Hawks receivers caught up in numbers game
Eleven wide receivers. Six roster spots, at the most. You do the math. But be glad you don't have to make the decisions on whom to keep...
Seattle Times staff reporter
KIRKLAND — Eleven wide receivers. Six roster spots, at the most.
You do the math. But be glad you don't have to make the decisions on whom to keep and whom to cut.
That's the dilemma the Seahawks' coaches face at the end of training camp this summer. And from the looks of the first team minicamp this week, deciding who stays and who goes will be more difficult than ever for the current staff.
The Seahawks have a mix of younger players and veterans at the position. Darrell Jackson has been the most productive. Koren Robinson has a world of talent despite his off-field issues. And Bobby Engram has been solid as the third receiver.
Then there are the two new guys, proven veterans Joe Jurevicius and Jerome Pathon. Alex Bannister and Jerheme Urban have game experience, and Taco Wallace and Jason Willis had such good training camps last season that they forced their way onto the practice squad. Last but not least are 2004 fifth-round pick D.J. Hackett and another player the Seahawks liked out of camp last year, Marque Davis.
"People are going to have to be at the top of their game, or there's going to be people knocking on the door," said Nolan Cromwell, the team's receivers coach.
Urban is pacing himself for the battle.
"Right now," he said, "it's just that same mindset of coming out here and using these minicamps to get better and compete and get ready for training camp, when it really comes down to fighting for a job."
Willis said he is used to the stiff competition. The former walk-on at Oregon had to earn his place on the Seahawks despite being on injured reserve as a rookie in 2003.
Largent in townHall of Famer Steve Largent, the former Seahawks wide receiver, was at team headquarters yesterday for a visit with Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, Largent's ex-teammate. Largent was also in the area for a speaking engagement and to visit his son, Kramer, who attends Seattle Pacific.
Largent, 50, suffered a mild stroke and had to be briefly hospitalized about three weeks ago, but he looked to be in good shape yesterday. He said he is feeling better every day.
The Lowe-downOmare Lowe was a big fan of Largent as a child growing up in Seattle. He also followed Curt Warner and Eugene Robinson.
Lowe went on to play for the University of Washington and was drafted in the fifth round by the Miami Dolphins in 2002. He played for five NFL teams before coming home to sign a one-year deal with the Seahawks last month.
Lowe has been working at cornerback during minicamp, though he can also play safety.
"Nothing's guaranteed. You might as well call me a rookie," Lowe said. "I'm fighting and scratching to earn a spot on the team."
Injuries to cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Bobby Taylor have allowed Lowe to get more snaps in practice and learn the team's defensive scheme and terminology.
• Robinson was not at practice yesterday for reasons unspecified by the team, though the minicamp is voluntary. In the absence of Robinson and Jackson, Pathon and Engram worked with the first offense.
• Washington waived backup QB Tim Hasselbeck, the younger brother of Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, yesterday. There might be some interest in Tim Hasselbeck from the Seahawks, who are considering signing a veteran free agent to compete for the backup job with Seneca Wallace and rookie David Greene.
• The Seahawks announced the hiring of former safety Maurice Kelly as director of player development. Kelly, who also played in Canada, will act as a liaison between the players and the front office.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org