down by adopting some vegan concepts in his diet.
That’s good news for an offensive line that finished the season without three injured high draft picks – Russell Okung, James Carpenter and John Moffitt. Okung and Moffitt have recovered well enough to be active in drills going against bags, while Carpenter is on the hoof but mostly watching.
Receiver Sidney Rice, coming off two shoulder surgeries, was not active in drills, but was outfitted and playing catch on the side with Mike Williams. Rice was able to catch balls with both hands above his head without any trouble.
Another guy is hardly considered a sleeper, having earned a starting job as a rookie fourth-round pick last year, but linebacker K.J. Wright shows obvious benefits of having been in the program a whole year.
He’s listed at 6-4, 246, but he looks even bigger and faster – and certainly more comfortable – than last season. Although he was successful on the outside last year, he really has the look of a potential long-term middle linebacker if they want to move him inside.
Defensive end Red Bryant – recipient of a fat contract after the season – was the only player available to the media afterward.
I wondered if he had any thoughts on players who strike him as having shown up in impressive shape, and perhaps headed for breakout seasons.
“I could say that across the board,” Bryant said. He first touted speedy receiver Ricardo Lockette, who saw limited action last fall as a raw rookie.
“The offensive line, from starter to backup, they look bigger, stronger, faster,” Bryant said. “From starter to backup, you really can’t tell the difference.”
Bryant contrasted the depth situation to 2010 when he was sidelined with a knee injury.
“We really didn’t have a person who could step up at that time and do what Coach Carroll envisioned for the defense,” he said.
“You can’t say the same today. If one guy goes down, I’m pretty sure the next guy could step in with no drop off.”
Bryant talked about another impressive addition: His son, Joseph, weighs 22 pounds and is 29 inches long. He is 4 months old. Not 4 years; 4 months.
The Seahawks have had cornerbacks smaller than that.
Red, himself, looks to be carrying a little post-partum weight. But that’s to be expected.
Otherwise, the gathering of Seahawks veterans looked very fit and surprisingly ready for football.
Or, in the case of Lynch, a day on the ski slopes.