With the regular season fast approaching, a handful of Seahawks rookies all held video press conferences to talk about their adjustment to life in the NFL, among other topics. Talking to the media were linebacker Jordyn Brooks, guard Damien Lewis, and running back DeeJay Dallas. Here are a few of the highlights, led by Dallas' appreciation for a Seahawks Legend.
1. "Kam's a Legend."
It raised a few eyebrows when Dallas was assigned No. 31, the number Seahawks fans associate with safety Kam Chancellor. But before you get mad about a rookie wearing Chancellor's number, a couple things to know. One, with 90 players on a roster—that number was later reduced to 80 due to league COVID-19 procedures—and with 12, 80, 71, 96 and 45 all retired—there simply aren't a lot of numbers available to leave vacant out of respect to former players. And two, before Dallas chose 31, the inverse of his college number 13, which is not an option for a running back in the NFL, he reached out to Chancellor and got his blessing.
"When I got drafted, we got on a call and had to iron out a lot of, just the logistics of everything, and the number situation came across and I was just going down the list of the numbers, and then 31 came across, and just felt it was only right to ask Kam Chancellor, being the legend that he is for the Seahawks, I just had to do it," Dallas said. "It felt right in my spirit to ask him, just knowing what he's done for the club, and knowing what I want to do for the club. That's one of the main reasons why I really reached out to him and asked him for his blessing on the jersey number."
Dallas was later asked if he knew about Chancellor before joining the team and scoffed at the idea that he possibly wouldn't have.
"Of course I knew Kam wore this number," he said. "Kam's a legend, man. If you don't know about Kam Chancellor, you probably live under a rock."
As for what Dallas has been doing in that No. 31 jersey, he thinks his successful training camp has been the result of what he learned at the University of Miami.
"I just try to be a pro," he said. "I came out early from Miami, and at Miami they just always preach to us, be a pro. Be a pro in with all of this stuff that I was getting in college, and then I kind of carried that into the actual pros. So I just try to approach every day being a pro. Take every day one day at a time. For me, my saying and the saying that I live by is, make the bad days look good. and make the good days look great, and I just try to try to live by that."
2. Jordyn Brooks is only worried about his own expectations.
Being a first-round pick can come with a lot of added pressure for a rookie, but linebacker Jordyn Brooks said he isn't feeling the weight of outside expectations, because his own are plenty high enough already.
"I think if it did, I'd probably drive myself crazy," Brooks said. "I try not to think about or listen to what anybody else has to say. The expectation I have for myself is higher to anybody. So, if I'm not living up to my own expectations, that's what I'm worried about. So, I will control what I can control, and let everything handle itself."
Brooks said one of the biggest things helping his adjustment to the NFL has simply been watching the way veteran linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright handle themselves as professionals who are heading into their ninth and 10thseasons, respectively.
"Just watching those guys," Brooks said. "I'm not just blowing smoke when I say they're first in and last out. From the first day I got here, those guys are the first guys in the building, Bobby and K.J.. Just learning how to be a professional and take care of your body. Our body is our ticket, so we got to take care of that first to be able to perform. So that's the biggest thing I've learned is just being smart with injuries, anything that's going on, you know, get treatment, get massages in, make sure you're fully healthy to go out there and perform."
3. Damien Lewis's time at LSU is paying off.
One of the rookies earning the most praise in this year's camp has been Lewis, who is the front-runner to start at right guard. Lewis attributes his quick adjustment to the NFL to playing at LSU where he routinely faced some of the best defensive players in college football.
"I feel good," he said of his first camp. "The guys made me real comfortable, Coach Pete, the offensive linemen, just getting a good feel of the whole place. Everything has come naturally to me. I feel like LSU did a great job with me, preparing me well playing against tough teams in the SEC. Some of those guys that I played last year were some draft picks, some big, top-round round draft picks. So I feel like LSU did a real good job with me as far as just competing and putting my head down and battling every day."
Playing at LSU also helped him get ready for playing for the Seahawks because LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was a longtime assistant under Carroll at USC before becoming a head coach.
Lewis relayed the message Orgeron texted him after Seattle selected him in the third round of the 2020 draft: "The day of the draft, Coach texted me, he was like, 'You're going to a great place, a great team, a great organization. Coach Pete is going to take good care of you. And just like here at LSU, it's all about the ball. You'll come to compete, and you're going to work your tail off. So don't let your guard down, and just keep doing what you're doing, just compete, because everything that they're doing over there is going to be just like over here. So just keep going to work every day and getting after it, D-Lew.'"