The rookie mini-camp concluded Sunday.
As it did, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll walked off with one of the 38 players here getting a tryout — running back Peter Nguyen of Bellevue High and Montana.
Only a few — if any — of the players who got tryouts this weekend will be signed, and Carroll understood that for many of the players here, this minicamp could serve as both a highlight of their careers, as well as an ending.
“Some of these guys won’t play football again, this might have been their last day on the football field,” Carroll said. “So we tried to show them that we really did appreciate and respect the heck out of what they did for us. Peter Nguyen was one of those guys. Walked off the field with him here and he had a good time out here, he did fine, so it’s a fun part of the game.
The three workouts were no pads, no contact, so concrete evaluations are a little hard to make in this setting.
Still, Carroll said he saw enough to be excited about the 2013 draft class.
“It was cool to see these guys able to really run the offense and defense after three days time and working against each other,” he said. “Today was kind of the test day to see how much they learned. … real pleased with the draft guys. Everybody looked like they fit into the role that we hoped for. A million miles to go but I thought the tackles up front looked, the defensive tackles looked nice and fit in right, both Luke (Willson) at tight end, you continue to see him get a lot of balls, and Chris Harper got a lot of balls today, and the running backs are going to be a factor. Really happy with Spencer Ware playing both fullback and tailback and all the way down the line. A big jump for (center) Jared Smith and a lot to ask him early and we gave him some problems out here but physically he’s going to be able to do what we want. … and (QB) Jerrod Johnson did a nice job, too, running the club. You could see he benefited from being with us and able to give us a little bit of expertise out there kind of like the vet because he’d been around the older guys. All of that made for a good camp and I think the momentum coming out is just like we hoped.”
Asked if there were any surprises, Carroll mentioned defensive end Benson Mayuowa of Idaho and Inglewood, Calif., who was in on a tryout.
“He did a nice job,” Carroll said. “There are a number of guys that showed some stuff but we have some big decisions to make to figure out how we are going to round up the roster here with about 5-6 guys. But he was a guy that really jumped out rushing the passer and looked pretty fast on the edge.”
Here are a few other thoughts from Carroll:
— On Willson, who was one of the standout players of the camp: “We really did give him a chance in this camp to see if the speed did show up and it did, he’s very fast. He will be our fastest tight end in camp. We don’t know anything about his blocking at this point — we won’t know about that until camp. But as far as calling him to fit a role and be a downfield type of guy and mix in with these fellas and compete for it it was pretty cool.”
— On the shape of defensive tackles Jesse Williams and Jordan Hill: “Those guys did very well. They were in better shape than the other guys. They were not taxed by the workload, and that just means they have been working hard to get here. Jordan Hill is really in good shape and I thought Jesse handled it well. He weighed in at 329 or whatever it was and that was really a pleasant surprise that he could handle it. … We played Jordan at nose tackle a lot and Jesse at the three technique. Jordan is an accomplished nose tackle, he knows how to play the position. … he’s got good long arms for his size and heuses his hands really well. He got in the backfield and penetrated a lot and he looks like he could be a really good addition to complement (Brandon) Mebane in there.’’
— On cornerback Tharold Simon: “He did a good job. He fits the profile of the guys that we like — he’s long, he’s an aggressive kid. Has good savvy, could anticipate routes and things. We don’t know what kind of condition he is in yet but we will get him stronger and right and when he gets into camp I would think he would be able to compete with our guys.’’
— On Johnson’s throwing mechanics which he had to alter due to shoulder surgery: “I don’t know much about what he was before. I asked him to throw his old way and he said he couldn’t do it, so that’s a good thing. He’s got a very good arm, he can really gun the football down the field. He’s got a great presence and he’s such a big guy in the pocket, totally different than our guys. If he can hang with us you will see us utilize him doing the things that he can do well and he’s bright and has handled things very well, so we are excited about him.’’
— On the difference between this rookie class and last year’s: “It’s different when you don’t have the quarterback. My whole focus last year was watching the quarterback (Russell Wilson). But what is similar is the the guys that we picked, specifically for roles, look like they are going to fit. If they can make a spot for themselves is the question. But everybody fit right. Having Bruce (Irvin) and Russell showing up at camp last year that was pretty flashy start and Russell just dominated the camp with 500 throws. Imagine these guys all of those throws (there were three QBs here), Russell made every one of those throws. He didn’t let anybody else throw. So it’s quite a bit different in that regard.”