Seahawks Insider Blog

Williams says talented offensive line at Alabama helped to prepare him for NFL

Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams said he weighed 326 pounds when he reported to Seattle’s rookie minicamp this weekend –about the same that he weighed on his pro day when he ran a 4.90-second 40-yard dash.

Although his weight can fluctuate – he played at 315 pounds when Alabama asked him to play defensive end -- Williams said he expects to stay at about the same weight for the Seahawks.

Williams is playing both 1-tech and 3-tech in practice for Seattle, and has not been designated a specific position to focus on.

“It’s a lot different playing in college to the NFL,” Williams said. “I’m picking up little things and learning from the people that are playing right now, and the coaches who have been coaching in the NFL for a while. And hopefully I'll pick it up day by day and get myself ready to contribute to the team.”

So is the pace of a Pete Carroll practice similar to a practice ran by Nick Saban?

“Yeah, definitely – minus the music – I don’t think Coach Saban would like that,” joked Williams. “It’s really similar, running everywhere and people yelling all over the place.”

Williams also noted that his play at Alabama was helped by going against first round draft picks like Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker in practice everyday.

“I think it was huge,” Williams said. “It helped sort of get everyone a little bit better – them working against us, and us definitely working against them. Having a couple of first-round picks on the offensive line, it definitely doesn’t hurt going against them every day. I had a sore head the majority of the time playing against Chance, so I think it’s made me a little better to sort of acclimate to coming to the NFL.”

Although he dropped a couple contested passes, tight end Luke Willson had another strong day.

Willson said one of the things that has helped him play fast is he’s had plenty of time to study the playbook, so he’s not thinking about what he needs to do during the play while he’s out on the field.

However, Willson said one of the main adjustments he’ll have to make once he’s playing with the veterans during OTAs is the speed of the game.

“Coming from a non-BCS conference like (we played in at) Rice, it’s a lot faster,” Willson said. “Guys are a lot bigger, a lot stronger across the board. So definitely just getting used to the speed of how the NFL game is played, and the size and toughness.

Even though he was not projected to go in the first seven rounds by draft analysts, Willson said he expected to get draft because of the detailed conversations he and his agent were having with several NFL teams.

“I had been in contact with quite a few teams,” Willson said. “I know the media didn’t really have me listed that high.”

Willson was asked if he expected to be drafted in the fifth round.

“I had been before Seattle talking to a few teams here and there, so that was right around where I thought I would go,” Willson said.

Wilson dealt with a pair of nagging injuries in 2012 that included a high-ankle sprains and a lower-back injury, which affected his production on the field. Wilson played in just six games, finishing with nine catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Wilson said a couple weeks after the season he finally started feeling healthy, heading into the senior All-Star games in January.

“I feel great out here,” Willson said. “I feel like I’m moving around here pretty good – a lot easier and a lot free than last season.”

Some tidbits

* Fourth round selection Chris Harper had another solid day catching the ball. The Kansas State product said he played faster today because he’s getting a better handle on the playbook.

* Colorado strong safety Ray Polk made a couple flash plays in practice, batting down a couple passes in the back end defensively. At 6-1 and 220 pounds, Polk is a physical, in-the-box type safety who also could be a force on special teams.

* UNLV linebacker John Lotulelei – no relation to Carolina first round draft selection Star Lotulelei – also has turned heads in camp with his instinctive plays in the run game and in pass coverage.

* University of Idaho receiver Justin Veltung continued his trend of making plays down the field. Veltung had couple more nice catches on deep balls, and a diving stab over the middle of the defense.

* Quarterback Jerrod Johnson connected several times on deep throws down the sidelines, and looked more comfortable running the offense today.

* Defensive end Benson Mayowa, a University of Idaho product who participated in the NFL regional combine at the Seahawks facility in April, also generated some pressure off the edge a couple times today.