O’Neil: Takeaways from Seahawks’ rookie minicamp
RENTON – The Seahawks have a type at cornerback.
So while safety Tre Flowers didn’t have many teams talk to him about moving outside on defense, he certainly wasn’t shocked when one team did.
“I felt the Seahawks would,” he said. “And I’m here now.”
It was impossible to miss him over the weekend given the way he stands out. That’s going to happen when you’re 6 feet 3 like Flowers is with legs skinny enough that you worry about him sliding down the shower drain if he’s not careful.
So while the Seahawks are restocking their defense, they’re not starting over. They’ve got the specs they like and Flowers certainly fits the mold. Then again, so did Eric Pinkins. He was the safety Seattle drafted out of San Diego State in 2014 and switched to cornerback. He ended up a linebacker in the Seahawks though his only regular-season game action came on special teams.
While a three-day rookie minicamp is too soon to pass judgment on how Flowers will fit into Seattle’s future, it was obvious that he’s going to stand out. It’s tough not to when you’re as tall as Flowers is. Here are some other things we learned over the weekend:
1. Will Dissly is wearing No. 88, which is odd.
Because the number is about the only thing he’s going to have in common with the guy that wore it last year: Jimmy Graham. They’re two players who are cut from totally different pieces of cloth. Graham is a converted basketball player who flew airplanes and wanted to be classified as a wide receiver. Dissly is a converted defensive linemen nicknamed “Uncle Will” because of a hairline that’s already in retreat and who stuck with No. 98 in college even after moving from defensive line to tight end. “I tried to save my parents a few bucks,” Dissly said, “so they didn’t have to buy any new T-shirts. So 98 is what I stuck with.” He’s 88 now, and his hands might be better than advertised. He very nearly made a diving catch of a punt from rookie punter Michael Dickson at the end of Saturday’s practice.
2. The punter IS worth watching.
Now, contrary to some overly flowery descriptions you may have already heard, the kicks from the new rookie punter did not sound like artillery fire. Ear protection was not required to mute the thunderous nature of his kicks. Binoculars were not necessary to track the distance. It looked like most punts do. Only perhaps a little bit farther. And with some more spin. OK, fine. After mocking the “craft” of punting for more or less the past 20 years I sat staring from behind Dickson as he kicked to end Saturday’s workout and was amazed. He can get the ball to slice. He can get it to spin. He can also boom it with absolutely no spin, and he also was making drop-kicks from about 50 yards out while working out on his own while the rest of the team practiced.
3. Rasheem Green’s physique is impressive.
That’s not the ultimate measurement for a defensive linemen, especially guys who play defensive tackle. And the early signs were that Seattle sees Green as more of an interior pass rusher as opposed to a guy coming off the edge. But Green has a more athletic build than you see from a defensive tackle. He’s also pretty darn young given that he won’t turn 21 until later this month. Seattle has spent the past eight years searching for interior pass rushers whether it was signing a guy like Jason Jones in 2012 or Michael Bennett in 2013 or drafting Malik McDowell and then trading for Sheldon Richardson when McDowell was injured. Bennett is the only one of those who really blossomed. While the temptation is to say that Green is just one more investment the Seahawks are sinking into the blackhole that was left behind after McDowell’s injury, it might be more accurate to think that Seattle was more willing to overlook questions about McDowell because they thought he could fill a role that has been very tough for Seattle to fill. The first impression of Green is that he’s got the athleticism to do exactly what Seattle is hoping for at that spot.