Seahawks Insider Blog

A few minutes with Neal Howey

[HTML1]Small-school prospect hits THE big time

A 23-year-old linebacker out of Eastern Michigan, Howey is competing for a roster spot at outside linebacker for the Seahawks. He’s a native of Monroe, Mich., a small town with a population of 23,323 about 36 miles from the Eastern Michigan campus.

During his senior season for the Eagles, Howey led the team in tackles with 95 in 12 games – including seven tackles for loss.

“I’m happy to be out here,” he said. “It’s been a great experience. I’m just out here trying to make plays, and going one day at a time right now.”

This kid can move

Signed as an undrafted free agent, Howey’s athleticism got Seattle’s attention. At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, he posted a 40-yard time of 4.53 seconds at his college pro day, benched 225 pounds 20 times and had a vertical jump of 35 inches.

“I always feel like I can run well and use my athleticism,” he said. “So I try to use that to my advantage.”

Not only is Howey fast, but he can also pop the pads, putting together some explosive hits during training camp that had his teammates saying, “I see you, Howey.”

“Definitely, you got to,” said Howey, when asked about the big hits. Higher learning

Howey is playing outside linebacker behind veteran Leroy Hill and rookie Malcolm Smith. He says Hill, David Hawthorne and Aaron Curry have helped him learn all the defenses being thrown his way during the first two weeks of training camp.

“Heater (Hawthorne), and Hill and A.C. (Curry), they’re great,” he said. “They really try to help us out. They’ve been positive to me, trying to help me out as much as possible. And that really helps me in learning the defense and growing.”

Game time

Howey finished with two tackles in about a quarter of work in his first NFL action against San Diego. And he’s hopeful of building on that effort against Minnesota this week.

“It was amazing,” Howey said. “It was a great experience to step out there on the field and kind of feel a little electricity out there. I couldn’t be happier being out there.

“We’ve all gotten pretty tight. So we’re all hanging together and trying to do this thing.”