By Liz Mathews
Two years removed from the game, Seahawks wide receiver Antonio Bryant is back on the football field.
“I feel like a Corvette,” Bryant said Saturday. “Just crankin’ the motor, warming things up.”
Bryant, 31, was signed by Seattle on July 26 to fill the roster spot made vacant by the release of wide receiver Mike Williams earlier in the month.
“It feels good to run around,” Bryant said. “I haven’t done anything in two years, so you know, falling back in love with it, enjoying the process. Maybe I didn’t take advantage of that when I was younger, but now I’m enjoying the process.”
Originally drafted 63rd overall by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002, Bryant last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009 where he spent time with a new teammate, tight end Kellen Winslow. Bryant had signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals before the 2010 season but failed to make the final roster cuts due to a knee injury.
An eight-year veteran, Bryant has logged a career 372 receptions, 5,685 yards and 30 touchdowns.
“Right now I’m just going to compete,” Bryant said. “That’s all I can say and look forward to doing. Like I said, I’m blessed. There are a lot of guys at home that wish they were here – wish they had this uniform on. So I’m going to take the opportunity to make the most of it.”
Invited to work out for the Seahawks during June’s minicamp, Bryant was sorely out of football shape and was not extended an offer at that time.
“When we worked him out earlier in the year he wasn’t ready,” coach Pete Carroll said Saturday. “We said, ‘Now you come back in here and work out the day before camp and show us that you can make big improvement. Then we think about hooking the contract with you and getting you in here.’ And he did that.”
Carroll said Bryant enters camp with a bit of a hamstring injury and will remain limited in practice while the team takes a few days to assess the issue.
“The Corvette analogy is good,” Carroll said, “but he didn’t look like one before.”
• Four players started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List: WRs Sidney Rice and Jermaine Kearse, CB Walter Thurmond and OT James Carpenter. Rice was activated shortly after position drills and was limited in practice, wearing a red jersey. Carroll said that he hopes Carpenter is able to return to the active roster at some point this season, although the time frame is uncertain.
• Tackle Allen Barbre was excused from practice on Saturday due to a family emergency.
• Defensive end Chris Clemons reported to camp as expected after signing a multi-year contract extension on July 24. “Throughout the whole offseason they continued to call me, they continued to call my agent and they kept pushing for it,” Clemons said Saturday. “Both sides kept pushing for it and we finally came up with something that works for both of us, so we were both satisfied when we finished it.”
• Carroll said that there is a strict timeline in place for the designation of the starting quarterback, but that he would not reveal the specifics or name the starter until sometime into the preseason game schedule. “We’re going to be in the preseason, and you can go ahead and dig and try to figure it out, but I’m not going to tell you,” Carroll told reporters. “Preseason is very important to us, it is absolutely going to add to the assessment and the evaluation.”
• Regarding running back Marshawn Lynch’s DUI charge, Carroll would not comment on any possible league or team action. “This is something we really can’t talk about,” Carroll said. “Marshawn and I have been on the topic since the first day of it, and have had very good communication about it. There is a process going on that we really just can’t even talk about it, but I’m pleased with the way he has worked with us so that we understand what’s going on. This is a process that really has to take kind of a life of its own and we’re following it through.”
• When asked about the release of wide receiver Mike Williams, Carroll said: “It was time to move on. Mike had come back and had done some good things for us, I just felt like it was time to move on. He’ll get another chance to do something somewhere else.”
• The Seahawks’ practice on Sunday is open to the public and scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m.