Seahawks’ rookies make good on challenge

Coach Pete Carroll likes competitive effort he has seen as 3-day rookie minicamp comes to close

dave.boling@thenewstribune.comMay 19, 2014 

RENTON — It was only the final day of rookie minicamp for the Seattle Seahawks, but it ended just like the NFC Championship Game, with a cornerback deflecting the ball to a teammate for an interception.

Former University of Washington quarterback Keith Price had driven his “team” down the field in the final moments of a Sunday scrimmage and tried to go to his new favorite receiver, Kevin Norwood.

But cornerback Thomas Wolfe tipped the ball that safety Dion Bailey intercepted in the end zone.

It brought an end to a three-day camp that featured some strong efforts by highlighted players and, as coach Pete Carroll hoped for, a very competitive environment.

“I tried to give a feel for what it’s like to be part of the Seahawks, and these guys really answered the call and worked really hard for it,” Carroll said.

Carroll specifically cited the effort by fourth-round defensive end Cassius Marsh (UCLA), as well as a pair of tackles, second-rounder Justin Britt (Missouri) and free agent Garry Gilliam (Penn State).

“(Marsh) came in here in great shape. He was really flying the whole time,” Carroll said. “He’s very active, a very instinctive football player. He moved around to a couple of different spots here to give us some looks. He looked very good — by far the most active guy out there.”

As he had been since the start of this camp, Price was accurate and in command, leading his unit on a scoring drive capped by a touchdown to Arceto Clark.

“(Price) did really well,” Carroll said. “It’s like he’s been around longer than he really has. He’s really comfortable. He’s a very natural quarterback. He’s very comfortable in the pocket. He moves really well. He made a lot of big throws and threw the ball down the field really well for us. He did a very good job, and it looks like he can help us.”

But free-agent quarterback Zach Zulli (Shippensburg University) answered with a touchdown drive of his own with a completion to tight end Rashaun Allen (Southern University).

On the injury front, second-round pick Paul Richardson was held out for the second consecutive day after a collision on the final play of workouts Friday. Carroll said Richardson had a slight shoulder problem that should be healed in a few days.

Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, receiver Chris Matthews, running back Johri Fogerson and receiver Lance Ray also were out with minor injuries, and sixth-round tackle Garrett Scott could not participate because he still has not passed his physical.

Cornerback Eric Pinkins, who seemed to be adapting to his coverage duties the first two days, was tried at safety for most of Sunday. Carroll said it’s a matter of seeing what he could do at several positions.

Former UW and Eastern Washington product Demitrius Bronson had a good camp, showing quick cuts in the hole and a nice burst into the second level. Safety Markus Smith (University of Nevada) also made many notable plays.

Carroll said the camp provides a look into more than just the players’ talents.

“We’re looking at everything,” he said. “Every message that they send us is something that we can kind of use to figure what they potentially can become.”

The most important thing, Carroll said, was to see the kind of effort he saw on the final play of the scrimmage.

“We’re always looking for that competitiveness, the guys that really battle and come out busting their tail, digging and scratching to get to the ball,” Carroll said. “We’re looking for that first. We’ll figure out the talent, but we want to get a sense for their nature.”

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 dave.boling@thenewstribune.com @DaveBoling

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