Seahawks' Hill makes adjustment from college to pros
"When it's a double team, pass or run, you've got to put on your big boy pads and be ready to go," Hill said, smiling. "I like going against the first team because I know I've got to bring it each and every play."
At Penn State, the 6-1, 303-pound defensive tackle was a man amongst boys, using his quickness, strength and leverage to overpower his opponents.
"The movement is the thing that we saw on college tape," Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. "As a 3-technique inside pass rusher he's very active, and that's one of things I noticed right away."
A first-team, All-Big 10 performer his senior season at Penn State, Hill finished with a career-high 64 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 8.5 stops for loss in 12 games.
But Hill, a third-round selection for the Seahawks in this year's draft, now faces a steep learning curve in his rookie season. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said the team drafted Hill for his ability to rush the passer from the interior of the defense.
"It's similar to what I did at Penn State," Hill said. "I like playing both inside positions. I've just got to get comfortable. Once I get comfortable, I'll be ready to go."
Hill, 22, currently is third on the depth chart at nose tackle behind starter Brandon Mebane and backup Clinton McDonald, but will be given an opportunity to earn time as part of Seattle's third-down, pass-rush package.
"We'd like to see him really compete to be on the nickel group, and rushing the passer," Carroll said. "He's got nice quickness. He's got a good style about his pass rush. We'll see if that fits in. Right now, he's making some good impressions in that regard so that would be a great role for him to fill."
Hill is one of a handful of young players on the defensive line that will get a chance to show what they can do on Thursday at San Diego. Carroll also has had high praise for fifth-round draft choice Jesse Williams, who has been working at defensive tackle in early downs, and could be the frontrunner to replace Alan Branch as the team's run-stuffing defensive tackle.
Second-year pro Jaye Howard, a fourth-round selection last season, also continues to make plays in practice, and will see time at strong-side, defensive end behind Red Bryant. And third-year pro Mike Morgan is slated to start at "Leo" defensive end with Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril injured.
"I've seen a lot of growth in him in the past two weeks," Mebane said about Hill. "He's getting better. He's getting a lot of reps, like we've all done as rookies. So I'm happy to see him develop."
For the first time in his NFL career, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gets a chance to play in the same stadium his late father played his home games during his short tenure with the San Diego Chargers.
Harrison Wilson III graduated from Dartmouth, where he played football and baseball.
He later attended law school at the University of Virginia, but after receiving his law degree, Harrison Wilson III was invited to training camp with the San Diego Chargers in 1980 for a tryout. Called "The Professor" by his teammates because of his Ivy League background, Harrison Wilson III bunked with Kellen Winslow, Sr., and the receiver was one of the last roster cuts for the Chargers in 1980.
Wilson's father passed away three years ago after a long battle with diabetes.
Russell Wilson said he'd like to play the entire game, but will have to be content with getting a few series in Seattle's exhibition opener on Thursday.
"I'm excited to get back out on the field," Wilson said. "I'm excited to go to San Diego. That's where my dad played at one point. So just to be able to go back there and think about those memories and stuff -- he didn't play there for very long, but still it means a lot to me."
After leaving midway through practice on Monday, offensive lineman James Carpenter did not practice on Tuesday. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll did not address reporters after practice, and will not talk until this afternoon.
A first-round pick for Seattle in the 2011 draft, Carpenter began training camp after missing most of the team's offseason program to rehab from arthroscopic knee surgery on his already surgically repaired knee. Carpenter reportedly has a foot injury, and the Seahawks likely are taking a conservative approach with him to make sure he doesn't suffer any setbacks.
Along with Carpenter, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel has a groin issue and left midway through practice on Tuesday. Running back Christine Michael left the field midway through practice and did not return.
Offensive lineman Mike Person was a new addition sitting out as well, wearing a walking boot on his left foot.
Others who remain out for Seattle include defensive end Bruce Irvin (groin), defensive end Cliff Avril (hamstring), running back Robert Turbin (foot), cornerback Ron Parker (hamstring), tight end Darren Fells (hamstring), receiver Early Doucet (undisclosed), receiver Bryant Walters (undisclosed) and center Max Unger (undisclosed).
Defensive tackle Jesse Williams (knee), defensive lineman Michael Bennett (leg) and receiver Stephen Williams (neck) returned to practice Tuesday. Williams wore a red jersey, signaling he was not allowed to have contact.
Zach Miller, Chris Clemons, Tharold Simon, Percy Harvin and Greg Scruggs remain on the physically unable to perform list. Korey Toomer remains on the non-football injury list.
The Seahawks released tight end Michael Palmer on Tuesday. With the vacant roster spot, Seattle signed defensive tackle Martin Parker. Parker initially signed as an undrafted rookie free agent with the New York Giants on July 28, 2011. He spent the Giants Super Bowl-winning 2011 season on injured reserve. Parker did not play in a game last season and was released by New York on February 6. Palmer signed with Seattle on July 23. The Seahawk now have seven tight ends on the 90-man roster, and eight players capable of playing defensive tackle.
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