The shirt plays directly into the smile.
Reilly was hoping to be drafted by – or at least signed by – by the Seahawks coming out of Central last year. It didn’t happen. So he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and also spent time with the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams.
Then, the Rams released him last week and the Seahawks claimed him off waivers.
“It was real disappointing when I first found out I got released, because I hadn’t been there for very long and I didn’t feel like I’d even gotten exposed to the offense,” Reilly said. “I understood it was part of the business, but I was still pretty disappointed by it.
“Then within 24 hours to be claimed by the team in the state I’m driving back to, it’s like a rollercoaster – from the lowest low to the highest high.”
Reilly didn’t just play at CWU, he’s from Kennewick and his wife is a school teacher in the Tri-Cities area. And, the Seahawks were his team of choice from the get-go.
“Even before the draft, when asked what team I would like to play for, I said, ‘In a perfect world, I want to come to Seattle,’ ” he offered, smiling again.
But there’s more to Reilly’s affinity for the Seahawks than location, especially now that he’s here.
“Football wise, I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I feel like the offense that I’ve been learning in our meetings really fits my style of play. This is the best situation I’ve been in of the four teams I’ve played for.”
He’s still at the back of a line that starts with three-time Pro Bowl QB Matt Hasselbeck and also includes Charlie Whitehurst, who was acquired in a March trade with the San Diego Chargers; and Mike Teel, a sixth-round draft choice last year.
But that line forms in Renton, rather than St. Louis.
PICK ’N CHOOSE
Cornerback Kelly Jennings and safety Jamar Adams had interceptions in one drill today, but they weren’t the first players to get their hands on the ball.
On Jennings’ pick, the pass from Hasselbeck went off wide receiver Deon Butler. Adams got his interception when linebacker Will Herring tipped a Hasselbeck pass that was intended for tight end John Carlson.
Jennings also made plays that halted drives by the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in a two-minute drill that ended practice. On a third-and-5 play, Jennings was all over Butler on an incomplete pass into the end zone. On a third-and-10 play against the No. 2 unit, Jennings broke up a Whitehurst pass that was intended for wide receiver Reggie Williams.
A group of soldiers from Fort Lewis’ Warrior Transition Battalion attended practice, and coach Pete Carroll involved them in the action.
While the players were stretching, Carroll asked, “Who’s got hands over there?” When one of the soldiers raised his arms, Carroll sent a pass his way.
“Who’s next?” Carroll asked. When multiple arms went up, a game of catch broke out.
After practice, several players made their way to the sideline to shake hands and welcome the soldiers.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Q: I see many questions about the running backs, the wide receivers and the quarterbacks. Heck, I’ve even asked a few. But what about our fullbacks, the guys who can be a running back’s best friend? How are Justin Griffith and Owen Schmitt doing in practices? Are they both looking up to health for the upcoming season? – Bryce, Anaconda, Mont.
A: You won’t see as much of the fullbacks in the offense being installed by coordinator Jeremy Bates, and you won’t see Griffith at all – the club decided not to re-sign him when he became an unrestricted free agent. But Schmitt is back and running – or perhaps blocking is a better description – with the No. 1 offense. The backup is Ryan Powdrell, who played for Carroll at USC and was signed after getting a tryout during the April minicamp.
The reason Bates uses the fullback less is because he prefers two tight-end sets. Or, as he put it after practice, “I majored in two tight ends.”
Schmitt, a fifth-round draft choice in 2008, is the type of player who doesn’t make his mark until the pads come on during training camp practices. He played behind Leonard Weaver as a rookie and backed up Griffith last season. So this is his chance to show he can be the starter. Powdrell stood out at first minicamp, because he ran out every play – all the way – and rarely made mistakes.