For today's News Tribune I wrote about the two fastest Seahawks -- heck, two of the fastest athletes I've seen on football field.
Paul Richardson, he of the one-time 4.28-second 40-yard dash, described what motivates him to zoom past two big knee injuries, getting sent away from UCLA for a teenage screwup and constantly being told he is to small to make it in the NFL.
“That’s what I pride myself on, not necessarily proving people wrong — but proving myself right,” the Seahawks' top rookie draft choice, from Colorado, says.
The notebook lead in today's paper is on Percy Harvin. I asked the game-breaker, who is almost reborn following offseason hip surgery, when was the last time he felt this healthy, this fast.
"Probably before college," he said.
That was about a decade ago, when he was a Parade All-America wide receiver at Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Va.
I don't know who would win a straight-line match race over, say, 50 yards between the 22-year-old Richardson and the newly bionic, 26-year-old Harvin. Harvin is more nuanced with his speed on the field, the obvious product of more experience reading coverages and exploiting them. One item that peaked my interest from Harvin yesterday that I didn't write in the paper was that Harvin said he learned from Randy Moss when they were with the Vikings how to use his speed more intelligently, when to blow past defenders and when to slow down and at times bait them.
Richardson, of course, is not there yet. Heck, he's really only played two, full, relatively injury-free seasons of college football since he was at Gardena Serra High School outside Los Angeles. But in terms of running through the end zone, out the tunnel of CenturyLink Field and halfway to Tacoma without anyone being able to stay with him, I think Richardson might be faster than Harvin. Don't go crazy on that -- not better, just perhaps straight-line faster. Richardson might already be the fastest guy in the NFC West -- or beyond -- though I'll need to see the rest of the conference on that one.
I don't think Pete Carroll was joshing when said this week when I asked him about Richardson possibly being the punter returner than, say, oh, a certain All-Pro safety that Richardson could be the Seahawks' kickoff returner in a real NFL game right now.
As Richardson said, showing his learning a ton each day in more ways than one: "Coach Carroll prides himself on finding what guys are good at, and then putting them in position to show their talents. If he feels like I can help in special teams, I’m confident enough to do it.”
--My colleague Dave Boling has an outstanding column
in today's TNT on all that defensive end Greg Scruggs, the Seahawks' seventh-round draft pick in 2012, has overcome. If you haven't read it, please do so.
“You never know what somebody is going through,” Scruggs told Boling. “Maybe my smile could affect your day, my hug could affect your day, the way I’m talking to you could affect your day. Just keeping a positive outlook allows me to see that every day is a gift.”
Heightens the realization that there are players in the NFL still grounded enough in the real world to appreciate where they are, where they've been and where they want to be. That's refreshing. And real.
I wince at the comparisons between Todd and myself. Todd was outstanding on this beat, thrust into the job with the regular season already started and riding herd on all that goes into not only covering an NFL team but a Super Bowl one. I've done it, twice before (on the 2002 Raiders and the '05 Seahawks), and I can assure you one doesn't simply roll out of bed each day and pull that off. Bravo to him. Best wishes for him in D.C., where I am looking forward to seeing him again for the Seahawks' Monday night game there in early October.
And from now on kudos or nothing in this space about what he did on the Seahawks, please.
--This is what happens
when you shove recorders and cameras in front of team owners who love recorders and cameras.
It's a trip to be inside a Cowboys' locker room following a game, as I had to be many times when I was the AP's sports writer in Seattle. Half the beat goes to Tony Romo and his teammates, while the other half waits in a corner of the room for Jerry Jones to appear and opine.