A recap of the day’s activities at the Seahawks’ first minicamp:
A couple of wide receivers named Williams – Reggie, the former Washington Husky; and Mike, who played for Pete Carroll at USC.
They’re two of the 17 players the Seahawks are giving tryouts to during the team’s three-day minicamp – a group that also includes wide receiver Kevin Robinson, defensive backs Shawn Bayes, Joe Porter, Courtney Robinson, Kennard Cox and Quinton Teal, running back D.D. Terry, fullback Ryan Powdrell, linebackers Matt Grootegoed and Spenser Smith, offensive linemen Mitch Erickson, Terrence Metcalf and Anthony Davis, tight end Jeb Putzier and defensive tackle Greg Peterson.
Some, like Metcalf, Putzier and Reggie and Mike Williams, have played in the league. A lot. For others, this is their chance to play in the league. It’s also part of the leave-no-stone-unturned approach to building a roster that Carroll and first-year GM John Schneider are taking.
“We’re looking for players. We’re looking for guys that can help us,” Carroll said after his first practice as coach of the Seahawks. “John has done a great job of scouring the list of available players that give us an opportunity to strengthen the depth on our football team.
“It’s an open opportunity, really, right now. You see a lot of guys out here who have been on other clubs and have had other chances. It doesn’t mean that they’re done. Over the years, we’ve all seen plenty of stories where guys make a comeback, make a second shot at it and do something with these new opportunities when it’s afforded them. ”
Williams and Williams, however, stood out – and not just because they’re 6 feet 5 (Mike) and 6-4 (Reggie).
Reggie Williams was a first-round draft choice by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004, the ninth pick overall, after setting UW records for career receptions (243) and receiving yards (3,598). He then caught 52 passes for the Jaguars in 2006 and had 10 touchdown receptions in 2007. But he had off-field problems in 2006 and 2009 and did not play in the league last season.
“I’m just glad I had the opportunity to be out here and play,” Williams said. “(This second chance) means everything for me and my family. It’s just a gift from God that I’m allowed this second opportunity to play the game that I love, especially in my hometown.
“When I landed yesterday, I just asked the guy to crack the window so I could smell home. It’s just kind of serene.”
Mike Williams was the 10th pick overall in the 2005 draft by the Detroit Lions. But he caught only 44 passes for 539 yards in 30 games with the Lions, Raiders and Titans. His weight reportedly got as high as 270 pounds when he was with the Titans, but Williams checked in today at 235.
“It’s not a cakewalk at all. It’s an opportunity,” Williams said when asked about the Carroll connection. “I think I have the same opportunity everyone else here has. I don’t think the fact I went to SC has anything to do with it.
Asked about getting back into it, he said, “It’s kind of like riding a bike, except that the bike is kind of rusty right now.”
Considering that Reggie and Mike got their playbooks in the morning and were on the field running routes in the afternoon, Carroll was pleased with the way they handled the situation. He even had them stay after practice to run additional routes, so the coaches would have ample video to make their evaluations.
“They did a nice competitive job today,” Carroll said. “Both guys showed that they’ve been around. They picked things up quickly. Reggie made some good catches today and looked competitive. So that’s a good first impression.”
Today, the No. 1 unit featured – from left tackle to right – Ray Willis, Mike Gibson, Chris Spencer, Max Unger and Sean Locklear. The tackle tandem is a switch from last season, when Locklear subbed for All-Pro Walter Jones on the left side and was replaced at right tackle by Willis.
The second unit was comprised of Davis, one of the tryout players; Trevor Canfield, Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto and Metcalf, another of the tryout contingent.
Jones, who missed all of last season while recovering from microfracture surgery, is not attending this camp and still contemplating retirement, Carroll said.
Lofa Tatupu. The three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker missed the final 10 games last season after having surgery to repair a torn pectoral. But he took part in 7-on-7 drills today, while being replaced in the team drills by David Hawthorne.
When Tatupu was on the field, he was flanked by Aaron Curry, last year’s first-round draft choice; and Hawthorne, who was subbing for Leroy Hill, who has been excused from this week’s minicamp.
YOU DON’T SAY
“My hat’s off to the guy. I only had the opportunity to play with him one year. I wish it was much more. A great guy on the field and an outstanding guy off the field. … I’m just glad to have had the opportunity to play with him.” – defensive tackle Colin Cole on defensive end Patrick Kerney, who announced his retirement today