Episode 1 “Lockout Ends” – Seahawks Hard Knocks With WR Chris Carter

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Football is more than a sport. It is the best reality show on television. Every year, kids from across the country battle with men for the honor of pulling on an NFL jersey. Fame and fortune are the lure for some, but the for the majority that make ~$400K and have careers that only last a few years, it’s about love of the game. Some stars are born, and others are made. This is a series telling the story of one such player, Seahawks Wide Receiver Chris Carter, and his attempt to realize his NFL dream.

Note: Reading the profile of Chris Carter is recommended, but not required to follow along.

EPISODE I – “Lockout Ends”
Monday, July 25th, 2011 6PM

Chris started his Monday like any other day during the lockout. He was working out at the University of Washington’s practice facility when he got a call from Seahawks WR coach Kippy Brown. Brown told him to report to the VMAC tomorrow morning where he will get his playbook. Come Wednesday, he will be assigned a roommate and move into a hotel for the duration of camp. That will end an arrangement where he has been staying with a fried of a friend of the family in Bellevue during the lockout. Getting creative about housing allowed Carter to work out with other Seahawks players like Matt Hasselbeck and John Carlson for the entire lockout.

When the lockout was temporarily lifted in April, Seahawks coaches sent Carter formations and motions from new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense. That allowed Carter to familiarize himself with how things looked, but without a playbook, he has not been able to study the offense. He knows he will need to spend some time doing that come training camp, but has gotten some help from Hasselbeck, who Carter said was familiar with Bevell’s offense.

Hasselbeck spent a fair amount of time talking to Carter about former Seahawks slot receiver extraordinaire Bobby Engram. Apparently, the near-poetic timing of Engram and Hasselbeck was not only about time working together. Engram had worked out a way to point behind his back to show Hasselbeck, but not the defense, which way he was going to break on an option route. Tips like that can be invaluable for a wide-eyed rookie trying to make his place in a league dominated by clever veterans.

There will be competition at the slot position. Guys like Kris Durham and Golden Tate could see reps there. The Seahawks may also bring in a free agent in the coming days, maybe even last year’s slot receiver, Brandon Stokley. Carter takes it all in stride. He plans on “being a good guy” off the field, and a fierce competitor on it. If he’s nervous about his first training camp, he doesn’t show it.

Little things like being a good run blocker or making plays on special teams are the key to an undrafted player making a run at the 53-man roster. Carter did not claim to be a great blocker, but is hoping to get some tips from a guy like Tom Cable. Although sleight of build, he doesn’t mind contact.

Carter’s world is about to get turned upside down, and he can’t wait.

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In the next episode of Seahawks Hard Knocks With Chris Carter, we’ll talk about his first days of training camp. Is he getting reps? Making plays? Follow along, and find out.

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