All Keith Price wanted was an opportunity.
The Seahawks provided it last weekend, when the former University of Washington quarterback agreed to sign with the Super Bowl champions as a rookie free agent following the NFL Draft. This weekend, Price gets another as he’ll be the primary QB in the team’s three-day rookie minicamp that starts Friday.
|SEAHAWKS ROOKIE MINICAMP|
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Virginia Mason Athletic Center
Who’ll be there: The Seahawks’ nine-man draft class – wide receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood; tackles Justin Britt and Garrett Scott; fullback Kiero Small; defensive end Cassius Marsh; defensive tackle Jimmy Staten; linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis; and defensive back Eric Pinkins; the nine rookie free agents signed after the draft, including University of Washington quarterback Keith Price and Texas All-American defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat; and a group of rookies who will be participating on a tryout basis.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” Price said after Thursday’s on-field session in the Seahawks’ offseason program. “I’ve been going over the playbook relentlessly, trying to get the terminology down.”
Price has been here all week, but he’s also been working behind starter Russell Wilson; Terrelle Pryor, who was acquired last month in a trade with the Oakland Raiders; B.J. Daniels, who spent most of last season on the practice squad after being claimed off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and incumbent backup and former starter Tarvaris Jackson.
“I’ve definitely had to wait my turn out there,” Price said with a smile. “But it’s good to get any reps and learn on the fly.”
This weekend, however, it will be Price’s show. The Seahawks are bringing in another quarterback among a group of players that will be participating on a tryout basis, but Price will be leading the “No. 1” offense, a group that also will include wide receivers Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood, who were selected in the second and fourth round of the NFL Draft; tackles Justin Britt, a second-round draft choice, and Garry Gilliam, another free agent who was signed after the draft; and fullback Kiero Small, the team’s seventh-round draft choice.
And this is an opportunity to show their stuff for all the rookies, not just Price.
Two years ago, Wilson turned the competition to be the starter into a three-man race with his performance during the rookie minicamp – and then won the job with his play in training camp and during the preseason. Last year, defensive end Benson Mayowa came to the rookie minicamp on a tryout basis and ended up not only being signed but earning a spot of the 53-man roster.
“It’s a great opportunity not only for me, but all the rookies,” Price said. “I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s a big weekend for all the rookies just to get reps, so it will be fun.”
One problem could be making this three-practice minicamp bigger than it is, but Price isn’t concerned.
“I’m not worried about it at all,” he said. “This is what I do. I play football. I’ve been begging for an opportunity and now here I am. So I’m going to take full advantage of it and I’m going to have fun with it.”
Not that his first few days with the Seahawks haven’t provided enough good times, as Price is making the most of every opportunity. Undaunted after not being drafted, despite passing for 8,757 yards and 73 touchdowns the past three seasons for the Huskies, Price is attacking his “overlooked” status like an overmatched defense.
And watching him on the practice field during drills, his actions have been a synonym for the oft-used term “sponge” – as Price is absorbing anything and everything he can while observing the other quarterbacks. During Wilson’s post-play discussions with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith, Price has been just off Wilson’s shoulder. Whenever Bevell and Smith have talked to one of the other QBs, they’ve also had Price’s ear.
And how’s it going? “Keith is doing well,” Wilson said.
This weekend will present Price with the opportunity to do even better.