A recap of the Seahawks’ three-day rookie minicamp that concluded today, May 13:
Three days in May. Make that three picture-postcard days, and three days when almost three dozen tryout players got to chase their dream of playing in the NFL.
The Seahawks wrapped up their rookie minicamp this afternoon, with another spirited practice on another gorgeous day along the shores of Lake Washington at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“For these guys to have that chance to get out here and be in the NFL for a weekend and show what they can do, they’ll never forget it,” coach Pete Carroll said. “And I think it means a ton to them.”
You could tell it meant just that, as the players sought out coaches at the conclusion of practice to shake hands and say thanks.
The team’s 10 draft choices and seven of the 10 free agents signed after the draft will join the veterans in the offseason program on Monday, and it was those players who drew most of the attention in the minicamp practices – from first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin; to third-rounder Russell Wilson, who used the minicamp to throw himself into the competition for the starting job; to seventh-rounder J.R. Sweezy, a defensive tackle in college who spent the weekend learning to play offensive guard; to wide receiver Phil Bates, one of those free-agent additions who caught pass after pass after pass.
“I can only tell you that we were thrilled with the (draft) picks,” Carroll said. “We think there’s something in every guy that’s unique and special. That we were fortunate enough to get guys in the spots that we got them and have a real plan as we look ahead where they can fit in and help us, it just feels like the next big step has been made.
“This is a first step for a lot of those guys, and for some of these guys it will be their only step. So we tried to treat these days with them with a lot respect with where their hearts are and all that.”
Carroll was especially pleased of the performance of Robert Turbin, a running back who was drafted in the fourth round. After playing in a spread offense at Utah State, Turbin made an almost seamless shift to the Seahawks’ zone-blocking scheme.
“He had an excellent camp,” Carroll said. “He has terrific speed. He has excellent feet. We were a little bit unsure of how well he would flow with the zone running game because he ran out of the (shot) gun all the time.
“He did it like he’s been doing it all along. So he showed natural instincts for the flow of the line of scrimmage.”
Turbin’s best run came Sunday, when he broke through the line on a counter play to gain 30 yards.
“He’s shown ability through the (three) days here that he can see the line of scrimmage well,” Carroll said. “He can feel it and he can burst.”
Asked which “unknown” players stood out, Carroll mentioned three:
Rishaw Johnson, a 6-3, 313-pound guard from California University in Pennsylvania and one of the free agents who was signed after the draft.
“He showed some tremendous stuff,” Carroll said. “We liked him going through the later rounds of the draft. He’s just a long ways down the road of understanding how to play the game. I think if he’ll continue to learn and understand what we’re asking of him, he has a chance to help us.”
Sweezy, the defensive tackle from North Carolina State who was drafted in the seventh round as a guard.
“The experience with J.R. was obvious that we’re on the right track,” Carroll said. “He’s very aggressive and carried over the defensive mentality that you’d hoped he would have. Tom (Cable, offensive line coach) was thrilled about what he saw from him.”
Donny Lisowsky, a 5-11, 185-pound cornerback from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School, and one of the tryout players in camp.
“He was all over the place out here,” Carroll said. “I had no (idea about him), other than he ran extremely fast when he showed up for a workout day. And then he went out there and made a bunch of plays. So I was really fired up about him.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“We had a joke. I said, ‘Man, if I accidently tackle you, I’m sorry.’ ” – Sweezy, on having been a defensive tackle when Wilson also was playing at North Carolina State