As if the home debut of Peyton Manning in Denver as Broncos quarterback wasn't a sufficient circus, the Seahawks will contribute the sideshow of Terrell Owens' return to NFL play when the teams meet Saturday.
"He's ready to go," head coach Pete Carroll said after practice Thursday. "He had two good weeks of work and came into camp in great shape. I’m not sure how many plays it will be, but he’s going to play early in the game.”
Owens, who like Manning sat out the 2011 season after an injury, did not play in the Seahawks' exhibition opener Saturday, a 27-17 win over Tennessee. Carroll was non-committal earlier in the week, but apparently has seen enough to merit action for one of the most controversial receivers in modern NFL history.
“I didn’t think it was fair for a guy to come in one week and play after sitting out a whole year," he said. "I watched him and talked to him some about it. He feels great, he wants to play and I see he looks very competitive on the field. He didn’t fatigue at all.”
The Seahawks have considerable sorting to do at the receiving spots, with only Doug Baldwin, last year's catch leader with 51, a healthy starter available so far for the season opener.
Naturally, Carroll saw the glass half full.
“We’re still in the midst of this thing," he said. "I like our group a lot. We’ve become even more competitive and more experienced with the guys that have come in. We don’t have to do anything right now, just keep giving these guys opportunities in practice and games and add it all up at the end. It’s a really good position group for us right now.
"To have a guy like Doug Baldwin is just a blessing.”
Thursday was the final day of training camp, with a more normal routine starting next week. Carroll was happy with progress.
“I think we really knocked it all in," Carroll said. "We’ve seen a bunch of guys and we gota lot of information on our young guys. The quarterback process has been excellent, we’ve learned a ton. I think the message that (all players have sent) about how serious they and performing at a high level is very clear. My expectations are where they should be, and we have met them.”
After 13 years of all-star play in Indianapolis and multiple neck surgeries, Manning, 36, will get his first action, which will be the national focus.
"I’ll be excited to see him and see how we do against him," Carroll said. “I’m a fan of anybody who has played in the league like that and that has accomplished so much stuff. It's fun for the young guys to play against him. A lot of the guys are looking forward to that.
"We’re going to take that very seriously, knowing that he’s as equipped a quarterback as you can go against."