The Seahawks have had some quality receivers in their first 35 seasons, including Hall of Famer Steve Largent. But none have had the unique talents the just-acquired Sidney Rice possesses.
In the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room, they referred to Sidney Rice as “Long Man.”
And it hasn’t taken the ridiculously talented wide receiver long to show why during his first training camp with the Seahawks. Hardly a practice has gone by without the long-limbed Rice extending or contorting his 6-foot-4 frame to snag a pass that seemed uncatchable.
“He’s just loaded with those kinds of plays,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s really, really talented. He loves to compete in practice. It just fits so beautifully with the way we approach it. He’s embracing this opportunity to show who he is and how he fits in and how we can count on him.”
And Carroll made those comments on the first weekend Rice was able to practice. Since then, “those kinds of plays” have indeed become a regular occurrence.
Routine, but never redundant – even for those who have been watching him make these kinds of catches since he entered the league in 2007 as the Vikings’ second-round draft choice.
“The first day we practiced, I threw him a high ball and he stretched out pretty far and made a great catch,” said Tarvaris Jackson, the ex-Vikings quarterback who also signed with the Seahawks in free agency and then helped recruit Rice.
“You’ve seen the catches he made the other day – diving catches and guys all over him. He makes the hard catch, so that makes it a lot easier for a quarterback. We called him ‘Long Man’ in Minnesota, because he’s kind of tall.”
Everyone will get their first look at Rice in a Seahawks uniform on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field. After sitting out the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego last week, Rice is expected to start – and expecting to start – the home opener against his old team.
“It was a lot of things. It was a tough decision,” Rice said when asked what prompted him to change teams. “I love those guys over in Minnesota – my teammates and everything like that. But unfortunately I had to move on. I’m here. I’m a Seahawk and I’m looking forward from here on out. No looking back.”
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Tags: Chargers, coach pete carroll, Day Diving, Draft Choice, Home Opener, Locker Room, Long Man, Minnesota Vikings, Occurrence, Preseason Opener, Receivers, Recruit, Saturday Night, Seahawks, Sidney Rice, Steve Largent, Tarvaris Jackson, training camp, Vikings Quarterback, Wide Receiver
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