RENTON — As has been their routine the past few years, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and assistant coach Dave Canales huddled together before a recent practice and took a knee on the grass. Wilson then motioned to tight end Gerald Everett, standing nearby, to join them.
Together, the three of them bowed their heads and said a prayer.
Everett, indeed, has quickly been welcomed into Wilson’s inner circle with the Seahawks.
Even before stepping on the field as teammates, Wilson and Everett spent time together this offseason in San Diego getting to know each other and bonding over their shared Christian faith.
“We spent a lot of quality time together,” Wilson said.
Everett says his new QB has inspired him to try to be the best version of himself.
“Russ and I have definitely formed some kind of camaraderie, to a great degree,” Everett said. “Russ is molding me to become a better person, honestly. We share the same religious beliefs — we’re both high in faith and we both take that into account on and off the field.”
Soon enough, Everett expects that personal connection to turn into meaningful production on the field for the Seahawks.
“I mean, this is the first time in my career playing with a quarterback of his caliber,” said Everett, 27, who spent the first four years of his career with the Rams. “I really want to take advantage of this opportunity, whether I’m here for the short term or long term. Every day is a blessing … and working closely with a guy like Russell, I just want to (home) in and make sure I become the player I’ve always wanted to be.”
Everett, listed at 6-feet-3 and 240 pounds, fills a key role as the No. 1 tight end in new coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense. He’s already becoming a favorite target of Wilson, who found Everett in the end zone for a touchdown during a team period Wednesday. (Everett then immediately began trading barbs with safety Jamal Adams, who was watching the play from the near sideline.)
“Gerald’s super elusive — he keeps getting open,” Wilson said. “… He just finds a way to make plays. He’s been exceptional for us, and I’ve got great confidence in him.”
Two ‘nasty’ guards, one hefty bet
After a breakthrough rookie season at right guard, Damien Lewis has made the move to left guard this season — in part to make room for veteran Gabe Jackson.
Both guards are from Mississippi, and the 24-year-old Lewis said he grew up looking up to Jackson, 30.
“He’s so nasty, and he’s mean and he’s tough, and he’s got a grit — and he’s always finishing guys,” Lewis said. “That’s one thing that stood out to me with Gabe, just watching his film. … So that’s my role — I like to be mean, tough and nasty. It fits perfect with me.”
Jackson spent the first seven years of his NFL career with the Raiders, before the Seahawks acquired him in an offseason trade.
Earlier this month, Jackson approached Lewis about a playful bet — to see which player can record the most knockdown blocks throughout the season.
The loser has to buy dinner for the entire offensive line.
— It’s still status quo with veteran left tackle Duane Brown, who did not practice again Thursday as he seeks a new contract. The Seahawks have made it known they do not plan to give Brown a contract extension before the season, but the NFL Networks’ Mike Garafolo reported Thursday that the team is looking at ways to “get creative” and “sweeten” the incentives in Brown’s contract for this season.
— Free safety Quandre Diggs did not practice for the third day in a row. Diggs, a Pro Bowler last season, is also entering the final year of his contract, though it is still not entirely clear if he is holding-in like Brown.
— Jon Rhattigan, an undrafted linebacker, had the highlight of Thursday’s practice when he hauled in a one-handed interception off Wilson in the end zone during a 7-on-7 period. Wilson and rookie Dee Eskridge appeared to have a miscommunication on the play.
— The Seahawks on Thursday signed TE Ian Bunting, a 6-7, 255-pound undrafted free agent out of Cal. This is his fifth NFL team in the past two years. The Seahawks have been thin at tight end with Colby Parkinson (foot) sidelined, and with veteran Luke Willson’s retirement on Wednesday.