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Jermaine Kearse puts best foot forward in Seahawks’ win over Chiefs

Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had three catches for 59 yards on Friday. (AP)

Jermaine Kearse drew plenty of criticism last season, but he put his best foot forward in the Seahawks’ preseason win over Kansas City on Friday and showed he can still make big plays for the Seahawks – especially when they need it most.

The wide receiver finished the night with three catches on three targets for 59 yards. His longest reception was also his flashiest: a 39-yard deep left pass toward the sideline, which he reeled in before being pushed out of bounds.

Gee: Jermaine Kearse talks season, fatherhood, and drags me to spin class

“He did a really good job,” head coach Pete Carroll said of Kearse. “I thought the catch over the shoulder was a great throw, but it was better how he set it up and kind of lulled the guy to sleep, and then separated to make the catch right at the last moment. A really classy catch. He’s been playing really great.”

Kearse put together his best season in 2015, when he caught over 70 percent of his targets, a total 49 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns. His 2016 campaign fell short, though, and he finished the year with just 41 catches on 89 targets for 510 yards and one touchdown. Kearse slipped in the rotation, with Tyler Lockett assuming what had been Kearse’s starting role opposite Doug Baldwin. This preseason, Kearse’s role has been in question, especially with buzz surrounding practice squad up-and-comer Kasen Williams.

“It (was) a humbling year for me,” Kearse said about last season when talking to The News Tribune in December.

During the offseason, Kearse told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott he had to learn to be mentally tough, and stop dwelling on his previous season. Friday, his best performance of the preseason yet marked a promising step toward a return to form.