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Friday in Hawkville: Rookies come out of the chute in Seahawks fashion

Posted May 16, 2014

The first practice in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp featured two elements that have helped make the Seahawks what they’ve become in four seasons under coach Pete Carroll – competition and tempo.

A recap from the first day of the Seahawks' three-day minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON: COMPETITION AND TEMPO

It was only the first practice in the team's three-day minicamp, but it also was
so Seahawks.

YOU DON'T SAY

"That's a great honor for all of us… It will be great fun. The guys are really looking forward to that. We all are."

Pete Carroll on the team's visit to the White House next Wednesday to be honored by President Barack Obama as the Super Bowl champions

And that's another way of saying that the players were impressed by the competitive level of the two-hour workout along the shores of Lake Washington, and caught somewhat off-guard by the tempo of the practice.

"It's definitely competitive out here," said tackle Justin Britt, the second of the Seahawks' two picks in the second round of last Friday's NFL Draft. "Coach (Pete) Carroll definitely preaches that as a one of the goals around here is to be competitive."

Was Britt surprised by the intensity of the competitiveness, considering the circumstance? 

"No," he said. "It's the NFL. This team won the Super Bowl last year. So it's pretty much everything I expected. … It's a competitive lifestyle, and that's why football is fun."

Make that fun, and fast.

"Well, the huddle is different. I didn't huddle back in college, so I've to get used to that," said Britt, who played at Missouri. "But the tempo's pretty fast here. You would expect that going from a no-huddle offense in college to a huddle offense in the NFL it would be slower. But really it's not that much slower.

"The play is given fast. You break the huddle. You get to the line. You're going. So it's definitely a fast-paced team and I feel like I'm in great shape for it."

THEY'RE NOT ALL ROOKIES, ESPECIALLY KOREY TOOMER

STAT DU JOUR: PAUL RICHARDSON LOVES THE LONG BALL

The first and last touchdown receptions of Paul Richardson's career at Colorado turned out to be catch-and-release efforts – a 3-yarder at the beginning of the 2010 season and a 5-yarder at the end of last season. That's because in between, the wide receiver the Seahawks selected in the second round of the NFL Draft was in it for the long run, or scoring reception, as he averaged 40 yards on his 21 TD catches:

Year Yards of touchdown receptions
2010 3, 60, 62, 4, 3, 50
2011 15, 21, 66, 78, 9
2013 82, 75, 55, 30, 28, 60, 75, 7, 53, 5

That's nine TD receptions of 60-plus yards and four of 70-plus. And yearly averages of 30.3, 37.8 and 47.0 yards on his scoring receptions.

Richardson also had three 200-yard receiving games, which is three of the five in school history.

Of the 56 players on the practice field, nine were selected in the NFL Draft, nine were signed as free agents just after the draft, 30 are here on a tryout basis and eight have been with the team: linebacker Korey Toomer, a fifth-round draft choice in 2012 who has spent the past two seasons on injured reserve; tight end Cooper Helfet, who was signed as a rookie free agent in 2012 and has been on the practice squad; guard/center Jared Smith, a seventh-round draft choice last year who spent his rookie season on IR; and five others who have spent time on the practice squad – wide receiver Arceto Clark, defensive linemen Michael Brooks and Dewayne Cherrington, linebacker Mike Taylor and cornerback Akeem Auguste

And Toomer took advantage of the opportunity to flash the skills that first attracted the coaches.

"Korey looked good today," Carroll said. "Korey has had great workouts through Phase 1 and Phase 2 (of the veterans' offseason program). He's in great shape and is very determined. That's one of the guys who it's really exciting to see him have another chance at it."

PLAYS DU JOUR: A TD PASS AND A PICK

Offense: Wide receiver Paul Richardson, the first of the team's two second-round picks, getting behind cornerback Eric Pinkins, a sixth-round draft choice, and then displaying an extra gear to catch a 40-yard pass from Keith Price and turn it into a 65-yard touchdown.

Defense: Toomer sitting on a route in the flat and then jumping the pass to make an interception. Even in a rookie minicamp practice, it's all about the ball.

UP NEXT: ANOTHER AFTERNOON PRACTICE

The players will be back on the fields at VMAC for another practice on Saturday afternoon. The rookie minicamp concludes with a midday practice on Sunday.