Pete Carroll said that Butler probably was the most improved wide receiver

Seattle Seahawks Deon Butler looked good today. Talk about making your coach look good. Two days after Pete Carroll said that Butler probably was the most improved wide receiver on the roster, last year’s third-round draft choice went out and justified the praise with performance.

Butler caught a half dozen passes during today’s nearly two-hour practice – which was moved to the indoor practice facility because of the inclement weather. Included in his productive morning was a pair of touchdown receptions from Matt Hasselbeck. He would have had a third, but middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu tipped away a pass intended for Butler, who was open in the back of the end zone.

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“I feel like I’ve been working on running routes and getting better each day,” Butler said. “Today, it just happened that a lot of opportunities went my way. I was the first read in a lot of the progressions, so it just turned out to be a good day.”

With T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hernia) and Deion Branch (knee) sidelined following surgery, it is providing just such opportunities for the other receivers.

Butler worked almost exclusively at split end as a rookie, but now he’s playing flanker and also in the slot in three- and four-receiver sets.

“It’s working out well,” he said. “I like the position. I like the routes they’re having me run. I’m feeling good about it.”

He’s not alone in that assessment.

“Deon has probably made more progress than anybody,” Carroll said Monday. “He’s more disciplined about his route running. We know he’s really fast. He’s been a consistent catcher. It’s just that he needs to be physical. As a smaller guy (5-10, 182), he’s got to stay on his feet and not get knocked around by the defensive backs.

“But he’s in it, and in the competition he’s right in the middle of it all. He’s running a lot with the first group, so we’re getting a really good look at it him right now.”