For Scruggs, it only hurts when he looks back

Posted May 18, 2012

Because Greg Scruggs played most of last season at Louisville with a turf-toe injury, the Seahawks dispatched defensive line coach Todd Wash for one final workout before deciding to draft him.

The Seahawks thought enough of Greg Scruggs’ length and versatility that they dispatched defensive line coach Todd Wash to check out the Louisville lineman.

It was on the Tuesday of draft week.

“I worked him out at his high school (St. Xavier in Cincinnati), and he had a real good workout,” Wash said Friday, as the players and coaches concluded Phase 2 of the offseason program.

The trip proved to be well worth it, as the Seahawks made the 6-foot-3, 284-pound Scruggs the last of their 10 draft choices. In fact, shortly after the conclusion of the three-day NFL Draft, general manager John Schneider was asked whether any of the team’s picks seemed like a bargain at a certain spot.

“Quite honestly, I would have to say Scruggs,” he said. “When we were taking (safety Winston) Guy, Scruggs was one of our considerations.”

And Guy was selected in the sixth round – 51 picks before the Seahawks eventually drafted Scruggs with the 232nd pick overall.

“He’s a good-looking athletic guy,” Schneider said, referring not to Guy but the other guy – Scruggs. “He was a guy that was right there – there wasn’t that much room separating them, from a grade standpoint.”

Now that the coaches have seen Scruggs in the three-day rookie minicamp last weekend and the four offseason workout sessions this week, he has only solidified what Wash saw that draft-week day in Cincinnati.

“He’s a big, long athlete and we’re very excited about his change of direction and his movement,” Wash said. “We’re seeing real good movement principles and explosion out of a big athlete.”

The nagging and troublesome turf-toe injury that he played with most of last season prompted the Seahawks to take one last look at Scruggs before the draft.

“Obviously there was a lot of concern with my toe during the draft and in and around the draft, so to be able to come out here and show people that it’s not a problem, it’s not a risk and there are no worries has been good,” he said. “I’m well on the road to recovery and I’m staying on top of it to make sure that it doesn’t come back or happen again.”

Offered Wash, “Really, even though he did play, you didn’t get to see the real guy.”

Scruggs played in nine games last season, with five starts, but had only 19 tackles. Of those tackles, however, four were sacks. But he wasn’t able to play in Louisville’s bowl game.

“Obviously it was disappointment, being as how going into the season I had high expectations of myself and the coaches had high expectations for me – and the team did, as well,” he said. “But you can’t look back. It’s water under the bridge now. You look back and learn and think about things you could have done differently, how you could have prepared differently and things like that.

“But I’ve just got to move forward.”

Where Scruggs fits with the Seahawks remains to be seen, but for now he is working as a pass-rusher from the three-technique tackle spot as well as at the five-technique end position in the base defense – a backup role that was filled last season by Anthony Hargrove, who signed with the Green Bay Packers in free agency.

Scruggs’ preference? “Really whatever the need is,” he said. “That’s the blessing of my opportunity, is that I’m able to play both. So whatever they need me to play.”

Scruggs then smiled before adding, “Maybe kick some field goals. Maybe.”