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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. He was asked to compare this camp 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.”

How new an era is it for the Seahawks, who are 9-23 in the past two seasons? Soon after the morning practice, the coach and his PeteCarrollTV mini-production team put a video onto YouTube.

One could almost see former coach Mike Holmgren rolling his eyes from behind his executive desk in Cleveland.

“Today is just about feeling fortunate and being blessed about being part of a franchise like this and an opportunity like this,” Carroll told his Internet audience, which was up to 300 watchers within two hours of the video’s posting.

Talking into the camera from his lakeside office, Carroll said he was having fun with the players, “a bunch of guys who are really serious about doing something special.”

His reputation as a players’ coach is growing by the day. 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.

Almost nothing makes NFL players happier than days off.

Yet when Carroll’s Seahawks practice, they practice. He had them out in shoulder pads and thumping each other to the turf on the first day.

Cornerback Kennard Cox hit ball carrier 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.

After the defense forced and recovered a fumble on the first play of group drills, starting defensive linemen Colin Cole and Chris Clemons gave each other leaping chest bumps _ 582 pounds of airborne, thumping fun.

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.

Story Continues →