Tons of interesting personnel nuggets came out of Seahawks' OTAs today, and the headlining piece was Pete Carroll's list of players featured at Seattle's vacant punt returner position. Carroll mentioned after practice that if the season started today that free safety Earl Thomas would be the starter at punt returner, but he also wants to give Percy Harvin, Bryan Walters, and Richard Sherman a shot at the role. For my money, Percy is the favorite.
That said, Carroll obviously values field position and hasn't been afraid to feature his star players on special teams, so the thought of Earl Thomas returning punts isn't .... completely unlikely. I mean, it's unlikely... but Pete Carroll is nuts, so... who knows.
Carroll also mentioned:
-- James Carpenter is down 15 pounds this offseason and is in the best condition that he's ever been. Carroll seemed genuinely excited at the prospect of Carp regaining some confidence in his knee, which has been an issue for him for several years, and thinks that being fully recovered will positively affect his balance and power.
-- LB Malcolm Smith was in a walking boot after having ankle surgery to clean up some loose bodies in there (this was originally noticed when Smith showed up at the whitehouse in said boot). Smith is expected to be ready for training camp.
-- Safety Kam Chancellor remains on the sideline while he rehabs from hip surgery, which took place a few months ago. The team also expects that Chancellor will be ready for camp.
-- Russell Okung has yet to return to the field after having foot surgery this offseason, as does 2nd year cornerback Tharold Simon. Carroll mentioned that Simon is maybe a week or so away from being cleared for practice. DT Jesse Williams fell and lacerated his leg but the injury is not serious.
-- WR Sidney Rice continues to rehab from a torn ACL last year but is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
-- Christine Michael is a million miles ahead of where he was last year in terms of understanding scheme, protection, routes, etc. The team expects a lot from him this year.
-- Marshawn Lynch was not at practice, because it's optional, and Lynch misses OTAs every offseason.
Here's some audio from today from Pete, Earl Thomas, Percy, then Bobby Wagner: