Hoping to come out of the recent NFL draft with a receiver who could provide the offense with a deep scoring threat, the Seahawks took Paul Richardson in the second round and Kevin Norwood in the fourth.
On the first day of the three-day rookie minicamp at the team’s VMAC headquarters on Friday, both Richardson and Norwood made impressive catches on long scoring passes from former Washington quarterback Keith Price.
“The receivers really show up,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They jump out at us. Kevin and Paul (have) done really well the first couple days (this week) and they did it again today.”
Richardson caught several balls during team drills. “There’s no question how fast he is,” Carroll said. “He’s got great speed.”
He showed it on a 65-yard score that traveled 50 yards in the air and caught Richardson in stride as he raced past cornerback Eric Pinkins.
The second of Price’s long scores came when he had to scramble from pressure (and likely would have been sacked in live action). He found Norwood deep, who also beat Pinkins to come down with the ball.
“It was fun on the first day back out doing football stuff, since the ball game (Super Bowl),” Carroll said. “It was fun to be back out and feel the energy of the young guys.”
Carroll said the staff didn’t install much in the way of scheme for this minicamp because “we’d rather see them play than see them learn.”
Fifty-six draft picks, undrafted free agents and invited try-outs took part in the two-hour workout – the first of the three-day minicamp. Sixth-round tackle Garrett Scott was kept out because of problems with his physical. Receiver Chris Matthews also sat out because of hamstring troubles.
Holdover linebacker Korey Toomer, a 2012 draft pick out of Idaho had a good day, intercepting a pass and returning it for a touchdown. Toomer has fought back from knee surgery. “Korey’s had great workouts. He’s in great shape and he’s very determined,” Carroll said. “It’s exciting to seem him have another chance at it. We’re all pulling for him.”
A lot of the coaching was teaching the rookies what is expected of them by the staff. Once Norwood caught a nice pass over the middle and headed back to the huddle. Receivers coach Kippy Brown hurried up to him and informed him that receivers are supposed to take catches like that all the way to the end zone, and Norwood was urged to go back and sprint down the field.
Carroll cited Price’s familiarity with the system and the staff. The offense he ran under Steve Sarkisian at Washington was similar to the Seahawks’ offense, except for some of the verbiage. Price agreed to sign as a free agent with the Seahawks after not being drafted. He didn’t wait for other offers, but agreed immediately because he wanted to stay in Seattle and play with the Seahawks.
Carroll said he and the staff haven’t spent a lot of time talking to the rookies about the Super Bowl win. “I think it would be wrong to just ignore it,” Carroll said. “We put in in perspective. It’s a long time ago really … we have our sights set on what we’re doing now – having a great offseason. We’re really proud of what happened, but that really was the past so we go on and move ahead.”
The Seahawks will travel to Washington, D.C., after practice next Tuesday for their Wednesday visit with President Barack Obama at the White House.
“That’s gonna jump on us pretty quick,” Carroll said. “That’s a great honor for all of us. That’s one of the couple big things that happen in the offseason. That’s still part of the celebration. It will be great fun. The guys are looking forward to that. We all are.”
Other standouts during the first day included both lean, quick pass-rushing ends – Casssius Marsh and Jackson Jeffcoat, who got good pressure several times.
Aside from second-round tackle Justin Britt, another offensive lineman who looked promising was free agent tackle Garry Gilliam from Penn State.
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