RENTON — The Percy Harvin situation has inevitably cast the spotlight of the first week of Seahawks training camp on the offense.
The defense, though, is also rightly pointed to as a reason that the Seahawks are regarded as legitimate Super Bowl favorites, having led the NFL a year ago in fewest points allowed.
“A lot of people talk about Percy Harvin,” said safety Earl Thomas after the Seahawks’ held their first scrimmage of camp on Friday at the VMAC. “But the guy never played with us and we got far last year and we are just going to build on that.”
They appeared to be doing just that during the scrimmage, with the defense generally making life miserable for the offense on a day when it felt more like November than August, with a steady drizzle also contributing to a few slips and drops.
The No. 1 offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions against the No. 1 defense, and there were just two touchdowns overall in what amounted to two full quarters of football.
“We were real sloppy at the line of scrimmage today,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who also noted that “I know we played really good run defense today.”
To be fair to the offense, the Seahawks experimented with a lot of combinations on the offensive line and also played without their top two Harvin-less receivers in Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin, each of whom should be back soon, as well as tight end Zach Miller, who has been out all camp but also could be back soon.
Golden Tate was also limited, leaving quarterback Russell Wilson generally throwing to players who figure to be backups or will fight to make the team.
Unofficially, Wilson was 10-21 for 106 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Luke Willson to complete a two-minute drill to end what was declared as the first half of the scrimmage.
The touchdown catch was another indication that Willson — a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft — may be able to help this season at a tight end spot lacking in experienced depth.
“Being a rookie, you always want to try and make plays and kind of prove yourself,” Willson said. “So to kind of be able to do something like that it was a good feeling. I want to have Russell get more and more comfortable with me and at the same time I’m starting to relax a little bit more and kind of be myself.”
The other touchdown came on a one-yard run by Christine Michael after backup quarterback Brady Quinn led a 65-yard drive keyed by his own 30-yard scramble and a pass interference penalty the defense protested vehemently.
The other points came on three field goals by Steven Hausckha (who was 3-3 on the day), including a 45-yarder on what proved to be the last play of the game to give the backups a 13-10 win.
Quinn also led that drive, which included completions on consecutive plays to second-year receiver Phil Bates, who is among a large group trying now to fill the roster spot created by the loss of Harvin.
Mostly, though, it was a day for the defense, which Thomas said should come to be expected.
“I think if we just pay attention to the little details as far as situations, the little things, if we pay attention to all of that we can be one of the best in Seahawks history,” Thomas said.
Rice back in the fold Receiver Sidney Rice was back with the Seahawks Friday after traveling to Switzerland earlier this week having what he said was a procedure similar to Platelet-rich Plasma treatment on his knee. Such treatments are not available in the United States as they are not approved by the FDA.
Rice took part in some early drills Friday but did not participate in the team’s scrimmage. However, he is expected to return to practice on Sunday.
Rice said he wanted the procedure because he has been having some Patellar Tendonitis.
“Something I set up earlier in the offseason, a little bit after OTAs (in May),” he said. “It was a long process, things I had to go through with the doctors over there. Just fortunate coach (Pete Carroll) gave me the opportunity to go over and getting it done and thankful for my teammates for not making it a big deal to leave practice.”
He said he wanted to calm the tednonitis “down a little bit. Been having a sore knee for quite a while now.”
Rice said it will take a few weeks to tell if the procedure has helped.
He said the treatment took about 20 minutes, laughing that the tough part was the flights that he said were “about 12-and-a-half hours both ways.”
Hawks add DoucetHoping to add more depth to a receiving corps that took a hit with the injury to Harvin, the Seahawks on Friday agreed to terms with free agent Early Doucet, who last year caught 28 passes for 207 yards for the Arizona Cardinals.
Doucet had worked out for the Seahawks earlier this week and the team announced the move following Friday’s practice.
Doucet’s best year came in 2011 when he caught 54 passes and five touchdowns.
The Seahawks made room for Doucet on the 90-man roster by waiving/injured defensive end Kenneth Boatright, who hurt his shoulder in practice earlier this week.
The Seahawks escaped significant injury during the scrimmage. But there was a scare during an early drill when receiver Stephen Williams was upended by safety Winston Guy in a drill that was supposed to be non-contact. Carroll called it a “terrible play that never should have happened.” Williams had a sore neck but returned to participate in the scrimmage.