RENTON — Paul Richardson, the Seattle Seahawks’ second-round draft pick, was a spectator during Saturday’s rookie minicamp workout, the speedy receiver sitting as a precaution for an ailment that isn’t believed to be serious.
He wasn’t alone. Two other receivers — Chris Matthews and Lance Ray — also sat out. That meant a lot more opportunities for Kevin Norwood, Seattle’s fourth-round draft pick from Alabama, to catch passes from quarterbacks Keith Price and Zach Zulli.
“It was a long one,” Norwood said afterward. “It was just four receivers out there, but at the same time it was good for us because we got more work, and we got a lot of reps and it allows us to come out and stay focused on what we have to do to get better.”
Norwood, a 6-foot-2, 199-pound native of D’Iberville, Mississippi, is off to a solid start. He made a nice catch of a ball thrown by Price down the right sideline during a seven-on-seven drill, and had another grab on a short route thrown by Zulli as he was rolling to his right.
Richardson, he of the 4.28-second 40-yard dash time, impressed Friday by using his speed to beat coverage and haul in a long touchdown catch. Norwood had a long catch Friday, too. But his best attributes seem to be his hands and concentration, evidenced by a catch he pulled down from Price between a pair of defenders.
“They’re just lining me up and putting me in my comfort zone and just allowing me to go out there and make plays,” Norwood said. “Hopefully whenever the season comes, they just put me in
that same spot to make more plays.”
Norwood said the transition from Alabama to the NFL has been made easier by coach Nick Saban’s insistence that his players conduct themselves as professionals, with Norwood describing Saban’s outfit as “a pro-style program.”
Being a part of three national championship teams at Alabama probably didn’t hurt, either.
“I know what it takes to win, and I know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, of course,” Norwood said. “I know that is what this team has right here — they have a lot of heart, and it’s good for me to be a part of it and help them win another Super Bowl.”
ROOKIE LINEMAN MARSH RAVES ABOUT VMAC
Cassius Marsh, a defensive end whom the Seahawks drafted this year in the fourth round, was one of three players made available to reporters after Saturday’s workout.
Asked if he has experienced a “welcome to the NFL” moment during his short time at the team’s Virginia Mason Athletic Center facility, Marsh answered in the affirmative. And it had nothing to do with what happened on the practice field.
“I think it kind of hit me when I was rolling up on the facilities here,” Marsh said. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in my life. I mean, the lake — we’re practicing next to a lake. That’s unbelievable. And the facility looks like its own little city. I don’t know. It’s just ridiculous to me. I love it here.”
At 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds, Marsh will line up at the “Leo” position as a pass-rushing linebacker. He pressured Seattle’s quarterbacks a couple of times on Saturday, including one play that likely would have been a sack if it had occurred in a full-contact setting.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday that “he has great stuff already. You can see he has really good hands and has a good feel for it. What will be important as we move on is to figure out where he could best fit in. We’ll be real open to seeing that. Right now he’s kind of playing like Michael Bennett plays.”
Marsh, a UCLA product, said he developed his quick hands in college by training with Jay Glazer, who trains players in mixed martial arts when he’s not reporting about the NFL for FoxSports.com.
But Marsh says he’s no fighter.
“No, no, no,” he said with a laugh. “I’m a football player, guys.”
ON THE SIDELINE
Offensive tackle Garrett Scott, Seattle’s sixth-round pick, didn’t participate again on Saturday after missing Friday’s workout. Carroll said Friday that Scott is still working through his physical.blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports