RENTON – During one of last week’s offseason Seahawks training sessions, a colleague conducted a post-practice interview of new quarterback Mike Reilly, a former Central Washington University star.
Reilly was a new free agent signee brought in to challenge No. 3 quarterback Mike Teel. Good story, local angle.
One problem: Reilly was cut the next morning, before the story could run. And Teel was chopped shortly thereafter.
You can’t let stories sit around these days, not with Seahawks general manager John Schneider – a very active gatekeeper – piling up 55 transactions since joining the franchise in January.
New guys learn to make an impression quickly; veterans hustle to keep from being sucked out the revolving door.
Schneider and coach Pete Carroll cited it as the continued attempt to improve the roster. But it’s also a way to keep everybody on their toes, and to remind them to take nothing for granted.
“I don’t know how else they could see it,” Carroll said. “There’s no doubt we have moved a lot of guys in and out of here. I think that message is really clear. When you bring guys in, sometimes they show that this opportunity is all they needed to make a statement. We’re looking for the diamond in the rough, we’re looking for guys who will overcome the odds, and we want that environment around the club.”
While it hasn’t done much for Reilly or Teel, it’s meant new chances for veteran quarterback J.P. Losman, and even more remarkably, for tight end Michael Allan.
Losman, a former first-round draft pick, was brought in last Tuesday for a look-see. Well, you can’t try out a free-agent quarterback without having somebody for him to throw to.
Enter Allan, a product of Interlake High and Whitworth, who hasn’t been with an NFL team since the fall of ’08, when he was cut by Kansas City.
Allan was working as a personal trainer at a gym in Issaquah. His girlfriend happened to sing in the choir at a church attended by Will Lewis, the Seahawks’ vice president of pro personnel. Allan was introduced to Lewis, using the opportunity to let him know that he was in the neighborhood and still in what he considered to be playing condition.
When Losman needed targets, Allan got a call to come over and catch some passes.
“My agent and I thought it might be good to put me back on the radar because I was local in case they might need somebody (later),” Allan said.
They liked what they saw enough that they timed him over 40 yards, and Allan clocked a 4.65, which he said was faster than he ran at the ’07 scouting combine before getting drafted in the seventh round by the Chiefs.
“I knew it was going to be a light-hearted workout because they were looking at somebody other than me,” he said. “So I was really relaxed. I guess I caught everything and ran good routes.”
Allan didn’t tell the guys at the gym that he was heading to the Seahawks, but merely shuffled his schedule of clients to clear the day. That afternoon, he called to let them know something else a little more promising had come up.
He didn’t burn any bridges, because he knows he might be back there soon, looking for work again.
“That’s one of the things I didn’t realize my last go-around,” Allan said. “I didn’t understand how important every day was. Being a draft pick, you may kind of take that for granted.”
Allan, 6-6, 254, was the last player into the locker room after Monday’s practice. He was running back and forth across the field, stopping to stretch a bit, and then running some more.
As Carroll pointed out, Allan is one of those guys who realizes how precious this chance is. And how fleeting these opportunities can be.
“Oh, yeah, I know it,” Allan said. “The way I was brought in is the same way I can go out.”
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 email@example.com