KANSAS CITY -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sent out a tweet hours before his team kicked off the 2016 preseason against the Chiefs on Saturday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, with the social media post expressing excitement for Seattle's first-year players who after two weeks of training camp practices were about to receive their initial taste of NFL action.
As it turned out, Seattle's rookies ended up playing a big role in a thrilling finish, as rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin led a fourth-quarter comeback by finding rookie wideout Tanner McEvoy for a 37-yard touchdown to pull Seattle within one point of Kansas City as time expired, while rookie running back Troymaine Pope proceeded to seal the 17-16 win with a two-point plunge.
Here's how a handful of first-year players reacted to their first snaps of professional football:
RB Troymaine Pope
(On running for the two-point conversion...) "I was just knowing that I was going to get in. There wasn't no doubt in my mind. I just thank the coaches for making the great call and having the trust in me to get in there. I'm just thankful."
(On the reaction to running for the two-point conversion...) "Postgame was crazy. My teammates just ran up and thanked me. It was just a great vibe, a great feeling. My first game in the NFL, it was just a feeling I couldn't describe. I just thank God for this opportunity."
(On standing out in training camp as a rookie...) "It's hard work. You've just got to keep pushing. You're going to have days where it seems like nobody knows your name when you first come in. Then you go from people knowing you and you've got to continue to grind. It's a grind each and every day. My main focus is to stay focused and keep working."
WR Tanner McEvoy
(On his touchdown as time expired...) "This whole process, every opportunity you get you've got to make the most of it. That's what the coaches preach, that's what the older players always tell us. That's kind of what I was trying to do today and I've just got to keep doing it."
(On what QB Trevone Boykin was like the final drive...)"Very calm, cool, and collective. I think he's been in games like that before where he's made some big plays and he knew what to do with it."
(On the atmosphere at the Seahawks...) "This group of guys, everyone seems to be really invested. It's a big family. Everyone's looking out for each other. All the older guys, even the best players on the team, everyone's congratulated me, even everyone else. It's a great team to be a part of, and I'm happy. I really am."
OL Germain Ifedi
(On his pregame emotions...) "I tried to calm everything down, block it all out, but you get out there and you're on an NFL field with guys that are legends, guys that are multiple time Pro Bowlers. It's human nature to get a little star struck, but once I calmed down I just played my game. It was good."
(On his first NFL action...) "It was good. Once I settled down I thought we had a pretty good plan and I thought we ran the offense pretty well. It was a little loose there at first, but once we tightened everything up I thought we were rolling."
WR Kenny Lawler
(On his pregame emotions...) "I went into this game like any other game. It was just another football game because I have so much confidence in myself. I played my game, I was real relaxed and confident in myself. I just went out there and made the best of it."
(On his first NFL action...) "It felt good, man. Just to go out there and fulfill my dream. This is only the beginning. Preseason, you never know who's going to make it past. So just to go out there and actually play, it was a dream come true. Now I've just got to move on to the next one."
(On playing at CenturyLink Field next Thursday night...) "I haven't thought about it, but now looking past this game, looking forward, it's going to be another dream, man. I've heard so much about CenturyLink Field. It gets loud and it's one of the toughest stadiums to play in. The fans are going to be on our back and it's going to be a wild ride."
- Christine Michael Shines In Preseason Opener
- "There's A Lot To Learn" From Comeback Victory, Even In Preseason
- New-Look Offensive Line "Looked Very Solid" at Kansas City
- Pete Carroll Shares Injury Updates From Preseason Opener
- Seahawks React To Thrilling Preseason Victory
- Rapid Reaction To The Preseason Opener
- Game Story: Seahawks 17, Chiefs 16
Look through the best photos from the Seahawks preseason game at Kansas City on Saturday, August 13.