John Carlson was in an unenviable position.
Not only was he the only unsigned among the Seattle Seahawks draft choices as training camp 2008 began Friday morning, but he was stuck in his new Renton apartment, just two weeks since he and the former Danielle Herndon were married, and Danielle's mother had just arrived in town to help them get settled.
He needed to start his new job ... fast.
"She was going to come and stay with my wife to help set up our apartment because we assumed I was going to be in camp," Carlson said. "She wasn't real happy to see me. She wanted me working. I spent most of the day with my wife and my mother-in-law.
"I just handed over the credit card, and hoped that this was getting done so I could pay the bill."
Fortunately for Carlson, his wife and mother-in-law, the multi-year contract did get finished Friday night and he was hard at work Saturday morning. The second round draft choice from Notre Dame responded well, looking fresh and made several impressive catches - including a fingertip snap while diving to the ground with safety Deon Grant draped all over him.
At 6-5, 251, Carlson clearly ran better Friday than he did at minicamp when he was slowed by a hamstring a little bit. Carlson and Danielle, the former captain of the Notre Dame volleyball team, were married in Tampa, and moved out here for him to report with the other rookies on Tuesday.
Instead, he spent a jittery few days waiting for his deal to get done.
"It was tough," Carlson said. "Being a rookie, I'm new to the business aspect to the game of football. I'm glad to get that behind me and get back into the playbook, get into these meetings this evening, and get on the practice field. It was fun to be here.
"I realize it's a business and I think all the players also realize that. You never want to be that last guy. It's good to be here. At the time I felt like I was missing all kinds of stuff. Now that I'm here, I feel like I'm back into the flow and here we are. It's training camp."
Carlson's signing comes just a day after first round draft choice Lawrence Jackson signed, which closed the book on the Seahawks picks. On Monday, coach Mike Holmgren reiterated how vital it is for rookies to be in camp as quickly as possible, particularly Carlson considering the intricacies of the offense and the girth of the playbook.
"He's a wonderful young guy, and he's a bright guy, but this is important stuff for any rookie," Holmgren said. "But then a rookie like Lawrence, or like Carlson, who we expect to play and to contribute, it's important that he not miss too much time."
Carlson thumbed his way through his notebook from minicamp, but that didn't compare to what goes down on the field.
"My mindset is to do whatever I have to do to help this team - whatever I have to do to be a better football player. What my role will be ... I don't know that. But at this point, I'm going to do whatever I can to improve to learn the offense more thoroughly to be as good a player as I can be.
"Just understanding the offense better you're going to be quicker if you're not thinking. I'm still not where I need to be. I'm still not where I want to be. But it's coming. Mentally, I feel a little bit less overwhelmed at this point with the understanding that this only the second day of training camp and that playbook is really thick. You need to stay on it every day because if you're not and you don't fully understand every install, then you're falling behind every day."