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“Whenever you are out there stretching there is music _ he’s trying to make it feel like a game,” Hasselbeck said. “The energy we feel off the crowd is real.”

Leon Washington was running with Carroll. The recent Pro Bowl kick returner with the New York Jets participated in individual drills and was held out of team scrimmaging nine months after a compound leg fracture put his career in doubt.

“It’s just great to get to accomplish one of my goals, which was to get back on the field for the first day of training camp,” Washington said, grinning. “With all the energy out there, I wanted to jump right in there.”

At one point in the morning, Carroll was talking excitedly inside the defense’s huddle. As it broke, 325-plus pound Red Bryant grabbed Carroll and just about threw him out of the way as the tackle scrambled to get into his stance before the offense snapped the ball.

Carroll just laughed, regained his balance and backpedalled away.

“Coach Carroll, I feel like he wants to put the pads on,” Bryant said about a half hour later. “He’s so energetic, so I was not surprised he was in there.

“He be everywhere.”

Former USC receiver Mike Williams is getting a second chance at an NFL career with his old college coach. How does this camp compare to Carroll’s with the Trojans?

“It’s better,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of fun. … You know, players reach just like everyone else and (we know) not a lot is expected in the first year for a team going in a new direction. But we’ve collectively bought in, man.”

His reputation as a players’ coach is growing. Carroll is giving his guys the day off from practice on Wednesday, just the fifth day of camp. Five days later they have another rest.

Carroll says it’s to preserve the players for the season, and to make these practices more intense.

He had them out in shoulder pads and thumping each other to the turf on the first day.

Cornerback Kennard Cox hit Louis Rankin into the sideline with a shoulder drop at the end of a running play. Starting linebacker Leroy Hill put wide receiver Deon Butler into the boundary after a catch, drawing “oohs” and hooting from teammates, coaches and fans.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is in his 10th NFL training camp. Seattle’s leading receiver said this was the first time he’d been in shoulder pads on the first day of camp.

“This might be the best I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “With the players’ schedule he’s made, you have to work hard _ but they are taking care of you.”

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