August 6: What you missed
Sixth-overall pick Russell Okung, who earlier today signed a six-year contract to officially become a member of the Seattle Seahawks, joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” this afternoon.
So what had the 6’5″ 310 pound rookie been up to during his brief holdout? According to the big man himself, not much.
“I wanted to be out here,” Okung said. “I hated that I wasn’t out here with the rest of the team. All I did was sit around. â€¦ I stayed in shape, but when you’ve got football on your mind all day, there’s not enough things you can do.”
Even though he will likely find himself in the starting lineup on opening day, Okung practiced with the second unit in his first practice with the team this afternoon, and he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s still got some work to do.
“I’ve got to work on everything,” Okung admitted. “You know, it’s not like college where you can go out there, overpower guys, and do this and that. I think every facet of my game has to be improved daily. Today it just showed that I have catching up to do, getting back into my rhythm, getting back into my role.”
And after being told that this might be the only time he gets to speak to us, with Coach Gibbs’ strict media policy for his offensive lineman, Okung laughed and added, “If that’s what Coach says, that’s what Coach gonna get.”
IN OTHER NEWS:
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times joined the show to discuss the lack of run support for Felix Hernandez, Don Wakamatsu‘s future, and how the team handled the Chone Figgins incident.
Hernandez has a 7-9 record, despite being one of the top pitchers in the league. Stone said Hernandez has maintained a good attitude about a frustrating situation.
“I think it’s a sign of his maturity that he’s not hanging his teammates out to dry, he’s not complaining,” Stone said. ‘He’s making the best of it and going out there and continuing to pitch well. I think that’s a credit to him.”
Stone told us that while General Manager Jack Zduriencik has come out and said that Wak is our manager, it doesn’t mean that his job is safe.
“The vote of confidence that Jack gave was pretty tepid,” Stone said. “It was he is our manager today, but not necessarily for the rest of the year, and certainly not necessarily next year.”
While Kevin thinks Wak should have benched Figgins for at least the next game after the dugout altercation, Stone said Figgins got the message, as evidenced by his hot hitting since the incident.
“I think pulling a guy out of the game and benching him for the rest of the game get the point across,” Stone said. “You don’t want to lose Figgins for the rest of the season, and the three years beyond that.”