Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Five noteworthy players at OTAs
By Terry Blount
RENTON, Wash. -- Below are five of my observations from the first two weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) for the Seattle Seahawks.
First, a bit of a disclaimer: The media only had access to the Monday practices, along with the three days of rookie minicamp, so we have a bit of a skewed view. But here's what stands out, good and not so good, so far:
Paul Richardson has looked in OTAs like he'll be a deep threat for the Seahawks this fall.
Paul Richardson can really run: That’s not a surprise, but the rookie receiver from Colorado has not disappointed anyone. This guy can fly.
Just in the days the media have been on the sidelines watching, Richardson has burned defenders on four deep throws for touchdowns. He did it again Monday, a 50-yard TD from Russell Wilson to Richardson when he had 5 yards on rookie defender Dion Bailey.
When the Seahawks have Percy Harvin and Richardson on the field at the same time this season, opposing teams will worry about getting beat over the top. They have to account for their speed and won’t be able to cheat up near the line of scrimmage.
Consequently, it will open things up for the other receivers, like Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, and the tight ends, along with running backs on swing passes in the flat.
Pryor has struggled: Again, this is based on two days of watching practice, but Terrelle Pryor has not looked good. Many of his throws have been off the mark, sometimes too high and others too low. He doesn’t look comfortable on some of his reads.
However, it’s early and he’s learning a new offense. One thing about him that clearly stands out is his size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), probably more so with this team because he's so much bigger than Wilson.
But it doesn't take an expert to see which one just won the Super Bowl and which one was traded for a seventh-round draft choice. And up to this point, the Seahawks coaches have shown no indication of trying Pryor at another position.
Michael is on it: Running back Christine Michael is getting plenty of reps since Marshawn Lynch has elected to skip OTAs so far, and Michael is making the most of it. Michael has a knack for finding the hole at the line and bursting through it quickly.
There’s no tackling at OTAs, but he would have had some big gains on several plays, and might have taken it to the house a couple of times. Coach Pete Carroll has walked up to Michael a few times after his runs to give him high fives and let him know how much he appreciates what Michael is doing in practice.
Britt has grit: Rookie offensive linemen coming into offensive line coach Tom Cable's system often look a little confused at first, regardless of how talented they are. Not Justin Britt, the second-round pick from Missouri. He knows what he's doing out there, plays with fire and usually picks up the right guy on pass plays, whether that man is rushing off the edge or coming inside on a stunt.
The starting right tackle spot is going to be the best position battle in training camp because second-year player Michael Bowie also looks strong. If Britt continues to shine and looks ready to play on day one, Bowie might be an option at one of the guard spots. Bowie probably still had the advantage to start at right tackle, but Britt can play.
Wright is right: I'll make an early prediction here. K.J. Wright could be headed toward a Pro Bowl season at outside linebacker. He rarely makes a mistake on the field and he's one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL.
Wright had an interception in Monday's practice. At 6-foot-4, he has long arms and can break up throws with his reach and speed. Wright is starting his fourth season, which could be his best year as a pro.