A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 11 during the second day of the Seahawks’ three-day rookie minicamp:
Chris Harper. When it comes to a show of hands, the Seahawks’ fourth-round draft choice is showing great hands.
It was after Friday’s first practice that coach Pete Carroll offered, “Chris caught to ball beautifully. He really has great hands.”
Harper felt he played even better in the second practice.
“It went way better today than yesterday,” he said. “Yesterday, you just kind of didn’t know what to expect and just didn’t get into the flow and the pace because this is a lot different pace than what you’re used to in college.”
Better yet, receivers coach Kippy Brown agreed with the assessments made by Carroll and Harper.
“Chris has really strong hands and for a big guy he’s very athletic,” Brown said. “It’s just a matter of him learning. We’ve thrown a lot at these guys in two days’ time. I’m sure their heads are swimming. My head was swimming when I first got here.
“But he’s studying hard and he’s getting it. As he gets more comfortable with it, he’ll play faster and that’s what we’re looking for.”
For Harper, it continues to be an exercise in working on his transition game. He was, after all, originally a quarterback at the University of Oregon before switching positions and schools (to Kansas State).
“I’ve still got a long ways to go,” he said. “I’ve only been playing wide receiver for almost three years now, so I can learn from everybody.”
If today’s practice was any indication, things are progressing nicely. The highlight of Harper’s day was his over-the-shoulder catch of a pass from Jerrod Johnson after he had gotten behind cornerback O’Hara Fluellen. But Harper also worked himself free to make other catches, and when he wasn’t open he used his 234-pound body to make himself open.
“The fact that he’s 230-something pounds is what we liked,” Carroll said.
Asked about his bulk, Harper offered, “It helps me a lot, because DBs aren’t used to seeing guys that are like 230 playing receiver. So it gives me an advantage, as far as at the point of attack when the ball is in the air. When they want to get into pushing matches, I’ll usually come out on top of those.”
TRYING TO CATCH ON
Justin Veltung. The receiver/returner from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School is one of the three dozen players at this camp on a tryout basis. And Veltung is making the most of the opportunity.
He was one of the players the Seahawks had in for a pre-draft visit. Veltung showed enough that they invited him back for this camp.
“He’s a smart guy and he knows what to do,” Brown said. “He doesn’t make very many mistakes and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football. So we’ll see.”
Veltung began his second practice by making a nice falling catching of a pass that looked to be beyond his reach. But before it was over he also had worked his way around a defender to catch a pass on the sideline; caught another pass in traffic over the middle; and reached back while in full stride to grab yet another.
As Veltung was making that last catch, The Heavy’s “How You Like Me Now?” was blaring from the speakers along the sideline. Talk about right on cue.
CALLING PETER NGUYEN
Peter Nguyen, a 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back from Bellevue High School and the University of Montana, was added to the list of tryout players today.
Another back was needed because Darrell Scott, another tryout player, injured himself in the first drill on Friday.
THE SKINNY ON SCRUGGS
Second-year defensive lineman Greg Scruggs had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right knee. A seventh-round draft choice last year, Scruggs was injured during a workout in the veterans’ offseason program.
“He stumbled coming out of a bag drill … tried to catch himself and hyperextended his knee,” Carroll said. “It was just a drill by himself and it’s unfortunate that he hit just exactly wrong.”
Scruggs had two sacks among his six tackles as a rookie, when he played in 11 games.
“He’ll come back quickly from this, but it’s still a long haul for him,” Carroll said.
GIANTS ADD SOME CURRY TO THE MIX
Aaron Curry has found a new NFL home. Another new NFL home.
The former Seahawks’ linebacker and fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft has signed with the Giants, and ESPNNewYork.com has the details.
Curry started 12 games as a rookie and 16 in 2010 for the Seahawks. But he lost the starting job on the strong side to K.J. Wright in 2011 and was traded to the Raiders for a seventh-round draft choice in 2012 and a fifth-round pick in 2013 – which the Seahawks used to select guard J.R. Sweezy (last year) cornerback Tharold Simon (this year).
Curry played in 11 games for the Raiders in 2011 and two games last season before being waived in November.
“We think we have a good opportunity for him to see if he can re-invent himself a little bit and bring something to our linebacking corps,” Giants GM Jerry Reese said. “If he didn’t work out well for us, we wouldn’t be fooling around with this.
“He’s the fourth pick in the draft a few years ago. Obviously, we think he has some talent. We had him graded high back then. We will see what happens.”
MT. RUSHMORE UPDATE
This camp is all about the present, and hopefully future, for the rookies in attendance. But let’s take a moment to revisit the past.
