Jesse Williams was in shoulder pads practicing today on a limited basis for the first time since doctors removed his cancerous kidney in May.
“One kidney, no kidney, I’m going to try to find a way to get back,” Williams said following the sixth practice of Seahawks minicamp here in Renton.
Williams said he knows of no football player doing previously what he’s trying to do now: come back to play professionally with one kidney.
I wouldn’t count him out. The Australian known as “The Monstar” has already bulled through knee injuries that cost him all of his first two seasons in the league with Seattle.
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▪ Doug Baldwin said again, as he did in his Facebook post Tuesday, this is the best receiving unit he’s played with at any level. He also continued his praise for the route-running and poise of rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett, saying “he’s a lot more polished than I was as a rookie” -- which as some on my Twitter feed have correctly pointed out should be the case since Lockett is a third-round draft choice from Kansas State for whom Seattle traded four pick to move up into Washington’s draft slot to get and Baldwin came out of Stanford undrafted in 2011.
And, yes, Baldwin got asked about Percy Harvin. The former Seahawks receiver who fought with Baldwin days before the exhibition finale at Oakland 12 months ago went on ESPN yesterday from Buffalo Bills camp and talked about “not being accepted in our receiver group” and “the altercation with Doug” in Seattle. The Seahawks traded Harvin to the New York Jets as they were boarding their bus to the airport two days before Seattle’s game at St. Louis last October.
“In the locker room, I feel you always want to handle things man to man,” Harvin told ESPN, “which is kind of what I’d done in the Doug situation. But that ended up turning to backfire.”
Baldwin got his first question on Harvin well into his interview session at a podium just off the practice field today.
“Dang, it took you all a while to get to that,” Baldwin said with a smile.
“Honestly, I didn’t know he felt that way. I thought we’d squashed it before he left,” Baldwin said of Harvin. “I’ve got no hard feelings toward him. I wish him the best of luck.”
▪ Top rookie draft choice Frank Clark, the pass rusher from Michigan, got stopped a couple times by starting right guard J.R. Sweezy on spin moves in a one-on-one pass-rushing drill -- then after practice said fellow end Michael Bennett is working on expanding Clark’s repertoire.
“He’s told me that a lot of moves I used to use in college I can’t use anymore,” Clark said. “So I have to use new moves, or tweak moves.”
Clark continues to get a lot of snaps as an inside pass rusher over the guards in nickel defense, as Bennett did so successfully for the Seahawks last season including in the Super Bowl. The rookie said it’s the first time he’s ever rushed from inside, and it’s a noticeable difference in how much more quickly guards such as Sweezy are all over him engaged in pass protection at the snap. Getting off the ball and starting his pass-rush move quickly immediately after the snap is something Clark will be working on all season, it seems.
▪ Earl Thomas coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list means he’s likely to practice in some fashion by Monday. The man taking his free safety spot as the All-Pro has been watching is third-year man Steven Terrell. Terrell told me today he is ecstatic, not upset that his time is ending, now that Thomas is returning soon.
“I’m not selfish,” Terrell said. “I learn so much from Earl. It’s about being the best me. He helps me so much.”
▪ Baldwin had one of the best plays of practice, running from the middle of the end zone to the right sideline, lunging and catching Russell Wilson’s pass with one arm and hand on a goal-line roll out for a score to end a 2-minute drill.
▪ In that drill, Lemuel Jeanpierre was the first-team center and Alvin Bailey was the left guard.
▪ Jordan Hill got a lot of times as the first-team nose tackle today and sliced into the backfield multiple times.
▪ Jermaine Kearse leaped inside rookie cornerback Tye Smith and pulled down a pass by Tarvaris Jackson. He completed the catch while falling on his back into the end zone.