Seattle used four draft picks on defensive backs — an apparent attempt at setting up LOB 2.0 down the road — and Pete Carroll said they “made a really good first impression” as rookie minicamp began Friday.
“They all moved very well. They all caught the ball really well. They looked fast. They just looked the part and felt very comfortable,” Carroll said.
“There’s a lot of play time behind these two safeties in particular and you can just tell,” Carroll said of third-rounder Delano Hill and fourth-rounder Tedric Thompson, who both reportedly were rated as second-round talents by Seattle. “They’re very savvy, very comfortable, communicated really well right off the bat, made a really good first impression.”
Carroll said third-round cornerback Shaq Griffin “can fly.” Griffin, who ran a 4.38 40, said the coaches told him to forget everything he learned at Central Florida.
“This is more of a press and try to get in someone’s face more than we did at UCF,” he said. “At UCF, we did more zone and, before we bailed, we were already back. Everything here we’ve got to make it look the same. So it’s totally different, but I feel like I’m catching on just fine.
“I’m just trusting what the coaches are telling me and I’m definitely coachable, so whatever they’re telling me I’m just trying to pick it up in the fastest and best way that I can.”
Griffin called Seattle’s vaunted secondary “some mean jokers. And they fly around. That’s something I want to be a part of, and hopefully I can help contribute and be a part of that group.”
Carroll said Mike Tyson “gave me a little reminder about what Maxie (Byron Maxwell) looked like the first couple of impressions we got from him.”
Like Maxwell, Tyson is listed at 6-1 and a bit over 200, was timed at 4.43 in the 40 and was drafted in the sixth round by the Hawks.
As you may recall, Maxwell struggled through injuries as a backup his first two years before emerging in his third season and starring in his fourth.
Tyson surely will be a project, especially as he transitions from safety to corner, but Griffin should battle for the right corner job, with DeShawn Shead out. It just comes down to whether Griffin can adjust to Seattle’s unique corner technique.
“We have a real specific approach to how we do this, and we know there’s a learning curve they have to go through,” Carroll said. “Some guys, they just understand the patience that it takes early on. Then other guys, it just takes them a while.
“We got off to a good start today. Guys looked the part. But tomorrow’s a whole different story. We’ll see how they come back.”