Last week, we asked you to vote on who should be the fourth “head” on a Seahawks Mt. Rushmore, joining Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones. So far, Matt Hasselbeck is leading with 28 percent of the votes, followed by Shaun Alexander (20.9), Kenny Easley (20), Mike Holmgren (15.9), Jacob Green (8.7) and Chuck Knox (6.6).
It’s not too late to cast your vote.
The rookie minicamp will conclude Sunday with a morning practice. Monday, the veterans return to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s pretty similar, minus the music. I don’t think coach (Nick) Saban would like that.” – defensive tackle Jesse Williams, when asked about the pace of these practices compared to those at Alabama
The folks at Pro Football Talk will launch a 32-part series next month that features a Mt. Rushmore for each of the NFL teams, and they’ll eventually be asking for reader input on the Seahawks.
Why wait for them to get around to the Seahawks?
The first three faces for the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore are slam-dunk selections. As with most things Seahawks, the best place to start is with Steve Largent. He was not only the first career-long member of the team to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (in 1995), but when Largent retired after the 1989 season he held the NFL career records for receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and touchdown catches (100).
No other player in franchise history can come close to making such a claim. Then there is this trifecta of facts: He was the first player to have his uniform number (80) retired; the first inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor (1989); and each season since 1989 the Steve Largent Award has been presented to the person “who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks.”
The other obvious Rushmore-worthy players are defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who joined Largent in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and is the most-decorated defensive player in franchise history; and left tackle Walter Jones, who was voted to a franchise-record nine Pro Bowls, selected the best player in the NFL in 2006 by The Sporting News and should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2015.
But who should join this impressive trio as the fourth cornerstone in franchise history – and fourth face on the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore? You make the call (from this list that was compiled with a little help from a friend):
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 29:
1980: The Seahawks trade up to the 10th spot in the first round of the draft to select Jacob Green. The defensive end from Texas A&M stepped into the starting lineup as a rookie and stayed there through the 1991 season – putting up franchise records in sacks (116) and forced fumbles (28) and starting 176 games, which ranks third on the team’s all-time list behind Steve Largent (197) and Walter Jones (180). Green was voted to the Pro Bowl twice, induced into the team’s Ring of Honor in 1995 and selected to the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team.
1986: John L. Williams is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, but only after coach Chuck Knox makes a trip to Florida to check out the versatile fullback. Over the next eight seasons, Williams would lead the team in receiving three times, rushing once and be voted to the Pro Bowl twice. He still ranks third in receptions (471), fourth in rushing yards (4,579) and 10th in total touchdowns (33) on the team’s all-time lists.
2007: Darrell Jackson, the team’s leading receiver in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006, is traded to the 49ers. He still ranks fourth in receptions (441), third in receiving yards (6,445) and second in touchdown catches (47) on the team’s all-time lists.
2010: Walter Jones retires after a 14-season career that saw him voted to a club-record nine Pro Bowls and also six All-Pro berths. A first-round draft choice in 1997, Jones ranks second in games started (180), was named to the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team and already has had his No. 71 retired. In 2006, he was named the best player in the NFL by The Sporting News.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 27:
1982: Jeff Bryant is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Bryant would team with fellow defensive end Jacob Green and nose tackle Joe Nash to form what they called “The Diehard.” Why? “Because we always start,” Green explained. And that they did, from 1983 through 1989. In 1990, after selecting tackle Cortez Kennedy in the first round of the draft, coach Chuck Knox switched to a four-man defensive line and Bryant eventually became the only player in franchise history to start at all four spots.
2012: Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (second round) and quarterback Russell Wilson (third round) are selected in the NFL Draft. Wagner would lead the team in tackles and finish second in voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Wilson not only became the starter, he threw 26 touchdown passes to tie the league’s rookie record that was set by Peyton Manning in 1998, finished third in voting for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and played in the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 22:
1989: Tom Flores is named president and general manager to replace Mike McCormack. Flores became head coach in 1992, replacing Chuck Knox.
2002: Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Sinclair is released. Sinclair leaves after producing 73½ career sacks, including a league-leading 16½ in 1998, to rank second in franchise history to Jacob Green (116).
2005: Matt Hasselbeck is signed to a multi-year contract and Shaun Alexander is given the franchise tag. Both would be instrumental in the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl that season, as Alexander scored a then-league record 28 touchdowns and led the NFL in rushing while being voted league MVP and Hasselbeck passed for 3,459 yards and 24 touchdowns while compiling a career-best 98.2 passer rating.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 7:
1988: Kenny Easley and Fredd Young provide half the AFC’s four interceptions, as well as eight and seven tackles, in a 15-6 victory in the Pro Bowl. Steve Largent (one reception) and Jacob Green (two tackles) also were on the AFC squad.
