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Paul Richardson’s wish is Keith Price’s demand
Before the players took the field Friday afternoon for the first practice in the Seahawks’ three-day minicamp, Paul Richardson approached Keith Price with a request.
“He told me to throw him the ball deep,” Price, the former University of Washington quarterback, said of his quick conversation with Richardson, a wide receiver from Colorado.
Richardson didn’t have to ask twice.
On one of the first plays in the first full-team drill, Richardson took off up the sideline against cornerback Eric Pinkins. As he slipped past Pinkins, Price unleashed the pass. With the ball in the air, Richardson shifted into overdrive, catching the 40-yard pass in stride and turning the play into a 65-yard touchdown.
But on this play, Richardson flaunted his football speed. Pinkins, the player covering him and a sixth-round draft choice, had run the 40 in 4.44 seconds at 220 pounds during his Pro Day workout at San Diego State.
Just how impressive was Richardson’s burst up the sideline?
“Oh my God, that guy’s a blazer,” said Price, who was signed as a free agent at the conclusion of the NFL Draft last Saturday. “I saw him in one-on-one coverage and kind of let it rip. He made a great play and scored a touchdown.”
Coach Pete Carroll was impressed by the efforts of Richardson and also Kevin Norwood, the 6-2 receiver the Seahawks selected in the fourth round of the draft. Richardson had another reception where he went down to get a low throw from Price, who was being pressured on the play. Norwood had a half dozen catches, including one on a slant, another along the sideline and a third where he went up against Pinkins to grab a pass from QB Zach Zulli, one of the rookies who is at this camp on a tryout basis.
“The receivers really show up, they jump out at us – and that’s Kevin and Paul,” Carroll said. “They’ve done really well the first couple days (in Phase 2 of the veterans’ offseason program) and then today they did it again.”
Before stepping it up Friday, Richardson and Price had stepped into two of the more competitive positions on an already deep and talented roster.Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse – and each scored a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. There’s also Sidney Rice, the team’s leading receiver in 2012 who was released and re-signed this offseason, and a group of younger receivers – Phil Bates, Ricardo Lockette, Bryan Walters, Arceto Clark and Chris Matthews.
But Richardson (speed) and Norwood (size) also bring something to the mix that is needed.
Price, meanwhile, signed with the Seahawks immediately after the draft rather than waiting to see which other teams might call.
“It probably wasn’t three minutes after the draft,” Price said. “Pete made the call and I committed to him. I kind of had my eye set here.”
And he wasn’t blinded by the fact that the team already had Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson, the starter and backup on last season’s Super Bowl team; had traded for Terrelle Pryor; and also had B.J. Daniels, who spent most of last season on the practice squad.
“There’s great competition at the quarterback spot, and I’m a competitive guy,” Price said. “I’m way down there now on the totem pole, but I’m willing to work myself up like I did throughout my whole playing career. So I appreciate the challenge.”