Remember back to draft day when you saw that the Seahawks picked Paul Richardson, the receiver from Colorado who had been playing at about 160 pounds. His durability was a fair question. For me, some of that was mitigated by his stats and other measurables. The fact that he had 21 career touchdown catches on some bad Buff teams was impressive. He’d run a 4.33 in the 40, and had a 38-inch vertical. But the big thing was that the number of yards he gained on his scoring catches was so outlandish (841) it had to be a misprint. That’s averaging 40 yards on every TD. Picture that. This kid can cover ground the ball in his hands.
Yes, Richardson still looks pretty scrawny. He’s listed at 6-foot, 183 pounds. But he’s been a star in training camp over the first few days. Tuesday, he caught another deep touchdown pass, this one from Terrelle Pryor, having beaten cornerback Tharold Simon by a wide margin.
“He continues to show that he’s really, really fast and he can get up on you and he’s real comfortable catching everything that you throw at him,” coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday. “We’re real excited about Paul and hopefully we’ll just keep learning him and figuring him out and figure out how to best utilize his talents. He got talents; he’s really quick in and out of his breaks. I love his catching range so we’ll try to figure it out but we’re real excited right now.”
He should be excited. Richardson not only gets deep, but catches the ball when it gets there, even if it’s in traffic. And he’s not just a burner, but has unleashed a couple open-field jukes that shows he can be elusive, as well.
Suddenly, the Seahawks seem loaded with deep threats. In one set, they spread Percy Harvin wide to one side and Richardson wide to the other. That will force defenses to make some difficult coverage decisions. Keep in mind, too, that two of the best deep connections of camp thus far have been to Doug Baldwin up the sideline.
We are cautioned by the recollection of Golden Tate’s first camp, when he made a stunning catch every practice. But when the season arrived, he was left off the active roster the first game because he hadn’t been solid in some of the other aspects of the position. It took time for him to learn the responsibilities that went beyond the physical skills.
It was telling, though, the way Carroll talked about Richardson being comfortable. True enough. His routes look sharp, and you don’t see coaches rushing up after plays to correct faulty technique.
The question of his durability remains, but will need further evidence.
--The biggest new addition to the Hawks this week has been veteran right tackle Eric Winston. We gave you the raw stuff on him yesterday. On the hoof, he looks tall and lean, at 6-6, 310, he’s considerably lighter than the other right tackle candidates, Michael Bowie (332) and rookie Justin Britt (325).
Carroll said that Winston was brought in as depth, and didn’t project him as a starter over there. But his experience and durability could come into play. He’s started all 16 games the past seven seasons. The situation now: Bowie hasn’t been healthy since dinging a shoulder on the first day of camp, and Britt is a quick learner with good potential, but will obviously play like a rookie at times until he gets up to speed.
USAToday did an interesting interview with Winston after he was elected president of the players association back in March.
Our soccer man Don Ruiz stepped in with a news story about Winston. I thought an interesting quote about his philosophy was: “I’ve always been an advocate for the players and trying to help them out … make their lives a little bit better and make them understand what it means to be a pro.”
--It will be interesting today to follow some of the injury situations after James Carpenter (calf), Bobby Wagner (hamstring), Kevin Pierre-Louis (oblique) and Kevin Norwood (foot) were sidelined for all or parts of Tuesday’s workouts.
--For the Wednesday paper, I looked once again at the Marshawn Lynch situation in light of the heavy fines he’s facing now.
--Andy Bixler’s notebook leads with the effects of ESPN’s coverage of practice. Good quote from K.J. Wright, who said he was glad nobody got into a fight that was all over the news.