Tight end Anthony McCoy, who underwent surgery last week to repair a torn Achilles tendon he suffered during the team’s first OTA session, has been waived from the club with the designation of injured, the team announced this morning.
As a result of the injury, McCoy was expected to miss a good chunk of time in 2013. He was originally selected by the Seahawks in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of USC and saw action in all 18 games last season, catching 18 balls for 291 yards and three touchdowns. Often lining up in two tight end sets with No. 1 tight end Zach Miller, McCoy was the team’s first player to top 100 yards receiving a year ago, when he had three catches for 105 yards in the club’s 58-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.
In McCoy’s place, the team announced the signing of tackle Jake Bscherer, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound product who spent his senior season at Minnesota-Duluth after three years at the University of Wisconsin. Bscherer took part in the Seahawks’ three-day rookie minicamp that was held earlier this month and he is the fifth player from that workout to sign on with the club, joining defensive end Benson Mayowa, tight ends Victor Marshall and Darren Fells, and wide receiver Justin Veltung.
Justin Veltung, one of the three-dozen players who participated in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, signed with the team this morning.
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound receiver/returner from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School was singled out by coach Pete Carroll when he was asked if there had been any surprises during the May 10-12 minicamp.
“Veltung did a nice job,” Carroll said.
Nice enough to get another chance, but Veltung joins a crowded group of receivers that features incumbent starters Sidney Rice and Golden Tate and free-agent addition Percy Harvin; and also includes slot receiver Doug Baldwin and fourth-round draft choice Chris Harper.
But Veltung showed enough to get this second opportunity.
“He’s a smart guy,” receivers coach Kippy Brown said after the rookie camp. “He knows what to do. He doesn’t make very many mistakes, and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football.”
That continued today in the team’s third OTA session, when Veltung went down to get a low throw over the middle and displayed good separation – and got both feet in – while making a catch along the sideline.
Among Veltung’s pluses are his speed (4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout); athleticism (41½-inch vertical leap); and ability to return kicks (two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns at Idaho).
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 12 during the final day of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp:
Tharold Simon. In case you haven’t noticed, Pete Carroll likes his cornerbacks tall, long and physical. And the Seahawks’ coach thinks he has found another one in Simon, a 6-foot-2, 202-pounder who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
“He did a good job,” Carroll said during his minicamp wrap-up Q&A with the media. “He fits the profile of the big guys that we like. He’s long. He’s an aggressive kid. He has good savvy, can anticipate routes and things.
“By the time we get him to (training) camp, I would think he can compete with our guys. He looked kind of in the fashion of guys that we like.”
Today, Simon was working on the right side with the No. 1 defense – the spot where 6-4, 221-pound Brandon Browner has been the starter the past two seasons. Saturday, Simon got some snaps on the left side – where 6-3, 195-pound Richard Sherman developed into an All-Pro corner last season after moving into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season in 2011.
The incumbent backups are Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane, and Byron Maxwell – each a draft choice since Carroll arrived in 2010, as well as second-year pro DeShawn Shead.
MAKE THAT OH’HARA FLUELLEN
O’Hara Fluellen, a cornerback from Lincoln, was one of the 37 players at this camp on the tryout basis. Today, he made several nice plays – tipping away a pass intended for draft-choice wide receiver Chris Harper along the sideline; jumping in front of the receiver to intercept a pass thrown by tryout QB Jake Mullin; and deflecting another pass to draft-choice tight end Luke Willson.
Asked if there were any surprises among the tryout contingent, Carroll singled out Justin Veltung, a wide receiver from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School; and Benson Mayowa, a defensive end from Idaho.
“(Veltung) did a nice job,” Carroll said. “And No. 70 (Mayowa) jumped out; he was pretty fast on the edge.
“There were a number of guys that showed some stuff. We’ve got some big decisions to make to try and figure out how we’re going to round out the roster here with five or six guys.”
Which of the tryout players is signed remains to be seen.
“It’s unfortunate, because this is a very difficult team to make and fewer of these guys will get the opportunity to do that,” Carroll said. “But those who do will have earned it and if they can make it through the rigors of camp and early preseason, it will be really exciting.
“Some of these guys won’t play football again. This might have been their last day on a football field. So we tried to show them that we really did appreciate and respect the heck out of what they did for us.”
The veterans return on Monday to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program, and the lines during drills will be longer because the team’s 11 draft choices and seven of the eight rookie free agents signed after the draft also will be on hand.
“We’re already picturing how (the rookies) are going to fit in,” Carroll said. “The way to do it really is that we’re going to try and champion the strengths that they have – put them in situations where they can be successful early; not ask them to do a lot of things that are unfamiliar to them. With the thought of trying to build their confidence and a sense that they belong and can fit it. Then we’ll expand.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“The grade-school kids are harder than any defense I’ve ever seen.” – quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was an elementary school teacher between his training-camp stints with the Eagles and Steelers
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