By Jim Moore
I’ll be honest, it’s not easy for me to root for Husky players even after they leave the University of Washington. As a Coug, I get so used to rooting against them when they’re Dawgs that it’s hard to pull for them when they move on to the NFL.
But when they play for the Seahawks like Jermaine Kearse does, and when you’d like to see the Seahawks win a Super Bowl, you have to make a conscious decision to look at the greater good and check your purple-and-gold pettiness at the door.
Michael Grey and I talked to Kearse on “Wyman, Mike and Moore” Tuesday. The second-year wide receiver is having a terrific camp.
When you’re a Seahawks’ wide receiver, you need to be having a terrific camp or you’ll be cut at some point – that’s how loaded this team is at that position. Especially with Percy Harvin out, Kearse figures to be one of the receivers who will make the team along with three locks: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. It will be quite the battle during preseason for one or two other spots among Stephen Williams, Chris Harper, Bryan Walters, Phil Bates and Early Doucet.
As you know, Kearse’s career at Washington featured some really good and bad stuff.
The good: He was second in UW history to Reggie Williams with 180 receptions.
The bad: During his junior season, he dropped 11 passes, including seven in a three-week span.
His drops frequently led to the appearance of my favorite Husky. Yes, that’s right, believe it or not, every year I have a favorite Husky. And every year, it’s the same guy – their punter.
Partly because of Kearse’s inconsistency, he wasn’t drafted. Watching the 2012 draft was difficult, but it’s helped Kearse to remember what Washington coach Steve Sarkisian told him: “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
Kearse played in seven games last year and made three catches. He figures to see more action this year, improving his game by going against the NFL’s top secondary in practice. He’ll ask Richard Sherman if the cornerback sees anything he’s doing that tips off his routes. The receivers also critique each other.
“We want to be one of the best receiving corps in the NFL,” Kearse said. “We’re all trying to make each other better.”
Much has been made of Kearse’s LASIK procedure in February. He doesn’t have to mess with contacts slipping on his eyes or fogging up and blurring his vision anymore. He has 20-15 vision now.
“My vision wasn’t that terrible, but it’s definitely helped a lot,” Kearse said. “I’m not gonna use contacts as an excuse (for dropped passes), but not having to worry about that does help.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson noticed Kearse’s improvement when the skill players got together this summer in Los Angeles
“Jermaine was one of the guys who really stood out,” Wilson said. “He looked unbelievable down there. He’s got great hands, great instincts. He has great hips in terms of moving and adjusting to the football.
“He has a lot of ability. I’m excited to see where he goes this year. He can do it all.”
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com every Monday. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.