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RENTON — Temperatures hit 90 degrees at the VMAC during Day 2 of the Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp. You won’t find any weather-related puns here … but you will find more buzz about rookie receiver DK Metcalf.
Five things seen and heard on Wednesday afternoon:
1. ‘He can do anything and everything’
Russell Wilson, you might have heard, is a generally positive fellow. He likes to say nice things about nice people when they do nice things.
DK Metcalf, you might have heard, is one of those people who has been doing nice things during his short time with the Seahawks. There was more of that Wednesday, prompting more positives reviews from the quarterback.
Wilson said this about the 6-foot-4 rookie out of Ole Miss: “DK is looking really, really special. He can do anything and everything. He’s tremendous.”
Wilson had more: “Everyone knows about his ability to run and jump and catch and all that. You guys have been talking about that for months. More than anything else is his brain — how he processes information, how quickly he understands it. He’s really intelligent and he understands the game really well. He takes coaching well, he gets extra work. He’s a legit pro wide receiver. He’s everything that everyone was talking about in terms of what he’s capable of and more.”
And still more from the QB, after another follow-up question about Metcalf: “As soon as he got drafted (in the second round), we talked on the phone as soon as that happened. We talked for about 15, 20 minutes just about where he wanted to go and everything else. You can tell, you can sense it when you’re around it and you’ve played it yourself — you kind of can tell the guys who are really hunting for something special. And I think he is.”
Metcalf had two touchdown catches during team periods Wednesday. One came on a 16-yard throw from Wilson in the back right corner of the end zone.
Metcalf’s second TD was 99-yard reception from Paxton Lynch up the left sideline. To be fair, the cornerback in coverage, Neiko Thorpe, appeared to be in good position to make a play on the ball, but defenders aren’t allowed to do that during minicamp — they’re handcuffed, as Bradley McDougald later put it — so only Metcalf went up to catch it near midfield and jogged the rest of the way for the touchdown.
2. McDougald expected back for camp
McDougald, a 16-game starter at safety last season, spoke publicly about the injury to his right knee that occurred during the Week 8 victory at Detroit.
“I was playing through a lot of pain, a lot of grief,” he said Wednesday. “But I feel like I’m in a much better situation now.”
McDougald remains sidelined, but he said he expects to be available for the start of training camp after having surgery earlier this spring to repair a partially torn patellar tendon.
“(This) is one of the healthiest I’ve felt in a long time,” he said.
Presuming he returns to form, McDougald will be one of the starting safeties again this fall — and he made clear Wednesday his preference is to remain at strong safety. McDougald is versatile enough to play free safety, too, where he started the final two regular season games of last year after an injury to Tedric Thompson, working alongside Lano Hill.
“Honestly, I was fully prepared to come in to play strong safety — willing to compete and battle with whoever,” he said. “I can do both, but I prefer to play the box that’s closer to the line of scrimmage, there’s just more for me to do there in the run game and the man to man coverages. I’m always willing to do whatever to make the team work and to be the best asset for the team. But I definitely intend to play in the box.”
3. Ready for Moore
David Moore says he’s ready for an expanded role in the offense, and the Seahawks sound ready to give him that opportunity.
“He’s so much more comfortable right now,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said last week. “Last year he was a one-position kind of guy. Now we’re moving him all over the place. It’s been cool to see.”
Moore, the third-year receiver out of East Central (Okla.), had 26 catches for 445 yards and five TDs while playing mostly split end last season. He’s learning new positions this summer.
“I’m pretty comfortable with it now,” he said Wednesday. “Getting a lot of help from Doug (Baldwin) and Tyler (Lockett) teaching me ‘Z’ and ‘X,’ which is what they want me to start doing. And a little bit of ‘F.’ Just taking it all in and getting better every day.”
4. More rookie buzz
Metcalf isn’t the only rookie getting some love from teammates.
Linebacker Cody Barton, a third-round pick out of Utah, continues to impress with the second-team defense. And McDougald was asked about the two new safeties — second-round pick Marquise Blair (Utah) and fourth-round pick Ugo Amadi (Oregon).
Amadi nearly came up with a shoe-string interception on a Wilson pass in the middle of the field late in Wednesday’s practice. Blair remained sidelined with a hamstring strain.
“I really, really like (Amadi),” McDougald said. “He’s small, but he’s quick. He moves well and I’ve seen him play a nickel and free safety. He’s just getting better every day. He’s really taken advantages of these reps. They both got their hands on some balls.
“Marquise is a hell of a player too, you know. Everybody knows him for hitting and being aggressive, but his coverage is really good too. I feel like he’s raw. Like just a raw athlete. He just comes out there and he competes, he grinds, he’s fast and like everybody else, he’s got things to work on and a little growth into his playbook.”
5. Summer plans
Minicamp wraps up Thursday afternoon, but Wilson said he’s already making plans to continue working with his new-look receiving corps. As he’s done in the past, the quarterback plans to host informal throwing workouts in Los Angeles in July.
“We throw a bunch of routes. One part of it is just spending time with each other — that’s always the fun part,” Wilson said. “The other thing too is, really just trying to perfect our craft, you know. It’s just like guys in the NBA, and in the offseason they’re shooting around playing with each other. …
“The offseason I really believe translates into the regular season and the kick-start you want to have at the beginning of the season. … You try to get your extra 500 reps, or whatever it may be, in the offseason.”