So, I'm not sure if you remember, but a little while back there was a FanPost by an individual promoting a meet-and-greet with Pete Carroll courtesy of POWERADE. It was taken down fairly swiftly because I'm sure that the admins at Field Gulls, like me, were quite suspicious of a claim such as this when Pete Carroll's name wasn't even spelled correctly.
I was one of those kids back when the internet was still relatively new that tried to win their family a dream vacation by clicking on popups and entering in my email address, oh, I don't know, a couple dozen times. That being said, I was rather skeptical of this Pete Carroll meet-and-greet offer... but went with it anyway. Had they offered free Cialis and Vicodin I may have been a bit more wary, but a couple of emails later and I had a Father's Day gift for my dad.
All jest and jabs aside, many thanks to POWERADE for making this happen. It was a once in a lifetime experience and the representatives were nothing but wonderful to my father and I. I'd like to get something going with POWERADE and Field Gulls in the future, so start thinking of some ideas!
After a tour of the VMAC, which I must say is a stunningly perfect facility, I got to sit with Pops on the grassy knoll alongside the outdoor practice field in the uncharacteristically beautiful weather and watch young (and old) athletes try to make a dollar. Me, dad, the sun, football and my notebook:GENERAL NOTES:
- Isaiah Stanback appears unhindered by his past injuries. He struggled a bit with press coverage but looked quick on several fly routes and got upfield quickly on bubble screens. His hands need some work as the deep looks he got were bobbled, but never caught.
- Julius Jones and Justin Forsett were absent again, leaving the carries to Quinton Ganther and Louis Rankin. Neither looked overly impressive and were often gobbled up by a disruptive defensive line. Leon Washington participated in non-contact drills.
- Mike Williams looks very much the part of a competitive receiver. On several jump balls, watching him fully extend his 6' 4" frame and snatch the ball out of the air was extremely impressive; his ability to turn up field immediately after the catch was almost more impressive. One thing you'll notice on short receptions is his killer inside move after the catch. I hope he sticks.
- The WR position seems entirely unsettled, and I'm not sure if that is a result of Pete's desire for competition in all sectors or players simply not being able to differentiate themselves. Receivers running with the first team ranged from Deon Butler, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate to Mike Williams and Isaiah Stanback. Training camp will indeed be a battle.
- Walter Thurmond was on the field for some 11-on-11 action with the second team, seeing time at LCB and covering the slot. His rehab appears to be going well as his footwork was crisp and he was able to smother receivers on several occasions. It was rather encouraging.
KEY PLAYS / OTHER TIDBITS
- Golden Tate is fast - or, as potential Seahawk Marshawn Lynch would say, "stoopit fast." On a kickoff return, after receiving a lateral, Tate read his blocks patiently until hitting his second gear and riding it all the way to the end zone. His 4.42 speed was evident. With Josh Wilson, Golden and Forsett returning kicks, I'm personally excited for the return game this year.
- Earl Thomas' end zone interception of Matt Hasselbeck was easily the highlight of the day; it was one of those "well, you really can't do anything about that" interceptions. Matt tried to look him off with his gaze locked on John Carlson to the left, but Thomas darted and dove in front of Deon Butler for a pretty incredible pick.
- Thomas also sniffed out two PA boots on consecutive plays, dropping the QB for huge losses. Instinctual as advertised.
- We were lucky enough to be taken into the Draft War Room and see where all the magic happens. A lot of good work was done within those walls, and I've got a feeling it's going to happen again this time next year.
- Nick Reed has grown out his head and facial hair and has the appearance of a lumberjack in a Seahawks uniform after downing a pint of maple syrup. Badass. I tried to snap some evidence but his facial radiation destroyed my camera.
- My goal for the day was to get a picture of Pete Carroll giving me a noogie, but to no avail. Standard picture it was. Just as all the reports you've read and interviews you've seen, Coach Carroll is an extremely likable guy. He's the type that you'd like to have as your uncle, and if you were lucky enough to have his as a grandpa, the holidays would be AWESOME. His energy is contagious as it is addicting, and I'm really excited to have him in the PNW coaching our beloved Seahawks.
Again, many shouts to POWERADE for this opportunity. It's one that my father, nor I, will ever forget.