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Seahawks host 19 ‘local’ draft-eligible players
The Seahawks hosted 19 draft-eligible players Wednesday, and some came farther than others.
Like Keith Price. While most of the other nine former University of Washington players drove across Lake Washington to Virginia Mason Athletic Center, the former UW quarterback went the extra frequent-flyer miles. Price flew from Los Angeles to Seattle on Tuesday night, participated in the workout session in the indoor practice facility Wednesday morning and then was heading back to L.A. in the afternoon.
The Seahawks hosted a group of 19 “local” draft-eligible players for workouts and/or meetings at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Wednesday:
“It was another opportunity to compete, and that’s what I do,” said Price, who limited his efforts to throwing after a strong showing at his Pro Day workout three weeks ago. “I didn’t have a combine invite, so I’m doing whatever it takes to catch coaches’ eyes.
“I’ve got a lot to prove. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. So I just came out here to compete. I know that coach (Pete) Carroll’s philosophy is competing, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of it. My motto is, all I need is a foot in the door and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Price’s extra-effort gesture did not go unnoticed.
“He knows our situation. He knows our quarterback depth now,” Scott Fitterer, the Seahawks’ director of college scouting, said of the team acquiring Terrelle Pryor in a trade with the Oakland Raiders on Monday at a position where they already had starter Russell Wilson, veteran backup Tarvaris Jackson and promising second-year QB B.J. Daniels.
“That didn’t matter to him. He wanted to come up and compete and show what he did. And he really showed well today.”
Bishop Sankey, a running back from Washington, and Scott Crichton, a defensive lineman from Oregon State and Tacoma’s Foss High School, watched the workouts. Sankey because his status as one of the top backs – if not the top back – available in the May 8-10 NFL Draft is secure following his performances at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and the UW Pro Day this month. Crichton because he just returned from making pre-draft visits to six NFL teams, including four back-to-back-to-back-to-back meetings in one trip.
“I’ve really only visited two other teams – and hopefully that’s a good thing, hopefully it’s because they don’t have any questions about my character or no extra medical evaluations to do,” Sankey said. “So it’s been relatively quiet. Now, I’m just trying to stay in shape and wait it out.”
Sighed Crichton, “It’s been crazy.”
But all three felt it was important to attend the event hosted by the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, which included other draft-eligible hopefuls with “local” ties – those who played their college ball at an in-state institution, being from a greater Seattle area high school, or both.
“As soon as I got the email for this, right away I said, ‘Yes,’ ” Watson said. “It was very exciting just to be here in this setting and be around the coaches. I did some great work with some great guys. They make you feel like you’re part of the system and they really want you to succeed.”
And what transpired in the indoor practice facility at VMAC on this Wednesday during the offseason had a common thread with what happens on any given weekday during the season: Competition. And take takes his back to Price.
“He’s a guy that steps up and likes competition,” Fitterer said. “He’s kind of what this program is about.”
And then you never know what you might find during one of these workout sessions. Last year, Idaho wide receiver Justin Veltung attended. He was signed by the Seahawks and, after being released, landed with the St. Louis Rams. In 2012, the efforts of Montana cornerback Donny Lisowski at the “locals” workout led to him getting a tryout at the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp, which led to him being signed. He was later released in training camp.
“This setting allows us to spend more time with the guys,” Fitterer said. “Maybe at the Pro Day, we wouldn't have done that. Maybe at the school, we haven’t been on his tape as much as you would like. So this is a chance to really get a look at them, for our coaches to see them and spend time with them and see how they respond to being pushed.”
And this year, the event even included the players getting their hands on something special.
“One of the cool things about it was we even got a chance to touch the Super Bowl trophy and take a photo with it,” Sankey said. “That was something I wouldn’t expect. But it was cool.”