Ex-Hephzibah star James Carpenter healthy, ready to prove worth to Seahawks

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Seattle guard James Carpenter, a former Hephzibah star, says he's finally healthy and wants to prove he was worth a first-round pick.  TED S. WARREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
TED S. WARREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Seattle guard James Carpenter, a former Hephzibah star, says he's finally healthy and wants to prove he was worth a first-round pick.

After two seasons lost largely to knee injuries, former Hephzibah standout James Carpenter is finally healthy and ready to prove he was worthy of the Seattle Seahawks selecting him with a first-round draft pick.

The potential is obvious.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 321 pounds, Carpenter offers the kind of size no other lineman on Seattle’s roster does. However, knee injuries have reduced that potential to merely a massive tease through his first two seasons.
Carpenter feels he’s finally ready to prove what he can be. He says he’s 100-percent healthy and no longer has worries over the strength of his injured knee.

“I’ve been hurt both years so I plan on playing this whole season this year,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got to prove is trying to get my respect from my teammates and stuff back. That’s why I’m working hard now.”

Carpenter was selected by the Seahawks in the first round in 2011. Seattle originally intended on Carpenter becoming its long-term answer at right tackle. He started 11 games as a rookie before tearing the ACL in his knee during a non-contract drill in practice.

RAVENS: Tight end Dennis Pitta is out for the season after undergoing hip surgery. Pitta was hurt Saturday when he collided with safety James Ihedigbo in the back of the end zone.

BRONCOS: Center Dan Koppen is out for the season after tearing his left ACL on Sunday in 9-on-7 drills.

EAGLES: Donovan McNabb will officially retire as a member of the team today. McNabb played 11 of his 13 seasons with the Eagles, leading them to eight playoff appearances. The 36-year-old hasn’t played in the NFL since 2011.

JETS: Rex Ryan isn’t sure what all the fuss is about.

Sure, general manager John Idzik wouldn’t say the coach has the final call on determining the starting quarterback. But Ryan is on board with that and insisted he always has been.

“I think you guys are making a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest with you,” Ryan said Sunday. “Ever since I’ve been here, and this is my fifth year here, not one decision has ever been made by one man. … It’s always a group effort on what is best for this team.”


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