RENTON – There are two sides to working with the first team as a rookie. First, you get to test yourself and compete with the best your team has to offer. The other is a bit starker: Any mistake is far more likely to be exposed when practicing next to guys who don’t make many of them.
Michael Bowie, Seattle’s seventh-round draft pick this year, got a taste of both this week.
Breno Giacomini, the Seahawks’ starting right tackle last season, was in New York for tests on a bothersome knee that won’t require surgery. That elevated Bowie to the first team for a week during organized team activities.
“I feel like I held my own,” Bowie said. “I could have done a lot better in some places, but it wasn’t just horrible. Taking strides.”
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Bowie could potentially have a substantial role with the Seahawks this year. Giacomini has a firm grasp on the right tackle position and All-Pro Russell Okung is one of the game’s elite left tackles. But the position lacks depth.
Of the guys currently on the roster, the most likely backup options are Mike Person and Bowie. Person, 24, is in his third year out of Montana State. He drew praise from coach Pete Carroll for gaining 10 pounds this offseason, but he has yet to play in a regular-season game.
Bowie enters his first year as a pro with an interesting back story. After a two-year stop at a junior college, Bowie became a part-time starter for Oklahoma State as a junior in 2011, the year the Cowboys won the Fiesta Bowl.
He was thought of as a key returning piece the following year.
But Bowie was dismissed from the team for violating team rules; he has declined to talk about the situation.
“Mike was a good player for us, but it didn’t work out,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy told The Oklahoman at the time. “And I think the one thing people have to realize that it’s extremely difficult to play college football and there are certain standards and requirements that you have to meet in order to be a part of our football team, and that’s coaches and players. We don’t really bend for anybody.”
Bowie ended up Northeastern State, a Division II school in Oklahoma. He played there a year, and did well enough for the Seahawks to draft him.
“It’s a great situation,” Bowie said. “I’m with some All-Pro guys from center to tackle, and I’m just trying to learn the most I can from those guys so when it’s my turn I’ll be ready.”
At the top of his list: He wants to sharpen his familiarity with the playbook and the offensive line’s calls.
“He’s going to make some mistakes, and he made some mistakes out there,” said veteran tight end Zach Miller, who often lined up next to Bowie. “But he’s learning as fast as he can, and he’s improving every day.”
Bowie said he also needs to get in better shape.
He said he showed up 70 percent in shape, although that number rose to 85 percent by the end of practices this week.
“Michael got a great chance to show, and it was cool to have him with the first group and stressed by that and he handled himself well,” Carroll said.
“It was a good initial statement he made that he looks like he can fit in. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up here but very pleased with him.’’
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org