RENTON — A day after coach Pete Carroll said receiver Phillip Dorsett II is the fastest player the Seahawks have had in his tenure, the question was put to Dorsett: Could he really win a 40-yard race against the likes of DK Metcalf and Percy Harvin?
On that, Dorsett proved to be elusive as he is fast.
“I don’t know,” he said during a Zoom session with media before practice Friday, before adding that it would likely take “sub-4.3 (seconds)” to beat Harvin, who, like Dorsett, wore No. 11 with the Seahawks. “I know we all can run; I can tell you that.”
Ultimately, being a good receiver is about more than just pure speed. Dorsett has plenty of that, clocking a 40-yard dash at 4.33 seconds at the 2015 NFL combine.
That speed is unquestionably the top thing that drew the Seahawks to Dorsett, hoping to give Russell Wilson yet another fleet receiver to complement his deep-passing acumen.
Through his first few weeks of on-field work with Wilson, Dorsett said he’s begun to understand why Wilson is regarded as among the best deep-ball passers in the NFL.
“He throws a very easy, catchable deep ball,” Dorsett said. “He just drops it in a bucket. And I think that’s why he’s so historically great. They are easy for a receiver to catch, and they are accurate. He knows how to throw guys open and that’s a great trait that he has. He just sees it and he lets it fly.”
Dorsett hopes to show in Seattle he’s more than just fast.
The Colts took Dorsett in the 2015 first round (29th overall) of the NFL draft out of Miami. He’s perceived as not yet living up to that billing due to his stats — 124 catches in five seasons — and being traded after three years to New England for quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The Seahawks were able to get him on a one-year contract for the new veteran minimum salary of $1.05 million. Tyler Lockett, taken 40 picks after Dorsett in that same draft, will make a base salary of $8.5 million this year.
The Seahawks offense appears to be a better fit for Dorsett’s stretch-the-field skill set, which has fans hoping Dorsett will prove to be a bargain.
Certainly, Carroll’s comment earlier in the week about Dorsett’s speed adds to the expectation that Dorsett can give the Seahawks a legitimate and consistent third receiving threat, which they struggled to find last season. Jaron Brown was unable to keep the job, David Moore battled injuries and Josh Gordon was suspended after five games after signing midseason.
“Just a guy that can stretch the field to complement Tyler and DK,” Dorsett said Friday when asked how he views his role. “We know those guys can stretch the field. Just having a third guy that can go out there and put pressure on the defense and make sure they can’t really pay attention to one person, that’s what you want.”
Dorsett hopes to prove he’s a little bit more than that.
“I always considered myself not just a deep threat but a guy who can get in and out of my breaks and my cuts,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to show more and more in this offense.”
Preparing for gameday
The Seahawks will hold their first of two mock games at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon.
The game is not open to the public, and while coaches will try to get as much information out of players as they can, Carroll said one of the biggest purposes of the event will be to serve as a run-through for how games will be conducted this season.
Mock games serve as the only chance to practice the gameday routine this year after the NFL canceled all preseason games.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on for this first game for us,” Carroll said. “We’re doing everything that we can do to make it as game-like in terms of all of that it takes to get to the game. And that’s all of the work that goes on in the locker room pregame — the pregame routines on the field, stuff to get ready back in the locker room, the time frames. We’re doing all those exactly like a game — halftime is 12 minutes, coaches in the booth, we’re doing all that. So as much as anything, this is really about procedure, getting that thing knocked out”
As for what he wants to see out of the game itself, Carroll said: “We’re gonna get a really good test on the first couple weeks of work and see who knows what and see if guys are commanding their stuff on offense and defense and the tempo in the exchanges that we make, in-and-out substitutions, all that kind of stuff to make us really sharp.
“… This is kind of like the first preseason game for us and trying to get everything organized and get off to a good start.”
The Seahawks will hold another mock game Wednesday at CenturyLink.
The Seahawks plan to practice special teams in both scrimmages, which the team would usually not do live in this setting. Again, the canceled preseason is the reason.
Seahawks getting secretive
Without a true preseason and without the typical roughly 2,500 fans each day at training camp, the Seahawks are changing some of their preseason media policies.
The team informed media Friday that reporters can no longer report from practice on things such as team’s depth chart, playing rotations at specific positions or descriptions of injuries.
The rules are in line with the team’s usual guidelines for the regular season, when practices are open only for early periods when there are no team drills (though during the regular season the team does produce weekly depth charts and daily injury reports as required by the NFL).
The Seahawks are one of a handful of teams to announce new restrictions in recent days (the 49ers also did so Friday). Teams apparently feel they can keep things under wraps this year by limiting what media can report because there are no preseason games for opposing scouts to watch.
The change to practice-squad rules also is driving the secrecy. Teams can have 16 players on the practice squad this year, compared to 10 in past years, and two players per week can be called up to a team’s gameday roster without having to go through waivers.
That means teams such as the Seahawks will be more sensitive than ever in trying to assure they can sneak some of their younger players through waivers to the practice squad following the cut down to a 53-man roster Sept. 5.
- Running back Chris Carson missed practice for a second straight day. Carson isn’t injured but is excused to handle some family issues.
- Veteran defensive end/linebacker Bruce Irvin sat out practice Friday. The reason was not disclosed because Carroll did not speak to the media. Poona Ford also sat out again, but it’s thought he’s being held out for precautionary reasons after dealing with a calf issue and could be back soon.
- Rookie receiver Freddie Swain and second-year defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas returned to practice after recent absences. Quarterback Danny Etling, claimed off waivers earlier this week from Atlanta, was in uniform and practicing. Etling will wear jersey No. 10.