By Danny O’Neil
RENTON – Paul Richardson’s introduction was a quick one.
Then again, would you expect anything else from the third-fastest wide receiver at this year’s NFL scouting combine?
And halfway through his first practice as a Seahawk on Friday, Richardson flashed the kind of speed that can drop jaws and buckle knees as he ran first around and then behind the defense for what was the play of the day – a 63-yard touchdown pass from former UW quarterback Keith Price.
“Oh my God,” Price said. “That guy’s a blazer.”
So fast, in fact, that coach Pete Carroll needed a second look.
“He looked great on that one,” Carroll said. “I was on the wrong end of the field to be able to see it so I’m anxious to see it on film.”
More coverage of Seattle’s rookie minicamp:
|• O’Neil: DL Marsh has Bennett-like versatility||• Henderson: QB Price is up for the challenge||• O’Neil: Sorting through the Seahawks’ rookies||• Photos: Day 1
| Day 2
We now pause for a moment of perspective. It’s a rookie minicamp. No pads. No veterans. No pressure. Four years ago, this weekend was a showcase for Golden Tate, another receiver that Seattle chose in the second round, and what was described then as a preview of a breakout rookie season turned out to be more of a tease. Tate was largely a non-factor his first year in town, and in fact, wasn’t even active for the regular-season opener.
But chosen with the 45th pick of this year’s draft, Richardson was the first of Seattle’s nine choices, and while he was skinny as expected, he was also just as speedy.
That was evident right away during an 11-on-11 drill in which Richardson lined up on the outside across from Eric Pinkins, the converted safety Seattle drafted in the sixth round out of San Diego State. Pinkins barely touched Richardson coming off the line – let alone jam him – and Richardson ran right by him. By the time Price released the ball, Richardson had 5 yards of separation.
“I saw one-on-one with him, and kind of let it rip,” Price said.
It was the best play of the day, but not the only one. Kevin Norwood, the receiver Seattle drafted in the fourth round, made an athletic catch over the middle during a practice that did nothing to temper the expectation of a fierce competition to determine the five, maybe six receivers who will make the 53-man roster.
• OL Garrett Scott, a sixth-round draft pick out of Marshall, was the only one of Seattle’s nine draft picks who did not participate in practice. Carroll indicated Scott had yet to pass his physical examination, but did not specify the reason.
• WR Chris Matthews, who played the past two years in the CFL before signing with Seattle, was held out of the workout as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
• LB Korey Toomer is a fifth-round pick participating in this rookie minicamp, which is a little weird. After all, he was a fifth-round pick two years ago. Toomer is eligible because he hasn’t spent time on an active, regular-season roster. He was on the practice squad as a rookie before he was moved to injured reserve with a shoulder injury in 2012. He spent last year on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Toomer looked good during Friday’s practice, though, intercepting one pass as he dropped into coverage during 11-on-11 drills.
“He’s in great shape,” Carroll said of Toomer. “He’s very determined. That’s one of the guys that’s real exciting to see him have another chance at it.”