Deon Butler is 5 feet 10, a receiver known for his speed, but when coach Pete Carroll began to inventory the players on Seattle’s roster, he didn’t see all that big a role for the wide receiver Seattle chose in the third round from Penn State.
“This is a guy honestly, I tell you, when we looked at him on film last year we thought, ‘Boy, it’s going to be a long ways to get him to be a factor for us,’ ” Carroll said.
Then came the offseason workouts, and Carroll included Butler as the player who improved the most on offense over the course of the minicamps and practice.
“We just didn’t really know what we had because we hadn’t been on the field with him,” Carroll said. “We saw the speed and the explosion and natural catching ability. He’s just improved tremendously.”
Two games into the season, Butler is not just a factor, he’s a big one.
He caught four passes on Seattle’s first possession in Denver, three of which converted third downs into first downs. Through two games, he has caught six passes and scored a touchdown.
“He has really been a playmaker,” Carroll said. “He has made tough catches, really, all through preseason as well so we just have to realize that he is a big factor that we need to keep working in the system and get the ball going in his direction.”
The question now is how to give Butler even more opportunities.
“We’re going to continue to utilize him and love the fact that he’s so fast,” Carroll said. “He can really take the top off a defense.”
This is going to become my new favorite description of a deep threat: He can really take the top off a defense.