Rookie Kevin Norwood is built to stretch defenses


Seattle Seahawks rookie wideout Kevin Norwood gave a hint at Monday’s Offseason Training Activities (OTAs) of what he could bring to the offensive squad’s ability to move the ball this upcoming season.

In one play, Norwood out-jumped a crowd of players, pulling in a Hail Mary with Richard Sherman on his back. Among other plays, Norwood hauled down two touchdowns in red-zone drills, and made a sliding catch on a bad pass from quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

With Paul Richardson’s flank speed and Percy Harvin’s unbelievable athletic quickness and yards-after-catch ability, Norwood (taken #123, #23 in the fourth round) will be the possession receiver Russell Wilson looks for to pick up clutch third downs and extend drives. With Harvin and Richardson pulling a defense apart at the seams downfield, Norwood will be getting open underneath to keep opponents honest.

This will have the effect of opening up the defense downfield for Harvin and Richardson. The fact that Norwood is not just playing with the first squad in OTAs, but looking like a serious baller against the Hawks’ Legion of Boom portends powerful things in the future for the champs. If Norwood can bring his practice game onto the playing field, defenses will only be able to pick their poison. At Alabama, Norwood had a special rapport with his quarterback. He runs tight routes and knows every trick in the book for getting open.

Not to get too crazy with a fourth-round rookie here, but when I think about Norwood’s potential the name Steve Largent comes to mind. Largent had the same game: when it was time to get open, Largent would just go one way while the sucker defending him went the other. Largent’s hands were pigskin magnets. Largent, of course, is a Hall of Famer. He was also selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft (#117, by the Houston Oilers). Fourth rounders just seem to have something to prove.

Russell Wilson’s best game may be on scrambles and broken plays. In these situations Norwood can break off his route and go “hot-read”, shadowing Wilson in short yardage while Richardson and Harvin act as force multipliers in the middle and deep field. This is all theoretical of course, as Norwood and Richardson are rookies who have not played in a single preseason game.

But over at the VMAC, things are looking on track for another one of John Schnieder’s inspired middle-round picks to come in and create a valuable role for himself on a suddenly hyper-potent passing offense. As Beast Mode gets creaky, a shift to more of a passing assault becomes the obvious move. And Wilson has always had the arm and the guts to lead a pass-happy team.

Most of the Super-Bowl-winning roster was built by John Schnieder with middle and late round draft picks. This portends good things for the future, as the Seahawks keep on winning while simultaneously recharging the roster for the next Super Bowl.

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