1993: Cortez Kennedy and Eugene Robinson combine for nine tackles to help the AFC win the Pro Bowl 23-20 in overtime.
1999: Cortez Kennedy and the “strong side, left side” trio of Michael Sinclair, Chad Brown and Shawn Springs combine for five tackles and three passes defensed to help the AFC claim a 23-10 Pro Bowl victory in what is John Elway’s final game.
2003: Teryl Austin is named defensive backs coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 1:
1987: Fredd Young recovers a fumble to set up the only touchdown in the game as the AFC wins the Pro Bowl 10-6. Jacob Green also recovers a fumble and has a tackle for a loss, while Steve Largent and Bobby Joe Edmonds also are on the NFC squad.
1998: Warren Moon is named MVP in the Pro Bowl after leading the AFC to a 29-24 victory. Moon directs the AFC to points on each of his three series, including his 1-yard TD run with 1:49 left to play. Moon also passes to Tim Brown for a 57-yard gain that sets up Eddie George’s 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks’ Michael Sinclair recovers a fumbled snap that leads to Moon’s decisive score. Darryl Williams also recovers a fumble in the game.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 30:
1990: Derrick Fenner runs for two touchdowns, pushing his season total to 15, in a 30-10 victory over the Lions at the Kingdome. The win allows the Seahawks to finish 9-7 despite an 0-3 start. Eugene Robinson returns a fumble for a touchdown and Jacob Green has three sacks to lead the defensive effort.
2001: Rian Lidell kicks a 54-yard field on the last play of the game to give the Seahawks a 25-22 victory over the Chargers in San Diego. Darrell Jackson catches five passes for 114 yards, including touchdown receptions of 48 and 43 yards.
2007: Nate Burleson catches seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns and the playoff-bound Seahawks generate 30 first downs, but it’s not enough to offset a four-TD passing performance by Chris Redman in a wild 44-41 loss to the Falcons in the regular-season finale at the Georgia Dome.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 22:
1984: Dan Doornink carries the ball 29 times for 126 yards as the Seahawks rush for 205 yards in handing the defending Super Bowl champion Raiders a 13-7 loss in a wild-card playoff game at the Kingdome. Dave Krieg, who completes only 4 of 10 passes, throws 26 yards to Daryl Turner for the Seahawks’ only touchdown. The defense shuts out the Raiders until midway through the fourth quarter as it sacks Jim Plunkett six times, including 2.5 by Jacob Green, and intercepts him twice.
1991: The Seahawks win their final game under coach Chuck Knox, 29-9, over the Rams in the season finale at the Kingdome as James Jones runs for two touchdowns. Knox would return to the Rams as their coach in 1992.
1996: Michael McCrary registers four sacks, Lamar Smith runs for two touchdowns and Joey Galloway catches a 32-yard TD pass from Gino Torretta as the Seahawks rally for a 28-21 victory over the Raiders in Oakland. The sack barrage in the season finale allows McCray to finish with an AFC-leading 13½.
2002: Shaun Alexander runs for two touchdowns, Matt Hasselbeck passes for 303 yards, Rian Lindell kicks three field goals, Reggie Tongue intercepts two passes and Anthony Simmons has 11 tackles and an interception in a 30-10 victory over the Rams in Seattle.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 18:
1977: Jim Zorn throws a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steve Largent in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks a 20-19 victory over the Browns at the Kingdome in their season finale.
1983: The Seahawks clinch their first playoff berth with a 24-6 victory over the Patriots in their regular-season finale at the Kingdome, and all three units contribute as Steve Largent catches seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, Dave Krieg passes for two TDs and Curt Warner runs for 116 yards; Jacob Green has three sacks and Kenny Easley and Dave Brown intercept passes; and Jeff West has five of his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
1988: The Seahawks win their first division title with a wild 43-37 victory over the Raiders in Los Angeles on the final Sunday of the regular season. The Seahawks jump to a 30-17 lead and hold on as Dave Krieg passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns, with Brian Blades catching four passes for 123 yards and two TDs and John L. Williams adds seven catches for 180 yards.
1994: Jeff Hostetler passes 77 yards to Tim Brown for a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Raiders take a 17-16 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 122 yards and the Seahawks’ only touchdown, while John Kasay kicks three field goals.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck throws second-half touchdown passes to Joe Jurevicius and Darrell Jackson as the Seahawks rally for a 28-24 victory over the Titans in Tennessee that is win No. 10 in their club-record 11-game winning streak. Shaun Alexander also runs for 172 yards and a TD.