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10 Things We Learned From Day 1 Of Seahawks Rookie Minicamp

Key takeaways from day one of Seahawks rookie minicamp.

Sixty-six names are included on Seattle's rookie minicamp roster this year, a list that includes all eight players taken in last weekend's NFL Draft, 10 others who signed as undrafted rookie free agents, current Seahawks with rookie minicamp eligibility, and 39 other athletes in town on a tryout basis.

Here's 10 things we learned from day one of rookie minicamp, a day that saw coach Pete Carroll, defensive end Frank Clark, and long snapper Nate Boyer meet with the press after practice.

1. Frank Clark Wants To Make The 12s Proud

Clark, Seattle's second-round pick (No. 63 overall) who was dismissed from the Michigan football team last November following an alleged domestic violence incident that was later reduced to disorderly conduct, faced the Seahawks media in person after making his on-field debut.

Clark, wearing No. 55, was asked about how the outside world has perceived him leading up to this weekend's workouts.

"It matters, because at the end of the day you don't want to be labeled as what some call a woman-beater, or things of that nature," Clark said. "But at the same time it doesn't bother me, because I know what I did and what I didn't do. I don't want to get into the specifics of the case, but at the end of the day, the coaches and the staff here, they had faith in drafting me."

In Seattle, under Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider and coach Carroll, Clark will receive a second-chance. He says it's one he's hoping to take full advantage of as he works to gain the trust of the 12s.

"I owe a lot to them," Clark said of the Seahawks fanbase. "One thing I'm going to do is make them proud. I believe that for the most part they've stood by me this whole time. They've been very supportive and they see a lot of high hopes in me, and I'm going to make them proud."

Clark was asked if there's anything he would like the Seahawks faithful to know about him that might not have been portrayed yet in the press coverage since draft day.

"Basically, I'm a great guy," Clark said. "I'm still a kid in some people's eyes. I'm 21 years old, turning 22 June 14th, so I'm not complete. I'm not a complete person."

Clark admitted he still has plenty of room to grow, both on and off the field.

"I'm a person who's still learning," he said. "I'm a player who's still learning. I'm a player who still needs coaching and I'm a person who still needs to get talked to by my elders, and still talk the way of life because I don't know it all. I believe I've got a lot of people on my team that are helping me do that."

2. Nate Boyer Is Enjoying An Amazing Place

The ex-Green Beret Boyer, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan before walking on at the University of Texas, was one of 10 undrafted free agents to sign in Seattle following last week's draft.

He originally tried out at safety for the Longhorns, but transitioned to long snapper because he wanted to see more of the field. Boyer said he had contact with a few teams leading up to this year's selection process, but wasn't expecting a call from Schneider and Carroll last weekend.

"It meant a lot," said Boyer, wearing No. 48. "I had a big, stupid smile on my face the whole time, but I guess that's warranted. You can't ask for anything more than that. This is the best team in football, and an amazing place."

Boyer will compete with Clint Gresham for the starting long snapper job. At 5-foot-10 and 216 pounds, he's traditionally undersized for someone at the position, but snaps a "very accurate" ball, according to Carroll.

"I don't know where he got it, but he picked it up somewhere along the way," Carroll said of Boyer's deep-snapping pedigree. "We need to see if he can hold up blocking-wise because he's not a big man. We know he's going to give you everything he's got, which is all we've ever asked of our guys, so that'll be fun to see how that translates.

"He'll be in a big competition with Gresham, and we'll see how that goes."

3. Tyler Lockett Stands Out

Wide receiver/return specialist Tyler Lockett, who the Seahawks moved up the draft board to select in the third round (No. 69 overall), was one of the players coach Carroll singled out after day one of camp.

"I thought Tyler was all over the field, catching balls and making plays," Carroll said.

Carroll called Lockett a fast, "big-play guy" who excels at handling, catching, and fielding the football. He also admired Lockett's open-field vision in the punt- and kick-return game.

"The most important thing about doing kick and punt return is his attitude," Carroll said. "He loves doing it. It's part of his makeup."

4. Tom Cable Is Like A Little Kid In A Candy Store

Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable's position group came away with three new players in this past weekend's draft.

The team took Terry Poole (No. 130 overall) and Mark Glowinski (No. 134) in round four and in round six added Kristjan Sokoli (No. 214), who will make the switch from the defensive side of the football.

"Probably the most exciting area to watch is what Tom [Cable] is doing with the three young linemen up there," said Carroll. "He's like a little kid in the candy store. He's so excited about this challenge of bringing these guys along and the transition for Sokoli and knowing that this is a big deal for our football team to add the competition, and the support to the offensive line play. He's having a blast."

Eight draft picks, 12 undrafted free agents and 46 other Seattle Seahawks hopefuls took the field for the first time as pros today at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, WA. 

5. There's Plenty Of Familiar Faces

Included on this weekend's minicamp roster on a tryout basis are four of the five players the Seahawks released this past week.

Fullback Mike Zimmer, center Jared Wheeler, offensive guard Justin Renfrow, and defensive end Julius Warmsley return, while linebacker Mike Taylor - the fifth player let go - was not invited back after failing a physical.

Members of the Seahawks' 90-man roster taking part in this weekend's camp include quarterback R.J. Archer, wide receiver Kevin Smith, wide receiver Douglas McNeil III, running back Demitrius Bronson, cornerback Eric Pinkins, defensive tackle Jimmy Staten, defensive end Will Pericak, and offensive guard Nate Isles.

6. WOOF!

Five former Washington Huskies are among the 66 players working out this weekend for the Seahawks.

The purple-and-gold class includes tryout players in running back Jesse Callier, offensive lineman Mike Criste, and tight end Michael Hartvigson; current Seahawks wideout Kevin Smith; and Sammamish, Wash. native and former Skyline High School star Kasen Williams, a wideout who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals following the 2015 draft as an undrafted free agent but was released after failing a physical.

7. Who's Throwing The Football

On top of current Seahawks quarterback R.J. Archer, who signed a reserve/future contract with the team earlier this year, the team's rookie minicamp features two throwing arms - Casey Pachall out of TCU and Tyler Sykora of Southern Arkansas.

Pachall, TCU's all-time leader in completion percentage (62.9 percent), last played in the CFL in 2014 for the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts. Sykora wasn't drafted a year ago after a record-setting career for the Muleriders.

8. Eric Pinkins Makes Position Switch

Pinkins, selected by the Seahawks in the sixth-round of last year's draft, is participating in this weekend's rookie camp after an injury kept him from his initial year in the NFL.

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Pinkins played safety in college at San Diego State, dropping down to cover the opposing team's slot receiver at times. 

He was drafted to play cornerback, but worked at outside linebacker during day one of rookie minicamp, a position Carroll said the Seahawks will try him at over the next few weeks.

9. Austin Hill Absent

Former Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Austin Hill agreed to terms with the Seahawks following the 2015 draft, but Carroll said a knee injury kept him from passing the team's physical.

In other roster housekeeping notes, defensive back Trovon Reed, one of the original 12 undrafted rookies who agreed to terms with Seattle, will instead participate in this weekend's minicamp on a workout waiver.

10. It's Not Real Football

The players are donning shorts, practice jerseys, and helmets for this weekend's competition, but the 66 players participating are doing so without pads.

Coach Carroll said that makes rookie minicamp "not real football" and noted it makes it hard to evaluate players at certain positions, particularly those that play linebacker and along the offensive and defensive lines.

The skill positions, though, stand out. Carroll said you can get a good idea of how running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, and defensive backs move in space.


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