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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



October 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM

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Walter Thurmond poised to make his first NFL start

Posted by Percy Allen

thurmondmug22.jpg

Cornerback Kelly Jennings, who started all five games, strained his hamstring last week at Chicago and has not practiced this week. Coach Pete Carroll said he's s questionable for Sunday's game against Arizona and it looks as if rookie Walter Thurmond (left) will make his first NFL start.

Thurmond is mentally preparing himself to curtail Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald, perhaps the most dominant offensive player in the NFC West.

"It's a mindset that you can go out there and you can win every time," Thurmond said. "He has the mindset that he can catch every ball that's thrown to him so you have to have that same mindset that you're going to make that play on him.

Thurmond said he didn't face anyone like Fitzgerald in the Pac-10, however, Seahawks receiver Mike Williams is a close facsimile to the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Cardinals receiver.

"Very similar and I've been going against him since training camp," Thurmond said. "So that was a good matchup ... really going against a tall receiver who really has good hands. The preparation with that has helped me a lot."

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (calf) has not practiced this week either and is questionable.

Last week Kentwan Balmer started in place of Mebane and he shared time with Junior Siavii and Craig Terrill.

Offensive guard Chester Pitts, who underwent microfracture knee surgery, practiced this week, however, Carroll sounded as if Pitts is still a week or so away from making Seahawks debut.

"He's really improving," Carroll said. "He's getting better. We haven't seen him at full speed yet, but he's getting close. It's just taking him quite awhile for him to ge the confidence to really bang on that leg. He's practicing normally, regularly with us now. He's still working his way back in though.

"He needs to show game speed in practice. ... For other guys, that's not necessarily the case although we try to get as close to it as possible. But Chester needs to go over the top a little bit to show that he can be ready. He's working his (tail) off. He's had a long arduous return and we're just trying to make sure we do it right so when he gets back officially, (he's) full go and he can play and he's back for good."

Photo credit: Seattle Times - John Lok

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