After Seattle’s rookie minicamp practice ended Saturday, and after he stayed on the field a while to catch a few extra passes from a jugs machine, Kasen Williams was escorted by a member of the Seahawks public-relations department to a table filled with microphones.
RENTON – After Seattle’s rookie minicamp practice ended Saturday, and after he stayed on the field a while to catch a few extra passes from a ball-throwing machine, Kasen Williams was escorted by a member of the Seahawks’ public-relations department to a table filled with microphones.
“Oh, this is official?’’ Williams said as he settled in front of the assembled media, the familiar Seahawks backdrop behind him. “I’ve been waiting for this.’’
It’s official for today, anyway. Williams’ goal now is to make it official for tomorrow and beyond.
May 18-20: Spring owners’ meetings, San Francisco
Aug. 8: Hall of Fame inductions, Canton, Ohio
Aug. 9: Hall of Fame game, Canton, Ohio: Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh
Aug. 14: Seahawks exhibition opener, vs. Denver
Sept. 13: Seahawks regular-season opener, at St. Louis
Williams is attending the three-day camp on a tryout basis after having been released by the Cincinnati Bengals earlier in the week when he failed a physical, with no guarantee with the team after the final workout Sunday. He had signed as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals after going unselected in the NFL draft last weekend.
After being let go by Cincinnati, the Seahawks invited him to try out, Williams arriving shortly before the first practice Friday.
“It just wasn’t a good fit (with the Bengals) at the end of the day,’’ Williams said. “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad there’s an opportunity to get on the field here and happy to be here.’’
There was a time, of course, when it would have been expected that Williams would have been one of the star attractions at such a minicamp, a high-round pick with a spot on the team all but assured.
But in a story now wearingly familiar, Williams suffered a broken left fibula and a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot while leaping for a catch against California in October 2013.
And while he returned to play every game as a senior in 2014, he didn’t appear the same player who once won Parade Magazine All-American Player of the Year honors at Skyline High School, or who as a sophomore at UW in 2012 caught 77 passes, third-most in school history.
Instead, Williams grabbed just 20 receptions in 2014, a UW career low, none for longer than 19 yards.
Saturday, though, he showed glimpses of the player before the injury, particularly on a play that stood as the highlight of the day as he raced down the left sideline, then reached high with one hand to snare a pass from R.J. Archer, finally controlling the ball as he fell on his back. It looked a little like the catch former UW teammate Jermaine Kearse made near the end of the Super Bowl.
“Just competing for the ball at the end of the day,’’ Williams said of the play. “That’s all it is.’’
No doubt Williams hopes the Seahawks might become convinced he can again routinely make such plays.
He said he’s “100 percent’’ healthy and that “I feel back to my old self, but the best is yet to come.’’
He also said he feels a renewed sense of wanting to prove he belongs after having gone undrafted, saying he was “very surprised’’ not to be selected.
“And that just goes back to that anger that has been built up inside of me and more of the things that I have gone through this year,’’ he said. “Just another thing to put on that plate and I just use that toward my advantage with the offseason workouts and just grinding every day and doing things that I know other people aren’t doing.’’
What he said he’s not doing is wondering what might have been had he not gotten hurt.
“As soon as I got hurt and as soon as all this stuff happened, it hit me as to what happened for maybe 5 to 10 minutes,’’ he said. “But you can’t control that. All you can control is what is in the future, and I’m preparing every day for that moment in the future.’’
A football future he hopes becomes a little more official soon.
• Running back Demitrius Bronson, a practice-squad player last year who is now on the 90-man roster, walked the practice on crutches, apparently having hurt his hamstring prior to the camp. Rod Smith, one of the other four running backs on the roster here, had his foot in a boot from an injury suffered Friday. So there were just two healthy running backs Saturday — former Husky Jesse Callier, getting a tryout, and undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls — each getting a lot of work.
• Second-round draft pick Frank Clark again worked primarily at defensive end but has gotten some play at tackle in passing downs.