Observations from Seahawks practice

RENTON, Wash. -- Thoughts and observations after watching the Seahawks' first post-draft minicamp practice Friday:

  • Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh underwent hernia surgery recently. He's expected back in a couple of weeks.

  • Former 49ers Roderick Green and Joe Toledo are participating in Seahawks camp on a tryout basis.

  • Former Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell told reporters covering the Bears that he had no plans to bring along any Seattle personnel people to his new job as personnel director in Chicago. The Bears' situation appears less stable and by extension less appealing than the situation in Seattle right now.

  • First-round choice Earl Thomas will be a coverage safety for the Seahawks, basically playing center field. That makes sense because Thomas looks like a cornerback out there. He is listed at 5-foot-10 and 202 pounds. Starting corner Marcus Trufant goes 5-11 and 197.

  • Speaking of Trufant, he made a statement with two impressive interception returns, jumping routes on passes from Matt Hasselbeck to Deon Butler. Trufant had trouble recovering from back issues last season. He appeared flexible and nimble Friday.

  • Receiver Deion Branch is sidelined after having surgery to clean out a knee. The surgery was considered minor, but any lingering knee issues are a concern for Branch.

  • Rookie second-round choice Golden Tate was one of the stars of practice. He made a leaping grab down the middle between Trufant and safety Jordan Babineaux, then followed up by getting behind cornerback Josh Wilson for a catch up the left sideline. Tate later used his body to shield Wilson from the ball, making another grab. Tate dropped one pass.

  • The offensive staff crammed far more plays into the team session than might be typical. Coach Pete Carroll keeps score, too, periodically announcing whether the offense or defense is leading.

  • With most of the 101 signed or tryout players participating, competition was the No. 1 theme.

  • First-round choice Russell Okung made a positive impression in run-blocking drills. He crouches low to the ground, helping with leverage.

  • Second-year linebacker Aaron Curry was offside a couple times, but I didn't necessarily take that as a bad sign for the team. Curry appeared very active. That's a good idea as long as linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. is out there. Norton is one of the more vocal coaches on the staff and he's not afraid to let players know how they are performing.

  • Newly acquired running back LenDale White appears slimmer than I would have expected. White said he weighs 225 pounds. Carroll thought White's weight was closer to 217. Either way, White appears to be in shape.

  • Safety Lawyer Milloy said he signed in time for the post-draft camp because he thinks he'll have a better chance to play this year in a role more suited to his skills. Players sound optimistic about the new staff's ability to use personnel. That was supposed to be a theme last season, but the results weren't there.

Players wore helmets but no pads for this practice. It's important to remember how much things change once players put on the pads. A week or two into training camp is when it becomes easier to tell which players are truly on their way to making an impact.