Seahawks rookie minicamp: Keith Price takes his shot
Former UW quarterback Keith Price is one of 59 players participating in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp at the VMAC, which began Friday and runs through Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — During his five years as coach at Washington, Steve Sarkisian never tried to hide the fact that he borrowed heavily from the man he considers one of his most influential mentors, Pete Carroll.
Friday, the player who may be most associated with the Sarkisian tenure at UW — quarterback Keith Price — finally got to take part in a Carroll-run practice, as well.
Price is one of 59 players participating in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp at the VMAC, which began Friday and runs through Sunday.
And Price’s comparison of the two practices?
“Identical, man,” Price said with one of his trademark smiles, adding that some of the drills “kind of brought back memories.”
It was that familiarity that led Price to sign with the Seahawks quickly last Saturday after he went unselected in the NFL draft.
Price, who ran the No. 1 offense during Friday’s roughly two-hour workout, said Carroll was the first coach to call him once the draft was over, and that he immediately committed to sign with the Seahawks.
“I kind of had my eyes set here,” Price said. “I was very familiar with the system, very familiar with the coaches, and I love this place.”
Price said some of the language of the Seahawks’ offense and what he ran at UW is different. But the overall concepts he said are pretty much the same, which he said “allows me to play fast out here.”
In fact, Price seemed to hardly miss a pass Friday, highlighted by a 63-yard touchdown throw to receiver Paul Richardson, the team’s first selection in the second round of last weekend’s draft.
Richardson beat sixth-round pick Eric Pinkins deep, and Price hit him in stride roughly 45 yards downfield for an easy score.
It was one of several impressive plays on the day for Richardson, who throughout showed the speed that so enticed the Seahawks.
“There’s no question how fast he is,” Carroll said.
Added Price: “Oh my God, that guy is a blazer, man. He told me to throw him the ball deep today. I seen him one-on-one and I kind of let it rip and he made a great play.’’
That Richardson and fellow receiver Kevin Norwood, a fourth-round pick, would impress isn’t a surprise. Carroll cited each later as players who stood out, with each expected to have a role on the 2014 Seahawks.
Price, though, is another matter.
While he was the UW’s career leader in touchdown passes with 75, concerns over his size and durability helped lead to his going undrafted and having to try to make a team as a free agent.
The Seahawks, though, hardly seem like a team with an easy route to a roster spot with a set starter in Russell Wilson, a returning and trusted backup in Tarvaris Jackson, and having recently traded for Terrelle Pryor, Oakland’s starter in 2013. Second-year player B.J. Daniels also remains on the roster, giving the Seahawks five quarterbacks when they won’t keep more than three on the 53-man active roster (teams also have eight-player practice squads).
Price, though, is taking a different — and more long-term — view of what is uobviously stiff competition. He knows, in the NFL, the trick is to get in the door and start making a name for yourself any way possible.
“I like to challenge myself,” he said. “And I know if I can move up in depth here I will be able to move up in depth anywhere.”
Friday was just one day, far too early for sweeping judgments for any of the players. Carroll, though, said Price got a passing grade.
“He’s done real well,” Carroll said. “He looks like he’s been close enough to us.”
• Players who attended local schools who are trying out are kicker Andrew Furney of Washington State; running back Demitrius Bronson, who began his career at UW and finished at Eastern Washington; and running back Johri Fogerson, who began his career at UW and ended it at Central Washington.
• Fourth-round pick Cassius Marsh of UCLA is starting out playing defensive end, being used similarly to Michael Bennett.
• Carroll said undrafted free-agent signee Jackson Jeffcoat of Texas has been an early standout. Jeffcoat is playing the team’s LEO, or rush end, spot.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com. On Twitter @bcondotta